Bob Dylan supposedly once gave Post Malone his unused lyrics to use in a song that never got completed according to producer Michael Cash.
- READ MORE: Post Malone – ‘Austin’ review: Posty gets honest about his vices
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Cash revealed that he had come up with the idea for a project during the COVID-19 pandemic that would have seen rappers form songs based on recently uncovered and unused lyrics from Bob Dylan.
Cash said the project would have been his own spin of the 2014 Bob Dylan-tribute record ‘Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes’, in which artists like Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, and Rhiannon Giddens recorded songs featuring unused Dylan lyrics.
Cash’s version of the project, which would have been called ‘The Attic MP3s’, ultimately never came to fruition, but would ideally have featured performances from Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Post Malone.
While the project never got released, Cash told Rolling Stone that some progress had been made as Dylan’s team green-lit Malone’s involvement in the record and that they had sent him lyrics to work with.
Cash claims he corresponded with Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s longtime representative, and that after weeks of not hearing back, he got a text at “two o’clock in the morning”. “Jeff texts me: ‘Bob’s going to write you something. He’s got something in mind that he wants to craft specifically for this.’”
The lyrics Bob Dylan sent over came form an uncovered and unreleased song, ‘Be Not Deceived’. According to Cash, the song was “talking about a loss of innocence and what people are going through — disfranchised, kind of leaderless masses of children with no parent or guardian or shepherd or anything. It talked about going out and making your own way. And when you read it, honestly, it’s poetry. It’s beautiful.”
When Post Malone read the lyrics, the rapper was supposedly “literally in tears” and visited Cash’s studio in March 2021 to work on the song. By his estimate, they had completed around “40 per cent” of the song by the time Malone had to leave the studio.
“We got the stenciling done, he got some colors in, but he definitely wasn’t finished,” Cash told Rolling Stone. “It needed flair. It needed more layers. It wasn’t a complete piece of music, but it was definitely a song. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. There was a bridge, there was a chorus. It just needed to be finished.”
Unfortunately, Cash revealed that the song was never finished, and that the song’s production “went from being something to be excited about to just turning into a circular, figure-eight pattern”.
Now, it seems like the song will never see the light of day as Jeff Rosen reportedly told Cash that they were taking back the rights to the lyrics: “Rosen said to me at a certain point, ‘Well, we’re just going to retract the lyrics.’”
“Bob and Mr. Rosen do things a specific way,” Cash said. “They get things done in a New York minute, and then it started to become… Honestly, they just were like, ‘This should be finished.’”
While Cash refused to say more about the “lost” track, he concluded: “it just seems like nobody really managed expectations, and it just seems like nobody communicated. A really cool piece of music got made, and then it just got weird. It got really weird.”
Last week, Dylan announced a run of North American live dates for 2023. Kicking off with two shows in Kansas City (October 1, 2), the upcoming leg also includes stop-offs in Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Toronto and Montreal, among other cities.
Post Malone, on the other hand, most recently released his latest album ‘Austin’ last month. The LP received a four-star rating from NME, who praised the rapper for delivering a thoughtful and introspective album, that showed fans a more personal side to him.
“Though his notable genre-defying skills are still here in ‘Austin’, Posty’s clearly veering off in new creative directions, which is a bold choice to make considering his formula thus far has pushed him to global acclaim,” the review reads.