Once upon a time, Bob Dylan wrote a song for Post Malone. I know that sounds odd! But it’s true. According to producer Michael Cash, Dylan and Malone worked on a track together during the pandemic—but it never saw the light of day. Now, three years later, he revealed the mystery track’s backstory to Rolling Stone.
In an exclusive interview with the publication, Cash explained that he was hoping to create an experimental album. The idea was simple. Modern pop stars would record unreleased Bob Dylan tracks as an ode to the legendary rock star. Naturally, he recruited Malone for the project. To get the ball rolling, Cash contacted T Bone Burnett—one of Dylan’s producers—and asked for his approval. “So I said to T Bone, Would you mind if I did The Attic MP3s or something?,” Cash recalled. “I want to fuck with this whole archetype. And he goes, ‘Run with it.”
With that reassurance, Cash contacted Malone, and got to work. In 2020, he sent Malone a song called “Not to be Deceived.” The track, according to Cash, was surprisingly emotional. “It was talking about a loss of innocence,” he said. “And what people are going through—disfranchised, kind of leaderless masses of children with no parent or guardian or shepard or anything. It talked about going out and making your own way. And when you read it, honestly, it’s poetry. It’s beautiful.” Malone was reportedly "in tears" while reading the lyrics.
So where is this mysterious, yet beautiful, song? Likely on a hard drive, locked away for the rest of time. According to Cash, the song was never finished. Malone visited Cash’s studio in 2021 and recorded the base track, but then they lost momentum. “We got the stenciling done,” Cash recalled. “He got some colors in, but he definitely wasn’t finished. 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, middle, and an end. There was a bridge, there was a chorus. It just needed to be finished.”
“It just seems like nobody really managed expectations,” Cash continued. “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.”
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