The “weird” story of Bob Dylan’s failed collaboration with Post Malone

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Bob Dylan once gave Post Malone some lyrics for a new song, but why the public has never actually heard that track is a mystery.

Rolling Stone reports the tune was supposed to be part of a project producer Michael Cash came up with, which would have featured Dylan lyrics recorded by a group of hip-hop artists. It was inspired by T Bone Burnett’s 2014 project, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, a project in which artists like Elvis Costello recorded songs using old but newly uncovered handwritten Dylan lyrics.

Cash reached out to Dylan’s rep, Jeff Rosen, and eventually Dylan agreed to send some lyrics for Post. The song was called “Be Not Deceived,” which Cash said was “about loss of innocence,” calling it “poetry.”

So, where’s the song? Cash says Malone came to the studio in March 2021 to record the tune, thinking Dylan was going to be there too, but he wasn’t. Malone recorded about 40%, but didn’t finish it. Cash noted, “It needed flair. It needed more layers. It wasn’t a complete piece of music, but it was definitely a song.” 

Cash said the track just “needed to be finished,” but Malone never returned to the project. After a while Dylan’s camp had enough, and Cash was told they were going to retract the lyrics.

There’s no definite answer as to why Post never completed the recording. Cash says, “It just seems like nobody really managed expectations, and it just seems like nobody communicated.” He added, “A really cool piece of music got made, and then it just got weird. It got really weird.”

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