Bob Dylan gave Post Malone some lyrics… but he won’t let him use them in a song
According to an exclusive report, Dylan and his representative Jeff Rosen revoked lyrics he once gave to the rapper as the track was taking too long to be finished.
Images: Alice Ochs and Antony Jones / Getty
Bob Dylan once gave rapper Post Malone some lyrics to use in a song, and to this day the track remains unfinished, and the lyrics have since been revoked by Dylan and his team. Malone is said to be a huge Dylan fan, the Rockstar rapper even has a tattoo of him on his arm and once covered one of his tracks pre-fame, but according to a new report, the track featuring his lyrics seemingly took too long to be finished for Dylan’s liking.
As reported by Rolling Stone, producer Michael Cash wanted to put together an album of Dylan songs recorded by modern rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and of course, Post Malone. The idea for the project was inspired by the mid-2010s record from Dylan: Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes.
Cash reached out to his representative, Jeff Rosen, and pitched the idea of Post Malone recording a Dylan song – he even sent Rosen a photo of Malone’s Dylan tattoo, as well as a link to his cover of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.
“Jeff texts me: ‘Bob’s going to write you something. He’s got something in mind that he wants to craft specifically for this,’” says Cash. (According to Rolling Stone, a source close to Dylan says that he already had the lyrics lying around.)
Rosen sent over the lyrics to a song called Be Not Deceived, “It was talking about a loss of innocence,” Cash says. “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.”
But despite the “beautiful” lyrics from Dylan, and the fact that Malone was “in tears” when Cash read them to him over the phone, things only got complicated from this point on. Further on in the report, it is revealed that Malone went to record the track at Cash’s studio in March 2021 but seemed to think that Dylan would be on hand for the session as well. They got through just half of the track.
Rosen apparently liked the work-in-progress, but Cash later couldn’t get Malone back into the studio to finish it. Dylan’s team, according to Rosen, got tired of waiting: “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. They get things done in a New York minute, and then it started to become… Honestly, they just were like, ‘This should be finished.’”
Cash concludes: “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.”
Rolling Stone says Malone has declined to comment, but Cash still hopes the track will be completed some day.