The Untold Truth Of Hollywood's Bleeding By Post Malone

Post Malone deserved a massive congratulations after dropping his third studio album, Hollywood's Bleeding, in September 2019. According to Billboard, the album had the second-biggest release week of the year, only rivaled by Taylor Swift's Lover, which took the crown when it debuted the month prior. Nonetheless, Hollywood's Bleeding still scored Malone the biggest streaming week of that year with 365.4 million on-demand audio streams. Even the Jonas Brothers reuniting on the ashes of Camp Rock couldn't beat Post Malone.

Since its release, Hollywood's Bleeding shot to No. 1 and refused to budge for weeks. The month it came out, all 17 songs from the album were simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100. Basically, the album was a perfect storm for success — from the high-profile collaborations (see: Halsey, Future, and Ozzy Osbourne) to the inclusion of "Sunflower" (which already proved its success as a soundtrack single) to Malone's undeniable low-key star power (the dude even somehow made a line of Crocs sell out in under two hours).

This musician might favor cracking open a Bud Light and hanging out in his quiet Utah compound, but Hollywood's Bleeding didn't happen by accident. Post Malone is a workhorse behind his laid back exterior, and it shows with what might have shaped up to be his seminal album.

Most of Hollywood's Bleeding was recorded in three days

Post Malone might come off as a weed-smoking party boy who hangs out at the Olive Garden, plays beer pong, and doesn't think twice before renting out an entire Hooters on a Monday morning to chill with his friends, but he's actually an extremely prolific songwriter. In today's music climate, it's not uncommon to have a two- to three-year album cycle. Just look at Taylor Swift, who released 1989 in 2014, Reputation in 2017, and Lover in 2019. Even so, modern artists typically rely on a string of single releases and EPs rather than a full album — but not Malone.

Hollywood's Bleeding has an impressive, expansive track list. Unlike the usual 10 to 12 songs of a traditional LP, Malone pushed the limits with 17 tracks. Plus, the album came out just a year and change after his sophomore effort, Beerbongs & Bentleys — probably because he records lightning fast. In a YouTube interview with pal Kerwin Frost, Malone admitted that he laid down most of the songs for his third full length in less than a week: "I remember we did 10 plus songs, finishing in like three days." Hey, if you can make 10 songs in a long weekend, why wouldn't you release an album every year?

Post Malone originally wrote around 50 songs for Hollywood's Bleeding

Hollywood's Bleeding might span an epic 17 tracks, but it could have been a heck of a lot longer. When Post Malone hopped into the studio with his team — which included his longtime producer Louis Bell, Stoney writer Billy Walsh, and "Goodbyes" writers Brian Lee and Jessie Lauren Foutz — he originally wrote a jaw-dropping number of tracks.

In an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, the rapper revealed he didn't hop into the studio for a couple of months like most artists. Instead, he had to sneak in studio time between tours. Despite his busy schedule, Post still managed to pen 50 tracks for the album, but ultimately narrowed it down to just 17. Among them was "Sunflower," which was released in 2018 as part of the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. "Like I said earlier ... I'm not trying to make the dopest s**t or like, 'Y'all, this is a big hit,'" Malone told Lowe, adding, "I want it to be super organic."

Bud Light was part of Post Malone's recording process

Post Malone has a reported $14 million net worth, but his tastes haven't evolved with his rap star bank account. Instead of the classics like Hennessy, Cristal, or Patron, the singer prefers regular old Bud Light (which, might we remind you, is not even the champagne of beers). Malone — who performed on Bud Light's Dive Bar Tour and has an Anheuser Busch tattoo — has made this beer a studio essential. The juice helps his creative juices get flowing. Plus, it just creates a good, low-key studio vibe.

By the time Malone geared up to record his third full-length album, he already had record-making down to a science. His creative process involved cracking open some cold ones, throwing a ton of ideas at the wall, and packaging whatever stuck into Hollywood's Bleeding. "Usually I just go in and have an abnormal amount of Bud Light," he told Jimmy Fallon during a 2019 appearance on The Tonight Show. "And go into the booth and just kind of sing over beats and wait until I find a good melody and then sit down and write it. So, and we've done that probably a hundred times, and then just shift through them, and then see which ones are smoosh hits."

So, that's how Posty ended up narrowing down Hollywood's Bleeding to 17 tracks. It all depends on the "smoosh hit" potential of those Bud Light-fueled ideas.

Kelly Osbourne made 'Take What You Want' happen

Ozzy Osbourne and Post Malone are two of the most unlikely collaborators. More than a decade before Malone was born, the Black Sabbath singer made headlines for biting the head off of a (hopefully already dead) bat at a stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Malone, who took sides in America's fried chicken war of 2019, has some undeniably different eating habits (can we get 10,000 Popeyes biscuits up in here?). Nonetheless, they managed to find common ground on "Take What You Want." According to The Fader, the song was Osbourne's first top 10 hit in three decades, and it wouldn't have been possible without his daughter, Kelly Osbourne.

Andrew Watt, who co-wrote, co-produced, and contributed guitar to Malone's hit, told Billboard that his idea for an Ozzy collaboration came when he saw Post buy a picture of the singer from the Rainbow Bar & Grill. Though he didn't know Ozzy, he used his existing relationship with Kelly as a gateway. "Kelly played [Ozzy] the tape and he loved it, but then I didn't hear anything for a while," Watt told Billboard (the project briefly stalled when Ozzy was hospitalized due to complications stemming from the flu). "I kept texting Kelly over and over again, and all of a sudden, we got the text from her that said, 'Dad's going to do the song. He loves it.'"

Post Malone was a total Ozzy fanboy in their studio FaceTime session

Most of the recording of "Take What You Want" happened while Post Malone was home in Utah. Per an interview with Billboard, the singer couldn't make the session because of his touring schedule, but Andrew Watt managed to FaceTime him in while Ozzy Osbourne laid down the track. The rapper, who'd been a fan of Black Sabbath since he was a child, was a proper fanboy on the phone. While speaking with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, Malone admitted that he took screen grabs of the famed metal singer during their FaceTime chat. "It was like a big f**king deal," he said. "Ozzy Osbourne."

Unfortunately, the sentiment wasn't exactly shared. Apparently, you can break streaming records and still be anonymous in the eyes of your fellow rock stars. Watt admitted to Billboard that Osbourne didn't know who they were talking to on FaceTime, saying, "Ozzy's like, 'Who the f**k is this? Are you talking with the bloody Post Man?' And everyone's laughing their a**es off."

Per Post's Beats 1 interview, Osbourne did eventually admit to Watt that the song was his favorite thing he's done since Black Sabbath. Not a bad compliment coming from one of the most legendary acts of all time.

'Staring at the Sun' was a last-minute Hollywood's Bleeding track

Though Post Malone recorded the bulk of Hollywood's Bleeding in a single three-day session, he told Kerwin Frost during an interview that "Staring at the Sun" came about last minute. He ended up tapping SZA, whose hit "The Weekend" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018, for the track.

Malone and SZA had been bumping elbows long before their collaboration. In 2017, they worked on Lorde's remix of "Homemade Dynamite," though it's unlikely they were ever in the studio together. That same year, they also shared the stage at Pandora's NYC Party. SZA had just dropped her debut album, Ctrl, and Post was still riding on Stoney's success. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before they linked up for real.

In his Beats 1 interview, the "Congratulations" singer admitted he finally hit it off with the Ctrl star when they just happened to be sharing the same hotel. "We had a run where were just going around, and we were at the same hotel, and we sat around and talked, and she's such an incredible person," Malone told Lowe. "Such a sweet person, and just a genuinely good, good person, and I was just like, 'You know, we had a song, and you'd be f**king perfect on it if you'd do me the honor of singing on it."

Post Malone's 'Sunflower' started with an '80s beat

"Sunflower" is undeniably one of the most successful songs on Hollywood's Bleeding, and it seems like it got a ferocious start as the lead single from the soundtrack to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The Swae Lee collaboration broke a top 10 record on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and tied for the record of most weeks spent in the Hot 100's top 10. Though the song is obviously a massive success, it definitely didn't start out that way. At first, it was just a tiny beat labeled "80s instrumental."

Carter Lang, a Chicago-based writer and producer, penned the beat with Louis Bell during a session at Electric Feel studios in Los Angeles. The part of Post Malone that is Leon DeChino must've loved the '80s vibe, because he totally went with it.

"I was working with Lou, and we made a cool beat that we called '80s Instrumental.' I did the drums with a DXM drum machine. Then eventually, Lou showed it to Post and Swae, and they cut it," Lang told Songwriter Universe. "Then I got a text from Austin [Post Malone]. He said, 'Hey, this is a great track,' and it all came together. So I was very excited to hear how it all sounded, and how it worked in the movie."

Post Malone and Swae Lee pulled an all-nighter for 'Sunflower'

Swae Lee, who's since worked with pop legends like Madonna, had an impressive work ethic when it came to his collaboration with Post Malone. Apparently, the best ideas really do happen if you stay up all night. According to an interview with Variety, the track almost didn't happen because of sheer exhaustion. The pair had already recorded five songs during their session with Louis Bell at Electric Feel and daylight hours were fast approaching. By the time Lee pushed to record just one more track, it was already about six in the morning.

"The melody came first, then the hook and my verse," Lee told Variety. "I just wrote in my head and then I ended up putting words to it just like five minutes after. ... I was fully warmed up [after a full night in the studio] and the most creative energy comes out at 5 a.m. amongst us creatives ... I wanted to go out with a bang that night, and I got it out of me."

The eye bags were clearly worth it. In the past, Lee has had streaming hits with Diplo and Ellie Goulding, but "Sunflower" was his first chart-topping hit as a solo artist in the U.S. According to Billboard, the song — which has since amassed more than 1 billion streams on Spotify — peaked at No. 1 on the streaming charts.

Eminem's collaboration on Hollywood's Bleeding fell through

Hollywood's Bleeding featured a litany of mega-talent, including Travis Scott, Future, Halsey, Meek Mill, Young Thug, and even Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, who lent his skills to "Take What You Want." The talent on that song alone could basically form their own super group and sell out Madison Square Garden in a minute. While it's true that Post Malone's third album is basically like a who's-who of hip hop, it's missing one crucial star: the veritable king of white rappers. No, we're not talking about one-hit-wonder Vanilla Ice (though one could argue, he at least made an important cultural contribution by teaching us about copyright law). We're talking rapper Eminem.

During his Beats 1 interview, Malone revealed that Slim Shady himself was originally meant to be featured on a track for Hollywood's Bleeding, but it unfortunately didn't work out. "We talked. Well, we haven't talked, but everybody's talked, and I mean what a f**king legend," Malone told Lowe, adding, "There was a time where we were working everything out, but just timing-wise, sometimes they just don't match up at the right — at that time. There will be a time."

You heard it. May every true stan cross their fingers for a cameo on LP number four.

Did Halsey diss G-Eazy on 'Die for Me'?

"Die For Me" was a slow burn. The track, which features Future and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom singer Halsey, was brought to Post Malone's attention long before he actually decided to record it. In an interview with Kerwin Frost, Post admitted that he wasn't in "album mode" when Louis Bell first brought him the song, because he was "touring and s**t." It was only later that he discovered its true genius, telling Frost, "[Bell] played it back also towards the end of making the record, and I was like this is f**king massive, so Halsey did a verse, and then it all just came together like magic."

The song might have also been magic for Halsey, who was healing from a chaotic split from fellow music star G-Eazy. As the Daily Mail pointed out, her verses might have finally addressed the long-standing cheating rumors surrounding the former celeb couple (at least, beyond a cryptic reference during her 2019 Saturday Night Live performance). On the track, Halsey sings, "I don't play anymore, I went through your phone / And called the girls in your DMs and took all them home ... I sold 15 million copies of a break-up note / Brought some strangers in our beds / And now you lost your right to privacy / Spilling all our secrets." 

That "break-up note" was likely a reference to the star's single "Without Me," which was her first No. 1 as a lead artist. Slay.

Post Malone almost died before he could finish Hollywood's Bleeding

Post Malone had been working on his Beerbongs & Bentleys follow-up since 2018, but he almost didn't live to see the album's release. The music star almost died in a terrifying plane accident before Hollywood's Bleeding was finished (and let's just say, we are very thankful he didn't have to pull a 2Pac and release a posthumous record).

In August 2018, Post's private plane was forced to make an emergency landing after two tires on the aircraft exploded. According to TMZ, which read the FAA's incident report, the plane initially landed because the doors weren't properly closed. It took off again shortly after, which was when the two tires blew out. Both the tires and the airplane were overdue for maintenance (the latter by about 50 hours), and the aircraft was reportedly "way too heavy." To make matters worse, the crew "ignored safety procedures."

TMZ reports that Malone's plane ended up circling for hours in order to burn fuel, which made the crash-landing a little bit safer. The plane ultimately landed safely in New York City, but Post was traumatized. "I'm terrified of flying already," he told Zane Lowe during his Beats 1 interview. "So now I need to just drink like two Dream Waters or something and a glass of champagne ... and try and go to bed as quick as I can, 'cause flying just scares the s**t out of me."

Shania Twain could be Post Malone's post-Hollywood's Bleeding collab

Post Malone knows his way around a great collaboration, and during his Beats 1 interview about Hollywood's Bleeding, he admitted that he chooses his collaborators based on how they vibe and not their popularity. "I think music at the end of the day has nothing to do with f**king business. Music has to do with people," he told Lowe, adding, "You can't go out and try to go for, 'Oh, this person's hot right now' ... It's important that it makes — it's organic."

Malone managed to foster an organic connection with a number of chart-toppers for Hollywood's Bleeding — and it seems like artists are already positioning themselves as potential collaborators for full-length album number four. One of those artists is pop country legend Shania Twain. After a collab with Ozzy Osbourne, is that really that bizarre? 

Post was caught on camera having the absolute best time dancing to Twain at the 2019 American Music Awards, where Hollywood's Bleeding was named the favorite rap album of the year. After that, Twain admitted in an interview with The Talk (via ET Canada) that she had written a song for the potential duo in hopes of a collab. Malone is already a country music fan, so here's hoping — because that does impress us much.