The crotchety rock legend Neil Young and the exuberant young R&B howler D.R.A.M. might not make for the most natural combination in the world, but that hasn’t stopped the two from visiting the studio and doing something together, though we still have no idea what. And if you guessed Rick Rubin had something to do with it, you’d be entirely correct.
As XXL points out, a short new behind-the-scenes video records some of what happens when D.R.A.M., Young, and Chance The Rapper’s backing band the Social Experiment all put in some work at Rubin’s Shangri-La studios — specifically in an old Bob Dylan tour bus that Rubin has converted into a studio. Those sessions might’ve gone down a long time ago; D.R.A.M. teased a Neil Young collab on Twitter way back in February. And none of it ended up on Big Baby D.R.A.M., the singer’s excellent full-length debut. But it would be cool to have some idea what kinds of sounds were produced there.
To be fair, we don’t actually see Young recording anything; we just see him hanging out and saying that it’s “definitely a happening for me.” But according to D.R.A.M. himself, they did do some recording together. Talking to Brooklyn Magazine about Young, D.R.A.M. recently said, “I worked on one of his records, he worked on one of my records. It was really, really cool, man. I mean, a guy from the old school, like a real Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer just embracing my take on music, my sound. And the fact that I’m able to collaborate with someone so legendary, from a whole ‘nother side of the spectrum, it’s monumental. It’s one of those real defining moments, like, ‘You’re really out here.'” Here’s the video:
If Neil Young was going to make a rap-influenced record, it would make sense for him to work with psychedelic utopians like D.R.A.M. and Donnie Trumpet. And while I’m not necessarily convinced that the music would be great, I would damn sure want to hear it.