This isn’t your grandma’s kind of root beer float. On “Root Beer Float” — the latest track from L.A.-based singer-songwriter Olivia O’Brien, featuring rapper-producer blackbear — the key ingredient to making the best dessert drink is having the right people around you.
“I’ve been a big fan of blackbear for a long time and working with him was a dream come true,” O’Brien says.
The result of the collaboration is a fun, summery banger that keeps the whole vibe playful. O’Brien impresses with her vocals and lesser-known rapping abilities, while blackbear hits the sweet spot with some slick bars about easier days and reminiscing. They trade ad-libs and ideas for the best drink mixers, and O’Brien even fits a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis name-drop in the song’s hook.
“All of the laughs and clips of me talking were things I said to bear when I was in the booth that were recorded in between takes,” O’Brien says. “Keeping those in added a certain realness that you can’t fake, which is part of what makes it such a fun song.”
O’Brien has had an impressive year, starting with her feature on the Billboard Hot 100 hit “i hate u, i love u” with Gnash. She has since released her own solo song, “Trust Issues,” in August via Island Records. “Root Beer Float” is available exclusively through Billboard until Friday when it will be released on all online retailers and streaming services.