The manic banger is at turns both deeply personal and wildly zany, bouncing from the death of Luppen’s dog to ruminations on Britney Spears and her battle to end the legal conservatorship she’s lived under for the past 13 years — a period that almost perfectly matches up with the late Cookie’s lifetime. (“I’m worried about Britney Spears/ It’s pretty f–ked up how her dad runs her life/ I wish my dad was more involved in mine/ But not like that, really not like that, yeah,” the singer croons in an unassuming baritone on the second verse.)

Unlike most millennials, Luppen admits the pop icon and her music were “pretty peripheral” during his fundamental teenage years, due in large part to a strict Mormon upbringing in suburban Minneapolis after his mother converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was just four or five years old.

“Being raised Mormon, I wasn’t allowed to consume a lot of things that were sort of controversial,” the 26-year-old says, referring to Britney’s catalog of hits and sexually charged music videos. “So it was more of just like, I would kind of hear it on the radio.” It wasn’t until years later, as an adult, that Luppen would dive into what he calls his “Britney phase”; consequently, he now regards “Toxic” as “one of the best songs ever.” (“I think the production on that is so incredible,” he gushes about the icy second single from 2003’s In the Zone. “It’s so fresh. If that dropped tomorrow, it would be, like, the coolest thing.”)

Despite having a rather belated personal relationship to Britney’s music, the Princess of Pop’s fraught relationship with her father made it into Hippo Campus’ new song after Luppen sat down to watch The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears.

“My mind was blown,” he recalls of his reaction to the harrowing documentary, which has since been nominated for two Emmy Awards. “Cause I, like, vaguely remember Britney shaving her head, you know? And I remember people just…sort of turning her into a punchline. I only realized over time how f–ked up it was that a bunch of my memories with Britney Spears involve the industry completely turning on her.”

After absorbing the special, Luppen continued to follow the developments in Britney’s ongoing legal crusade, and was shocked along with the rest of the world by the pop star’s explosive testimony during her recent June 23 hearing, coincidentally speaking out for the first time in more than a decade just eight days after Hippo Campus released “Bad Dream Baby.” “I was like, ‘crazy timing!'” he states of Britney breaking her silence. “But just hearing her talk about it is heartbreaking. It, like, turns my stomach to hear, you know? It’s just… it’s awful.”

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