Mandatory Listening: Kanye West feat. Paul McCartney – “Only One”

by on January 2, 2015
 

The process that would eventually birth the Kanye West / Paul McCartney collaboration “Only One” began with a brainstorming session at a small bungalow in Los Angeles. While McCartney improvised on the keys, West immersed himself in a stream-of-consciousness flow of vocal sketches. According to a press release, the song’s chorus – particularly the “Hello, my only one” bit – was not simply created but channeled.

Image: Inez and Vinoodh

Image: Inez and Vinoodh

“My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” West said. The cross-generational message at the heart of “Only One,” a sparse and lovely cut reminiscent of both “Hey Mama” (from West’s 2005 album Late Registration) and his entire 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak (with a thematic upswing), is made even more poignant when coupled with the fact that the name Kanye, chosen by his mother Donda, means “only one.” Reportedly, this track is the first of many collaborations between the two legends. Stream “Only One” at Kanye’s site and read Kanye’s handwritten lyrics below.

Image: KanyeWest.com

Image: KanyeWest.com

Image: KanyeWest.com

Image: KanyeWest.com