Paul McCartney and Kanye West were surprise collaborators in the mid-2010s. The two collaborated on three songs that ended up being hits, giving McCartney his first pop hit in several decades. During a songwriting session for their first single together, McCartney recalled Kanye West flipping through pictures of his then-wife Kim Kardashian.
In 2014, Kanye West – now known as Ye – and Paul McCartney teamed up for the song Only One. The song was recorded in Mexico over a two-day period, during which McCartney and West, along with other artists, recorded a total of nine songs. It also features uncredited vocals from Ty Dolla $ign.
Upon its debut, “Only One” peaked at number 35 on the US Billboard Hot 100, earning McCartney his first Top 40 hit since 1989. In a press release, West said he sang the lyrics to “Only One” from the perspective of his mother, Donda West, who died in 2007.
In an interview with Billboard, McCartney spoke about working with Kanye West. He says he was surprised to find out that modern hits were written by multiple songwriters, and he met the “Gold Digger” singer at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Before the two began, McCartney strummed his guitar while Kanye West scrolled through his iPad and looked at photos of Kim Kardashian.
Kim and Kanye were married in 2014 so he must have been on the honeymoon phase and in love with his wife. The two later divorced earlier this year.
In an interview with GQ, McCartney described the unique experience of working with Ye. The former Beatle says those sessions were “puzzling” but left a good impression of West. The writing session mostly consisted of McCartney playing the occasional guitar and piano while West recorded everything on his iPhone.
After “Only One,” the two collaborated on two more songs: “All Day” and “FourFiveSeconds” with Rihanna.
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