2015 is not even two days in and Kanye West has already set the year of music off right with his emotional, love-filled ballad in the perspective of his late mom, Donda, and featuring Paul McCartney.
— ICYMI: Stream “Only One” at kanyewest.com and read my review here —
Following the song are a few neat details of how “Only One” came together from Kanye & Paul. Transcribed via Team Kanye Daily:
The whole process began when Kanye and McCartney worked together in a bungalow in Los Angeles brainstorming ideas. McCartney sat and played the keyboards while Kanye vocally created ideas from his mind.
While the song played in the background, Kanye was holding North on his lap singing “Hello, my only one.” It may sound unbelievable, but Kanye couldn’t recall singing those words and realized that maybe they didn’t really come from him.
He than realized that the words he was singing, came from his late mother, Donda West. “My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” he said.
Kanye kept singing “Hello my only one…just like the morning sun…you’ll keep on rising till the sky knows your name,” while the small group of people in the room listened on.
While in the room, Kanye explained that his name “Kanye,” which his mother gave him from a book of African names means, “only one”
Through that, everyone realized that something special happened that day and a message was passed down through generations.
Whoo, doesn’t that make the song that much more powerful? I remember a previous anecdote along these lines about Kanye’s middle name Omari, but didn’t connect that Kanye meant “Only One”, which adds an energy to the title already.
And I absolutely 100% believe that Kanye was singing through his late mother Donda. Kanye’s voice and the sound of the track as a whole contains an extra presence that I, amongst many other listeners, really feel. It’s a story like this that may open up our ears and hearts even more or for the first time to experience this track. I highly suggest you run it back now if you’ve read this far. Powerful stuff.
And on a lighter note… haha!