How Kanye & Paul created “Only One”

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.

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And on a lighter note… haha!

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Kanye West f/ Paul McCartney “Only One”

STREAM Kanye West “Only One” f/ Paul McCartney on kanyewest.com

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Happy New Year!

What better way to kick off 2015 than with a surprise new release from Kanye West.

“Only One” is instantly one of ‘Ye’s most emotional records to date as he sings in the perspective of his late mother Donda, speaking to Kanye from heaven about how proud she is. The song evolves as a dedication to Kanye’s daughter Nori, as you may also deduct from the cover art.

The soothing instrumental is courtesy of Mike Dean and Paul McCartney (you know, from The Beatles) as McCartney’s feature is the beautiful piano solo spanning the last fourth of the record. Before that lies the main takeaway though as West artfully paints a picture of his proud mother with his lyrics creating vivid, touching imagery.

UPDATE: Some sites report Mike Dean as one of the producers, and iTunes lists Kirby Lauryen, who is an additional writer on the track. Ty Dolla $ign reportedly contributes background vocals.

“Only One” is certainly a change of pace from Yeezus and more along the vein of Kanye’s first two albums (a sound that longtime fans have been clamoring for.) It’s remained to be seen if more of Kanye’s new music will follow the same tone and sound, but no matter the result, how can you not appreciate “Only One”?

So again, what better, and also… beautiful way to kick off 2015.

*Tibs Fav.

Photo: Inez and Vinoodh
Photo: Inez and Vinoodh

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Try This: Alternate “Hey Mama” in between your next listen of “Only One”.

Kanye & Paul McCartney album?

A Kanye & Paul McCartney album?? Could this seriously be in the works? Wishful thinking says yes, but overall trust of the New York Post’s Page Six says, probably not. Alas:

Kanye West has secretly been recording tracks with Sir Paul McCartney, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

The rapper and the former Beatle have quietly been collaborating on a number of tracks that could develop into an album, we’re told.

One song, tentatively titled “Piss on My Grave,” is sparking some chatter.
West’s wife Kim Kardashian has been heard telling friends she was a little surprised they chose such a provocative name.

Kanye, whose rep declined to comment, was also present at McCartney’s show at LA’s Dodger Stadium last week.

The legend had previously revealed he would be interested in collaborating with a rapper such as Kanye or Jay Z.

But for those curious at what a Kanye x Paul McCartney merging of minds may sound like, revisit or check out for the first time this gem of a Kanye West x The Beatles mash-up mixtape. It was a staple in my playlist when I discovered it this past Winter and only seems appropriate to run through now today.