Paul McCartney Wasn’t Sure About Meeting Up With Kanye West: ‘I Didn’t Want It to Be at His House or My House’
One of the best things about music is that it’s not uncommon to see two incredible talents from different genres — and even generations in many cases — come together in a collaboration that feels new and unique. It’s a great way to join different audiences and push the boundaries on what can be done musically.
Take Paul McCartney and Kanye West, for instance. Despite the odd matchup and potential for disaster, as McCartney mentions, their collaboration was oddly perfect. Maybe it’s because they’re both familiar with collabs outside their comfort zone, but either way, the results are unforgettable.
Paul McCartney and Kanye West have two collaborations so far
Musical matchups like West and McCartney are far from the weirdest or even the most surprising to actually work out for the better. Add in Rihanna, however, and you have pure gold! Remember “FourFiveSeconds” from 2015?
The hit single introduced a nice mix of folk-pop and soul. It brought together instrumentals like McCartney’s usually acoustic guitar, West’s usual bass guitar, and an organ that can be easily found in many of Rihanna’s hits.
We were also introduced to the first of two collaborations with McCartney just a year earlier — “Only one.” Although many know the song for being from West to his daughter North (in his mother Donda West’s perspective), the song’s inspiration actually started with McCartney’s dream of his mother.
What McCartney said about working with Kanye West
In an interview with Billboard, McCartney discussed his matchup with West and how they went into it with an out if either one wasn’t into the collaboration — which makes total sense considering how different they are.
“I had no idea what was going to happen … I didn’t want it to be at his house or my house because it could be awkward if one of us wanted to leave. So we met on neutral ground — a cottage at the Beverly Hills Hotel –, and I showed up with a guitar and my roadie, and he had a keyboard and a bass.”
Fortunately, their secret session together brought us the incredibly heartwarming song, “Only You,” featuring West and his daughter North in the official music video.
“I was sitting around, strumming the guitar — that’s normally how I start a song — and Kanye was looking at his iPad, basically scrolling through images of Kim [Kardashian],” McCartney said. “So we were telling stories, and at one point I told him how ‘Let It Be’ came from a dream about my mother, who had died years before, where she said, ‘Don’t worry, just let it be.'”
The former member of The Beatles added, “He said, ‘I’m going to write a song about my mother,’ so I sat down at this little Wurlitzer keyboard and started playing some chords, and he started singing. I thought, ‘Oh, are we going to finish this?’ but that was that. And it became ‘Only One.'”
Both artists are known to collaborate outside their genres
Believe it or not, both artists aren’t new to these types of collaborations and even frequently collab outside their typical genres. In fact, both artists have been a part of some of the most iconic musical collabs over the years — not even including what they’re done together.
To name a few, there was West’s collaboration with Elton John on “All of the Lights,” Kenny G on “Use This Gospel,” Katy Perry on “E.T.,” and Bon Iver on several singles like “Monster,” “Friends,” “Lost in the World,” and “Take Me to The Light.”
As for McCartney, he has had collaborations with Hollywood Vampires (an already odd-mix of stars) on “Come and Get It,” The Bloody Beetroots on “Out of Sight,” Super Furry Animals on “Receptacle For The Respectable,” and George Michael on “Heal the Pain.” Even better, there is still plenty of time to see more from both artists.