Here's How the Kanye West and Paul McCartney Collab Came Together

Here's the background on "Only One."

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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"Tell Nori about me, tell Nori about me."

Last night, Kanye West released "Only One," a new song featuring Paul McCartney. As per Kanye's rep, it's the first "publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists." It's a heartbreaking ballad sung from the perspective of his late mother, Donda West, addressing the happiness he's found as a husband and father.

Earlier this year, McCartney and Kanye started working together in a small bungalow in Los Angeles, where "Only One" came together. It all began with "a simple brainstorming session between the two, with McCartney improvising on the keyboards and Kanye vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff."

Kanye sat his daughter, North West, on his lap, while he played back the vocals on "Only One," and didn't remember singing the words to the song, but realized that the lyrics didn't come from him, but rather his mother. His rep says, "he understood in that moment that his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his mentor, confidant, and best friend, had spoken through him that day."

"My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter," Kanye said, in a press release.

The result of that session can be streamed on Kanye's site and is available on iTunes right now, as well. You thought "Coldest Winter" was rough, but "Only One" will make you shed a few tears:

Kanye also dropped a handwritten version of the lyrics on his site last night, which you can check out below:


Plus, it's Kim Kardashian's favorite Kanye song:

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