Kanye West Collaborates with Paul McCartney on ‘Only One,’ Song about Daughter North West

January 1, 2015

Kanye West released a new song, “Only One,” quite by surprise on New Year’s Eve. It is a collaboration with music legend Paul McCartney, and a deeply emotional ballad about West’s daughter North West and late mother, Donda West. As can be well imagined, the premiere has caused quite a stir.

Yes, Kanye West is much in the news for his music this time, not his marriage to Kim Kardashian and ancillary topics, although, as we delve into the specifics we find that the couple’s daughter, North West, does figure in.

Following an increasingly popular trend, Kanye West released the single without fanfare or advance publicity of any kind. No, not even a teaser trailer, snippet or cover art. Suddenly, the song had its premiere in the final moments — literally — of 2014.

We were greeted in the New Year with a collaboration of two giants of music, a collaboration more intimate and heartbreaking than epic.

It could not be any other way, as the subject matter is so deeply personal. The ballad’s poignant story is told through the words of Kanye West’s late mother, Donda West. It has been many years since she died back in 2007 due to complications after undergoing surgery.

The song is deeply emotional, as Kanye’s Auto-Tuned voice is heard singing such lyrics as “I talked to God about you/He said he sent you an angel/And look at all that he gave you.”

As Rolling Stone reports, Kanye West released a written statement confirming the autobiographical elements of the lyrics. In part, he said, “”My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter.” The publication goes on to note that West also speaks of the meaning of name, “Only One,” from which the song derives its title.

Regardless of one’s opinion of Kanye West’s larger-than-life public persona, the song underscores that he, like all of us have or will, experienced loss and pain. Wealth, fame and musical genius do not shield anyone from the uncertainties of life. To love can always mean to lose, and the ballad makes a powerful statement towards that end, without “making a statement.”

For her part, Kim Kardashian Tweeted in the wee hours of New Year’s Day” “People always ask me what my favorite Kanye song is and it’s Only One. Kanye feels like his mom sang thru him to our daughter.” And, in a follow-up Tweet: “I cry every time I hear this song.”

As for the future, Rolling Stone quotes a spokesperson for West who says the song is the first “publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.”

Well, that certainly arouses much curiosity and anticipation!

When a new album might arrive, who knows? Perhaps by the time you are reading this such album, surprise or otherwise, may have already been released. But for now, we have an amazing new song and you can listen to it in its entirety at Kanye West’s official Web site or via the video below.

Pictures: PR Photos

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