“Tell Nori about me.”
We all know that Kanye West had a relationship with his mother that cannot be questioned. “Hey Mama” from his sophomore album Late Registration, was played on major radio stations around the country in honor of Donda West when she died November 7th, 2007. 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye’s 4th studio album, was released a year after his mother’s death on November 24th, 2008. 808s & Heartbreak was Kanye’s outlet to channel the feelings of anger, hurt and doubt that he felt in the prior year. His mother’s death was a trying time for Mr. West and you could hear it in his music through that point of his life.
Kanye West is deeply rooted in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother, Donda West, was a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University. His father, Ray West, was a Black Panther and the first black photographer at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
There has been so much talk about a possible collaboration between Kanye West and the legendary Paul McCartney. Throughout Paul McCartney’s storied career, he has collaborated with the biggest music icons of it’s time. Today it’s Kanye West; during the 1980s, it was the King of Pop.
Included with the release of the single was the background of the project:
In early 2014, Paul McCartney and Kanye West first began working together in a small bungalow in Los Angeles. The process that would result in “Only One” began with a simple brainstorming session between the two: With McCartney improvises on the keyboards and Kanye is vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff. When they played back the recording afterward, something remarkable happened. Kanye sat there with his family, holding his daughter North on his lap, and listened to his vocals, singing, “Hello, my only one… ” And in that moment, not only could he not recall having sung those words, but he realized that perhaps the words had never really come from him. The process of artistic creation is one that does not involve thinking, but often channeling. And he understood in that moment that his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his mentor, confidante, and best friend, had spoken through him that day.”My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” he said, astonished.
The West/McCartney collaboration came out on New Year’s Day and is #3 on the Top 10 Singles on iTunes and available for purchase as well. The single is also free to stream on Kanye West’s website with written lyrics.
Check out the lyrics to “Only One,” via Kanye West’s website, below.