"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 improvising on the keyboards and Kanye vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff," laments a recent press release marking the 12 midnight New Year's Eve release of Kanye & Paul McCartney's abrupt new single. Although a collaboration between the two men who recorded such drastically different world-renown songs as "Hey Jude" and "Gold Digger," "Only One" could be likened to the unknown middle ground that might exist between 808's & Heartbreak and Let It Be; further accented by background vocals from Taylor Gang signee Ty Dollar $ign, co-writer Kirby Lauryen, and a beat concocted by in-house producer Mike Dean, McCartney adds in a beautifully sparse piano accompaniment, which okayplayer notes is "reminiscent of some Bluesy Billy Preston chop or even a Harry Nilsson composition."
It's being widely totted as the lead single from Kanye's long-rumored, as-yet-untitled Yeezus follow-up and the first of "several" tracks recorded with Paul McCartney (including one called "P*ss On My Grave"). The companion G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam-issued press release seemingly alludes to the fact that Kanye doesn't exactly recall singling the track's titular refrain, "Hello, my only one..." which he's since attributed as being the voice of his late mother, Dr. Donda West; "My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter [Nori]," he said, astonished." It's currently unclear where "Only One" and the remaining West-McCartney-penned compositions will ultimately end up, if it's the same project Kanye previously likened to Bruce Springsteen's record-shattering Nebraska follow-up, Born In The USA, or a separate stand-alone project entirely. Although, it seems as though the next Kanye & Paul McCartney release will likely see the light of day much sooner than any of us expected, since Ty Dollar $ign recently let this little nugget slip to Billboard: "Me, Rihanna, Ye, and Paul [McCartney] got a song about to drop, as well..."