Almost two years after the release of Yeezus, Kanye West updated his website on New Year’s Eve 2015 to give his fans the first in a reported series of collaborations between him and classic rock icon Paul McCartney. The new Kanye West song, “Only One,” was also released on iTunes, and as of Jan. 5, the song holds the No. 5 slot on the iTunes singles chart. Listen to the full track below, courtesy of World Star Hip-Hop.
According to a press release featured on Pitchfork, “Only One” came about when the two music icons were in the middle of a jam session in a Los Angeles recording studio. Even better, though, is news that it may not be the only track to come out of the collaboration. In a Billboard interview, Ty Dolla $ign mentioned that he and pop star Rihanna will be featured on another McCartney-West song, whose music video should be dropping soon. Rapper Theophilus London also previously confirmed on Twitter that he’ll be featured on the new Kanye West album, but other guest artists have yet to be revealed.
West and McCartney are no strangers to collaborating with musicians of other genres. West boasts a long list of guest pop stars on his celebrated discography: Adam Levine, Chris Martin, La Roux, Bon Iver, and more. Meanwhile, McCartney has long kept his name relevant through the decades by crafting hit singles with other stars. Among those were the Billboard No. 1s “Ebony and Ivory” (with Stevie Wonder) and “Say Say Say” (with Michael Jackson). More recently, McCartney released 2012’s “Cut Me Some Slack,” his GRAMMY-winning rock collaboration with former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic.
The forthcoming Kanye West album has a lot to live up to, as his two most recent releases, 2013’s Yeezus and 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, have already been hailed as some of the best rap albums of the decade. His supporting Yeezus Tour in 2013-14 was also celebrated as one of the most original and artistically inspired concert ventures in recent years.
West’s latest lullaby-like single did a complete 180 from the industrial rap-inspired Yeezus, so it will be interesting to see if the rest of his album follows suit. Maybe he’ll also switch up his live show in 2015 with a co-headliner like Paul McCartney? We can only hope.