Paul McCartney and Kanye West aren’t the likeliest of musical collaborators, but the pair have developed an affinity for one another.
“I love Kanye,” the former Beatle told John Wilson during BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes series. “People say he’s eccentric, which you’d have to agree with. He’s a monster. He’s a crazy guy that comes up with great stuff. He inspires me.”
While they were collaborating. McCartney fiddled with chord progressions, which West’s team recorded on an iPhone. McCartney never heard back from West and was surprised to hear Rihanna appear on the final version of “FourFiveSeconds,” as well as his own voice sped up.
“That’s the thing: You just work with him, you leave it for a while, let it marinate, and just hope he gets back to you,” he said.
McCartney’s contributions also appear on West’s singles “Only One” and “All Day“; for the latter, McCartney told West a story about the birth of his daughter, Mary. He stared at a painting at a Picasso painting of a man playing guitar, tried to replicate the chord, and came up with a simple progression of two-finger chords along with a whistle track.
“Then, after Christmas, I get this track back,” McCartney describes, “and he’s taken my melody, and he’s made it seriously urban.” Sir Paul’s whistle and strumming is heard in the song’s outro.
“Definitely it was different [from other studio sessions],” McCartney told Wilson, “because we never appeared to write a song.”
See McCartney’s segment on West below.
U.K. residents can view the full McCartney interview here.