When the world learned that Paul McCartney had been hanging out with Kanye West in 2014, the world understandably raised an eyebrow. The collaboration was a little unexpected at the time, post-Yeezus, leaving some fans confused and a little taken aback.
Then the world heard “FourFiveSeconds” and everyone quickly shut up with their reservations. But still, while the track was great, it didn’t provide much insight in terms of what exactly transpired when the former Beatle and Yeezy kicked it in the studio together. But now, two years later, the world is finally gaining some clarity about the time the unlikely duo shared thanks to a recent interview by BBC Radio 4 with McCartney during a recording of the program Masterpieces.
In the part of the interview where Sir Paul talks about ‘Ye, he describes him fondly as a “monster” and “a crazy guy who comes up with great stuff so he inspires me.” Their time together was informal, with the two of them sharing stories, all while the tape was rolling. McCartney said that the song “All Day” came about as he was talking about the birth of his daughter Mary and while at the hospital, was taken by a particular Picasso painting in which a man was holding a guitar with only two fingers on the fret board. It inspired McCartney to try and write a song using only two fingers. Not surprisingly, it sounded somewhat different once West was done with it.
“I get this track back, a thing called ‘All Day’ [and] he’s taken my melody and he’s made it seriously urban, which is funny because the lyrics use the N-word – a lot! ‘How long have you been at the mall? All day, N-word.’ “
McCartney also talked “FourFiveSeconds,” laughing at how his vocals do appear on the track, albeit sped up.
And while the collaboration between the two of them was somewhat shocking at the time, McCartney talked some about the decision to head west and work with the controversial rapper, mentioning that when talking about the idea with Oprah Winfrey, she expressed concern.
“…Quite a few people said, ‘You can’t be connected with this, there’s, like, 40 N-words!’ People like Oprah, who are a little conservative about that stuff, she says, ‘You shouldn’t do it, even black people shouldn’t use that word.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s Kanye! And he’s talking about an urban generation that uses that word in a completely different way. It’s the context. So I was actually pleased with it.”
You can check out the video of the interview here. The full interview will appear on the May 28 episode of the show.