Since the surprise pairing of Paul McCartney and Kanye West last year, many people have asked why the superstar Beatle would team up with someone that creates music in a genre that seems light years away from his own. McCartney states it simply boils down to talent, something he thinks Kanye has plenty of.
Collaborations are nothing new to McCartney. From Johnny Cash to Michael Jackson, the singer-songwriter’s list of collaborations is almost as extensive and creative as his 49 studio albums. Although a duet with a prominent hip-hop star shouldn’t come as a surprise, given McCartney’s vast selection of previous team efforts, many heads turned in shock last year after the release of “Only One.”
While announcing his tour last week, McCartney opened up to NME about collaborating with West. After watching West in concert with Jay Z during their Watch the Throne tour, McCartney asserts that Kanye and Jay Z both are poets.
“I was expecting it to be, ‘Oh it’s great, it’s hip-hop, it’s loud. But I hadn’t until then got the urban poetry aspect. Like, Bob Dylan is a poet. And so is Jay Z and Kanye.”
McCartney, despite his massive track record of both solo and Beatles songs that remain timeless, doesn’t want to seem old-fashioned as he embarks on his latest tour. And although staying relevant in the music business is what most singers strive for, McCartney’s music, seemingly unbeknownst to him, is still significant to people of all ages.
Nevertheless, McCartney wants his new music to appeal to an even wider audience, and tapping into hip-hop and R&B is one of the ways he plans to do just that.
“If I’m gonna do a tour I like to go and see what other people are doing. I didn’t wanna bring my tour out and be amazingly old-fashioned. So if people are going, ‘Oh, man, Beyoncé, she was killer!’ I like to go there and go, ‘Yeah, we can do better than this’.”
Kanye recently stirred up controversy with a lot of Beatles fans after they misunderstood the rapper’s comparison of himself to John Lennon. While Kanye correlated his agony to that of John Lennon, numerous people misinterpreted West, resulting in West clearing up the confusion.
“Hey, everyone, America, I’m not comparing myself to John Lennon… I’m just saying I’m ‘angst’ a bit like John Lennon.”
Regardless of the negative spate from surprised fans, Paul McCartney is content in working with Kanye West and feels the collaboration will take music the new heights. Three songs, including “All Day,” “FourFiveSeconds,” and “Only One” appear on West’s upcoming album, So Help Me God, slated for a rumored release date of May 10.