Legendary Beatle Paul McCartney is inspired by Kanye West.
“People say he’s eccentric, which you’d have to agree with, but he’s a monster. He’s a crazy guy that comes up with great stuff. He inspires me,” McCartney said during the May 24 interview with John Wilson for BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes.
The two have collaborated on music before, including on Paul McCartney’s “Only One” and West’s “All Day”—a musical process that was rare for the 73-year-old musician.
“Definitely it was different because we never appeared to write a song,” he said.
Apparently, the musical process included a recorder capturing the pair sharing stories and McCartney experimenting with riffs on a guitar, which West modified later.
“He’s taken my melody and he’s made it seriously urban and that was a thing called ‘All Day,'” explained McCartney. “All Day” was released last year and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
McCartney was advised by his peers to stay away from such a song, due to its explicit language.
“The lyrics [use] the n-word a lot,” McCartney said. “It’s a great record and the thing about that was when I got it and people heard it quite a few people said ‘You can’t be connected to 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.”
McCartney also teamed up with West and singer Rihanna for a session, which was used on the song “FourFiveSeconds”—a surprise to McCartney, who didn’t recognize his guitar contributions, as they were sped up.
“That’s the thing. You just work with him and then you leave it for a little while and let it marinate and just hope he gets back to you,” he said.
The trio performed “FourFiveSeconds” at last year’s Grammy Awards.
Listen to the interview above.