Kanye West surprised fans with the release of his new song, “Only One,” a collaboration with Paul McCartney written for his daughter, North West.

Kanye West And Paul McCartney

West dropped “Only One,” the first new song from his untitled upcoming album, on New Year’s day, surprising fans with a raw, emotional track, written in the voice of his mother, Donda West, who died in 2008, shows a new, vulnerable side to the larger-than-life rapper.

According to a press release, West and McCartney began working together in early 2014, and were just playing around and experimenting with West at the microphone and the legendary McCartney on the piano when “Only One” was written.

“The process that would result in ‘Only One’ began with a simple brainstorming session between the two: With McCartney improvising on the keyboards and Kanye vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff,” reads the press release.


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West said that the lyrical basis for the song – “Hello, my only one…” – came from his mother, and, according to the statement, the rapper doesn’t even remember singing them in the first recording session.

“The process of artistic creation is one that does not involve thinking, but often channeling. And [West] understood in that moment that his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his mentor, confidante and best friend, had spoken through him that day,” reads the press release.

The name ‘Kanye’ reportedly means “only one”:

“I know it’s not the end every time I see her face and I hear you say
Hello my only one remember
You got the world cause you got love in your hands
And you’re still my chosen one”

“My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” West said of the song, which you can listen to at West’s official website and download on iTunes.

Kim Kardashian On “Only One”

Kim Kardashian West, West’s wife and North’s mother, expressed her love of the song on Twitter, calling it her “favorite Kanye song.”

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