9. Kanye West & Paul McCartney - Only One
Only One is actually the first of three collaborations between the two artists. They went on to work with Rihanna on the beautifully stripped back FourFiveSeconds, as well as the hard hitting drill inspired All Day. However Only One is the song that stands as the most impressive and powerful of all of them.
In concept alone the song oozes with soul. The narrative of the song is Kanye singing from the perspective of his late mother about his relationship with his daughter North. Just from the lyrics alone, you can gauge how cathartic and emotional the songwriting process must have been.
It’s appropriately stripped back considering the subject matter. The track is driven by Paul McCartney’s amazing key work and Kanye’s subtly auto tuned voice.
Paul McCartney does not contribute vocals to the song and this is an intelligent decision considering how deeply personal the song is. It wouldn’t have worked as well any other way.
Immensely influental in their respective generations, Kanye and Paul come together to transcend genre and tradition to make something so incredibly moving and uncharacteristicly devoid of ego for Kanye.