In a new interview with Billboard, the 77-year-old legendary musician discusses the time that he and West, 42, got together to collaborate on a song, which later became West's 2015 track, "Only One."
"I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn’t want it to be at his house or my house, because it could be awkward if one of us wanted to leave. So we met on neutral ground -- a cottage at the Beverly Hills Hotel -- and I showed up with a guitar and my roadie, and we had a keyboard and a bass," McCartney recalls, before revealing how West spent some of his time during that session.
"I was sitting around, strumming the guitar -- that’s normally how I start a song -- and Kanye was looking at his iPad, basically scrolling through images of [his wife] Kim [Kardashian West]," McCartney says. "So we were telling stories, and at one point I told him how 'Let It Be' came from a dream about my mother, who had died years before, where she said, 'Don’t worry, just let it be.'"
"He said, 'I’m going to write a song about my mother,' so I sat down at this little Wurlitzer keyboard and started playing some chords, and he started singing," he continues. "I thought, 'Oh, are we going to finish this?' but that was that. And it became 'Only One.'"
McCartney went on to collaborate with West -- and others including Theophilus London and Allan Kingdom -- on "All Day" in 2015. West and McCartney also teamed up with Rihanna for "FourFiveSeconds" the same year. The process of collaborating in that way was new for the former Beatles member, but something he was thrilled to participate in.
"It’s this modern process that I was happy to open myself up to -- you’ve got loads of stuff, and the skill is to distill it. I was sitting around, just strumming a little groove and nobody said, 'Let’s make a song of that,'" he says. "But months later I got a song with Rihanna on it and I said, 'Where am I?' I didn’t recognize it because they changed the key. I thought that record was great."
"Every time we go to a club, my wife Nancy requests it," McCartney adds.
McCartney previously opened up about collaborating with West in a May 2016 interview, calling the rapper "a crazy guy that comes up with great stuff."
"I love Kanye," he said during the BBC Radio 4 Mastertapes series. "People say he’s eccentric, which you’d have to agree with, but he’s a monster, yeah... He inspires me."
Watch the video below for more on the duo's collabs.