Paul McCartney solidified himself as a legendary artist decades ago. But the rock icon isn't done quite yet; he has a new album, Egypt Station, out now, and he's also built up his hip-hop cred over the last few years due to his work with Kanye West, which has earned both artists high accolades.
In a new interview with GQ, McCartney elaborated on his work with West, from Kanye's puzzling recording process ("I thought we might actually sit down and write a song in the way I was used to writing a song—actually craft something there and then. It turned out we were creating an 'ingredient pool,' which is how he does it."), to Kanye offering to produce McCartney's new album, to people actually thinking West "discovered" McCartney.
The most interesting nugget from the conversation, however, came when McCartney detailed his work on "All Day," and his astonishment at finding out Kendrick Lamar had contributed to the record upon seeing the track's credits, which include 20 total writers.
“Kendrick Lamar!” McCartney excitedly told GQ. “I didn't know I was on a record with Kendrick. I'm very honored… I have no idea what he or the other 18 [writers] did. But it's how it's done these days, and I'm pleased to be part of it. And slightly amazed.”
Sharing a track with Kendrick Lamar is undoubtedly special, but as McCartney revealed, his involvement in “All Day” was nearly cut short. “The big surprise was the use of the N-word," McCartney explained. His team saw the 44 recorded uses as a negative for his image.
“They said, ‘You can't be connected to this…’ There's basically two schools of thought: One, that the N-word has been re-appropriated by black rappers and they've sort of taken the sting out of it. And the other point of view is Oprah's point of view, which is that any use of the word denigrates black people, and I can see that, too. I thought, you know, ‘It's urban poetry. It's Kanye.’ I like the record. I thought he did a really good job on it.”
Such a good job, that “All Day” went RIAA-certified Gold and earned GRAMMY nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Not a bad way to make out, even if McCartney still doesn’t know what Kendrick Lamar contributed to the track.
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