So Who's This Paul McCartney Guy?

The first time I heard Four Five Seconds on the radio, it was hard not to love it. But as soon as I heard Sir Paul McCartney, ex-Beatle and rock legend, was the one on guitar, I was utterly confused.  Nobody seemed to be questioning what on earth McCartney was doing collaborating with pop stars like Rihanna and Kanye West.

I was never really a Kanye fan, and besides for a few Rihanna big hits, I was relatively unfamiliar with her music. But Paul McCartney is another story. I grew up on Beatles music, and I put McCartney on a totally different side of the spectrum. Paul McCartney has sold over 100 million albums between his works as a solo artist, The Beatles, and Wings. In addition, he has done many other collaborations with artists such as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. But this was a huge surprise to me, and I questioned what McCartney’s goals were in collaboration with an R&B singer and rap artist.

After doing some research into the partnership, it turns out that McCartney had been collaborating with Kanya since last year. McCartney co-wrote both songs, in addition to performing backup vocals and keyboard alongside West in his single Only One. He also plays guitar and sings background vocals in Four Five Seconds. According to a Rolling Stone article, the collaboration began in Los Angeles, starting with some minor brainstorming and messing around on the keyboard.

McCartney transformed both Rihanna and Kanye’s music style for the better. Both songs are slower than many of their usual hits. From the little background I have on Kanye and Rihanna, the song seemed way more heartfelt.  I will admit that Only One is like no other Kanye West song I have ever heard, and though I still despise the auto tune, I think the writing is beautiful and the music is on point. The acoustic accompaniment highlights McCartney’s talent as a musician, and his gift as a songwriter.

The most appalling part of the collaboration was Kanye’s fan response after the release of "Only One." Tweets went viral of young fans giving Kanye credit for his great “discovery” of McCartney and older fans wincing at the thought of people not knowing who Paul McCartney is. Now, as much as this could be a failure of how we raised this generation, McCartney has sure made a name for himself now with the younger audiences.

A positive of this collaboration is a new opening for McCartney’s career. He has one of the most incredible music careers for older generations, but maybe he felt he needed to do something to gain popularity with younger people.  In addition, his new song Hope for The Future written for the Destiny video game uses auto tune in the vocals, which is rumored to have stemmed from his new partnership with Kanye.

Only time will tell where this new career choice not only takes Paul McCartney, but also Kanye and Rihanna. All of the stars are trying out new music styles, and experimenting with their genres. I think McCartney is a little crazy for doing this collaboration, but then again don’t all great things come from being just a little bit crazy.