Kanye West is starting 2015 on a sweeter note than what we’re used to.
In August, Kim had shared an adorable photo of her husband and their daughter in a recording studio. The internets joked about how he was preparing his daughter for the music business at an early age, while others raged about the photo’s cuteness. Now, we know just what happened in that room.
The YEEZUS rapper pays tribute to both his 1-year-old daughter North West and late mother, Donda West on his latest track “Only One.” Released on iTunes on Wednesday night, New Year’s Eve, the record includes vocals from former Beatles musician, Sir Paul McCartney. The lyrics are written with the perspective of Kanye’s mom, who who died at age 58 in 2007 from surgery complications.
Earlier this year McCartney and West started working together in a small bungalow in Los Angeles, where “Only One” is said to have came together, according to a statement released by record company Def Jam. As McCartney improvised on the keyboards, the hip-hop star “vocally sketched and shaped ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff.”
“When they played back the recording afterward, something remarkable happened,” the statement said. “Kanye sat there with his family, holding his daughter North on his lap, and listened to his vocals, singing, ‘Hello, my only one…’ And in that moment, not only could he not recall having sung those words, but he realized that perhaps the words had never really come from him.”
The statement also added that Kanye’s name, which Donda had chosen, means “only one.”
“And then it dawned on everyone there: Something powerful and undeniable had occurred through the power of music and of letting go. A message had been passed down through generations,” the statement continued. “And so it is that there was only one song that could be released first from this groundbreaking collaboration: ‘Only One,’ an anthem of positive reflection, hopefulness and joyous celebration to usher in a New Year.”
The lyrics had come from West’s late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his confidante, mentor and best friend. The statement also quoted him saying, “My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter.”
Sample lyrics include:
“Hello my only one / Just like the morning sun / You’ll keep on rising till the sky knows your name / And you’re still my chosen one / Remember who you are / No, You’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes” and “Tell Nori about me / Tell Nori about me / I just want you to do me a favor / Tell Nori about me.”
“People always ask me what my favorite Kanye song is and it’s ‘Only One,'” Kim, 34, said on her Twitter page, adding, “I cry every time I hear this song.”
Kanye’s new single is set to be featured in a future solo album by Kanye, whose most recent major record release was the 2013 album Yeezus.