Sir Paul McCartney revealed that he had secret meetings with Kanye West in 2015 during their joint work on the music single "FourFiveSeconds", which also featured Rihanna, arguing that the musicians had agreed that the sessions would remain unknown if their collaboration failed in the end.
“What happened was I got word that Kanye wanted to work with me. So I just thought, ‘Well, you know, I love his stuff so, here goes nothing'”, the 77-year-old star said during his interview with Gary Barlow for BBC Radio 2.
“So we did some secret sessions and we both said if it doesn't work out we just won’t tell anyone!” McCartney added.
The Beatle also revealed that he was completely unaware that American pop-singer Rihanna, who is currently one of the world’s best-selling musicians with over 250 million records sold during her music career, would take part in the project, as he found out about the collaboration only upon receiving the record from West.
“Just a month or so later, he sent back this record and it was Rihanna singing and so I had to ring up and sort of say 'Am I on this? Did I have anything to do with it?' I couldn't tell!” Sir McCartney recalled. “He said, ‘Yeah, what it is, that's you on guitar, so it's all the chords and the musical idea’s yours, but we’ve sped it up to suit Rihanna's key, musical key, so I did it in A so now it was up in D’. I said ‘Oh I've co-written this thing?’. He said ‘Yeah’”.
McCartney said that he thought that the record was “really good” in the end and that Rihanna was “fantastic”, admitting that the whole experience of working with the American stars was “great”, despite a later claim by a writer with The Dirty Projectors that he was the author of the middle eight to “FourFiveSeconds”, a segment that Kanye West “farmed out”, according to McCartney.
The Beatles co-lead also made some striking comments during the interview, as he compared this composing experience with West to his previous work with late Beatles star John Lennon, saying that his collaboration with the American rapper was more “cerebral”.
“I worked with him and it was a very interesting way of working. It wasn't two guitars like me and John used to be, this was more cerebral”, McCartney said. “It was just talking and thinking and me plonking away a little bit. And you record everything and he takes it away and kind of does stuff with it".
McCartney also insisted that he and Lennon had often managed to bring different, but complementary, elements to their songs.
The Beatles, which emerged in Liverpool in the 1960s, is regarded to be one of the most influential bands of all time, being a forebear to country music.