Paul McCartney reveals what Beatles tune inspired Kanye West's 'Only One'

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Paul McCartney Says Writing with Kanye West Was Like Working with John Lennon

When it came time for Paul McCartney and Kanye West to collaborate, things seemed to get quite personal between the guys.

The musicians bonded over the losses of their mothers and that served as inspiration for West's own music. "We sat around and talked an awful lot just to break the ice," he said in an interview with The Sun, via Rolling Stone. "One of the stories I told him was about how I happened to have written 'Let It Be'," he said, sharing that "Let It Be" and its back story served as an inspiration for "Only One."

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Paul McCartney reveals what Beatles tune inspired Kanye West's 'Only One'
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 09: (L-R) Paul McCartney and Kanye West attend the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 9, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Recording Artists Paul McCartney and Kanye West perform onstage during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 15: Paul McCartney is seen upon arrival at Haneda Airport on May 15, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
English musician Paul McCartney performs during the opening concert of his 'Out There' tour on April 19, 2014 in Montevideo. AFP PHOTO/ Miguel ROJO (Photo credit should read MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images)
British music legend Paul McCartney (C) introduces a robot to fans upon his arrival at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on May 15, 2014. McCartney is to play Tokyo's Nippon Budokan Hall on May 21, marking his first return to the venue since appearing there with The Beatles in 1966. AFP PHOTO/Toshifumi KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 6: Musician, Paul McCartney attends the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on April 6, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06: Paul McCartney (R) and Nancy Shevell attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 6, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images)
British singer Sir Paul McCartney attends an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr perform at The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision/AP)
Paul McCartney performs at The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Recording artistis Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Kanye West perform 'FourFiveSeconds' onstage during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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He recalled an anecdote he shared with the rapper. "My mum came to me in a dream when she'd died years previously. I was in a bit of a state - it was the Sixties and I was overdoing it. In the dream she said, 'Don't worry it's all going to be fine, just let it be.' And I woke up and thought, 'Woah' and wrote the song... [Kanye] said, 'I'm going to write a song with my mum.' So then I sat down at the piano."

McCartney also shared that the sessions reminded the former Beatle of another person he used to work with -- John Lennon. McCartney elaborated on working with the rapper and how it wad a callback to his process with Lennon.

"When I wrote with John, he would sit down with a guitar. I would sit down. We'd ping-pong till we had a song," McCartney said "[Working with West] was like that."

Watch Kanye West Perform 'Only One' for Swedish Television

Not only did the the guys craft "Only One," but also worked together -- along with Rihanna-- on "FourFiveSeconds."

"My first thought was, 'Woah, what am I going to get into here,'" he said. "He is amazingly talented but controversial and can make eccentric moves. I realized if it didn't work out we'd just say so and shake hands and leave."

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