West dropped the song unexpectedly on New Year’s Day as a tribute to his late-mother Donda, who died in 2007, after a botched plastic surgery procedure.
He has yet to name the album on which the song will appear. He told Ellen DeGeneres, today, he’s still putting it together. He teased the video on the show.
Daughter North appears with daddy in a misty scene in a field. She looks puzzled by it all, but West gets the message across. West sings from his mother’s perspective as if she’s speaking to him from about about his new life with his child.
If the song has the same vibe as one of McCartney’s sentimental ballads that’s because it evolved out of an improv session with the Beatle.
But West says something magical happened. The music he played back was different from what he recorded.
As he explained in a statement:
“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 process of artistic creation is one that does not involve thinking, but often channeling. And he understood in that moment that his late mother, Dr. Donda West, who was also his mentor, confidante, and best friend, had spoken through him that day.”
There’s also meaning behind the song’s title. The rapper’s name means “only one” in Swahili, according to the statement.
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