What Does Kanye West's 'Only One' Mean — His New Single Featuring Paul McCartney Is A Touching Tribute
Have we found the next Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett? The generations are colliding again. It's fitting that Kanye's single "Only One" is about his mother and daughter, because collaborating with Paul McCartney means a lot of us have some explaining to do to our own mothers. Who is the only one that Kanye West is talking about in the new song that just dropped? It's Kanye. Were you expecting a different answer? Well, I'm kidding a little bit. Sure, at one point Kanye is singing from the perspective of his mother and therefore telling himself how proud he is of himself. However, I'm not a monster. I won't fault him for that. He also sings to her, and to Nori, which is the cutest nickname of all time. The song is essentially about wishing his mother, who died in 2007, was here to see her grandchild grow up. There's a great line about not being able to choose your own death. It's very sweet, and Paul McCartney's organ playing hits all the emotional marks. My favorite lyric, "I think the storm ran out of rain" will probably not leave my head today. It's rather sweet, though I may agree with The Independent that at worst, the song sounds like a highly-autotuned hymn. However, let's go a little bit deeper and analyze these fresh new Kanye lyrics. What better way is there to ring in the new year?
Another great line, "you got the world cause you got the love in your hands," could have a few meanings. Kanye could be expressing the sentiment that, dare I say it, all you need is love? Or even that money... can't buy you love? Perhaps! However, I think the hands is the part that matters. I think he's holding a baby. "The love" in this case is referring to North.
There is some fuzzy math at play here. The song is called "Only One". Kanye's mother is his only one. Kanye is his mother's only one. Kanye also refers to his baby girl as his only one. That's all well and good until Kanye's mother (in the song) says this:
"I talked to God about you, he said he sent you an angel/ And look at all that he gave you/ You asked for one and you got two."
What does it mean? Did Kim Kardashian get the shaft in this song? That's awkward.
Bustle's Emma Lord points out that the song is both self-aware and talks about a person's capacity to change. He also talks about having doubts on bad days earlier in life. This is a time for reflection, and parenthood is definitely affecting Kanye West. Can't wait to hear what he, and Paul McCartney, have in store for us next!