As I lay me down to sleep
I hear her speak to me…
Hello ‘Mari, How ya doin
I think the storm ran out of rain…the clouds are moving
I know you’re happy, cause I can see it
So tell the voice inside ya head to believe it
I talked to God about you…he said he sent you an angel
And you at all that he gave you
You asked for one and you got two
You know I never left you
Cause every road that leads to heaven’s right inside you
The creative process of this beautiful song was revealed in the official press release.
In early 2014, Paul McCartney and Kanye West first began working together in a small bungalow in Los Angeles. The process that would result in “Only One” began with a simple brainstorming session between the two: With McCartney improvising on the keyboards and Kanye vocally sketching and shaping ideas in a stream-of-consciousness riff.
When they played back the recording afterward, something remarkable happened. 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.
“My mom was singing to me, and through me to my daughter,” he said, astonished.
The small group in the room kept listening: “Hello my Only One…just like the morning sun…you’ll keep on rising till the sky knows your name.”
To some, Kanye’s insight didn’t immediately register. But then he explained: The name Kanye, which his mother 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.
Kim Kardashian opened up about how the song affects her when she hears it.
Everyone asks me what my favorite Kanye song is. It’s Only One.
Kanye felt like his mom was singing thru him to our daughter.
This song makes me cry every time I hear it.