Tag Archives: The Beatles

Kanye & Paul McCartney album?

A Kanye & Paul McCartney album?? Could this seriously be in the works? Wishful thinking says yes, but overall trust of the New York Post’s Page Six says, probably not. Alas:

Kanye West has secretly been recording tracks with Sir Paul McCartney, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

The rapper and the former Beatle have quietly been collaborating on a number of tracks that could develop into an album, we’re told.

One song, tentatively titled “Piss on My Grave,” is sparking some chatter.
West’s wife Kim Kardashian has been heard telling friends she was a little surprised they chose such a provocative name.

Kanye, whose rep declined to comment, was also present at McCartney’s show at LA’s Dodger Stadium last week.

The legend had previously revealed he would be interested in collaborating with a rapper such as Kanye or Jay Z.

But for those curious at what a Kanye x Paul McCartney merging of minds may sound like, revisit or check out for the first time this gem of a Kanye West x The Beatles mash-up mixtape. It was a staple in my playlist when I discovered it this past Winter and only seems appropriate to run through now today.

Kanye West & The Beatles ‘What’s a Black Beatle’

It’s been an ongoing and deserved week-long tribute a couple of the biggest voices of their generations: Kanye West and The Beatles. For Kanye, Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the release of his debut album, The College Dropout (of which we commemorated here). For The Beatles, CBS aired a special 50th anniversary tribute show that featured a bevy of performers including McCartney & Ringo Starr themselves (and Alicia Keys & John Legend here).

So naturally, this was the perfect week for What’s A Black Beatle to catch my eyes and ears. It did so through design first, in fact. Browse the gallery of promo art above for the image of Kanye in a red suit on the crosswalk. I saw that on my Facebook feed the other day (whattup T-Naz) and thought it was cold, did some googling about the origin of said image, and found that it was the cover art for this mashup project by Spanish production duo Tutankhamun Brothers. One listen and I was reeled in from the intro track — a mix of various Kanye vocals with one of my favorite Beatles songs “Eleanor Rigby”. In fact, the sound resonated so powerfully, I felt both the vocal melody of The Beatles with the progressive synths akin to Kanye’s newer productions.

The project, which can be streamed/downloaded below for yourself, boasts 11 tracks mainly mixing old Kanye verses from the CD/LR era with Beatles samples and melodies. I have been listening to it all the way through for a couple days now and I can’t put it down because how well-executed the mashup is. And it’s the artists themselves fused together who individually can create such vivid images with their music. I listen to this project and see a bright spectrum of colors, especially when the intensity of Kanye reigns vocally.

Outside of the intro (which features a couple of key interview snippets from West talking about The Beatles), I especially enjoyed the incorporation of “Jesus Walks”, “Hey Mama”, “Power” vs. “Helter Skelter” (such high energy), and “We Major” on the project’s conclusion mix with “Hey Jude”. The only one that felt too awkward was “Southside” with Common because the original production was so raw that it just didn’t hit the right chord on this mix. That’ not to say it’s skippable because I’m always excited for that “grey poupon” punchline no matter the canvas. With all that said, press play and see if you have the same visual experience when listening to two of the loudest, most influential voices of music history: Kanye West & The Beatles.


Alicia Keys & John Legend “Let It Be”

I was waiting for video of this to hit the interwebs as this past Sunday, CBS aired a Beatles 50th Anniversary special. I tried to catch it the other night purely because I knew Alicia Keys & John Legend would be performing together, amongst other superstars Maroon 5, Katy Perry, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Imagine Dragons, Dave Grohl, Pharrell, and Ringo Starr & Paul McCartney themselves.

It turns out that the two played a unique duet of The Beatles‘ classic “Let It Be”, sitting across from each other on individual pianos. As Keys and Legend preface in the beginning, this is a song that McCartney wrote before The Beatles broke up and in memory of his mother who comforted him with the words of the title. The song, is as a result, one that transcends generations and indeed a comforting song that our younger generation can relate to just as much (and learn that backstory).

Up above, Alicia Keys & John Legend bridge the song from the 60s to a familiar duo of voices to R&B fans of the new century. Legend’s signature vocals dominate the chorus and give it some “Ordinary People”-esque energy. I particularly like Alicia with her impromptu ad-libs in the last rendition of the chorus, which gave the performance the great finish it deserved. McCartney definitely approved. I think you will too.