Kanye West on McCartney Collaboration: 'I'm 'Angst' Like John Lennon'

The rapper also reveals in new interview that Taylor Swift has asked him to collaborate

Kanye West discussed John Lennon and a possible Taylor Swift collaboration in a new interview with Ryan Seacrest. Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty

Kanye West explained what it was like to collaborate with Paul McCartney on the songs "FourFiveSeconds" and "Only One" in a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest (via Complex). "We just went in and we vibed out," the rapper said. "As you can see, I might be a little bit more 'angst' than Paul. And remember the last time when Paul had somebody really 'angst' working with him, the type of music they made?" Seacrest asked who, and his co-host, Ellen K, exclaimed John Lennon.

West quickly rejoined. "Hey, everyone, America, I'm not comparing myself to John Lennon," he said. "I'm just saying I'm 'angst' a bit like John Lennon. And the tension, the 'salt and pepper' — I mean, maybe that's bad because it sounds like 'black and white' — but the tension creates a new magic. The pressure creates the diamond from the coal. And he came in with the best vibes ever. And I said, 'Four, five seconds from wildin',' and he said, 'It's great, everyone.' And we just had that."

He went on to explain that after Rihanna heard the tune, she "was not gonna be satisfied until she had this record." He compared her vocals to Annie Lennox's and praised the energy in her voice. "She even brought it to another level of soul and heart and artistry — key word of the week, 'artistry' — and I said, OK, cool, I'll give you this song and the next day I woke up on the Grammys, so I guess it worked out."

Elsewhere in the conversation, West touched on one of his most famous past controversies — interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards — and compared it to his recent "fake-out" at the Grammys on Sunday. As the rapper tells it, Swift approached him "literally right afterwards" and told him he should have gone onstage. "This is the irony in my life," he said.

But the real interesting Swift interaction came when Seacrest addressed a rumor he'd heard that Swift had asked to work with West. "Yeah, she wants to get in the studio and we're definitely gonna go in," the rapper said. "Any artist with an amazing point of view, perspective, fan base, I'm down to get into the studio and work. I don't discriminate.... If I can be involved in giving people any type of energy, advice in the studio, whether you're Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Jay Z, Beck, whoever, and they can be reciprocal with that, I'd like to be involved with that."

A representative for Swift was not immediately available to confirm West's comments.

While at the Grammys, West performed both "Only One" and "FourFiveSeconds." And he created more controversy backstage by saying, "Beck needs to respect artistry, and he should have given his award to Beyoncé." Beck shrugged off the comment, and West later told TMZ, "I love Beck." Still, the comment rankled Garbage singer Shirley Manson, who penned an angry screed, telling West that making comments like that make him "look like a complete twat."