Paul McCartney revealed that he recently tried writing a song about the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson and Staten Island in an interview with The Associated Press. While the former Beatle admitted his initial attempts proved fruitless, he hasn’t given up on the song.
“I was thinking recently about all these protests in New York and around the country,” he said. “I thought it would be great to put something down about that, just to add my voice to the thousands of people walking in the streets. I thought it through, and it just didn’t come easily. I’m not giving up on it, but it didn’t come easily, whereas some other emotions might come easily to me.”
McCartney, of course, has a long history of social activism, whether supporting numerous charities – especially animal rights groups – calling on the Russian government to release members of Pussy Riot and Greenpeace protestors, or penning “Blackbird” for the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties.
That awareness also played a part in his recent work for the recently released video game, Destiny, for which he composed the score and the closing song, “Hope for the Future.” “I thought, ‘Seeing it’s a shoot-em-up game, I will be the optimistic hope for the future,'” he told the AP. “I will write something that sums up that side of the game.”
The former Beatle also talked about keeping tabs on the present, while looking back on his life and storied career. He named Sam Smith as a current favorite, and had high praise for Jay Z and Kanye West, calling their lyrics “modern poetry.”
Recently, McCartney paid tribute to another musician whose works he likes: bandmate Ringo Starr. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the singer-songwriter explained how happy he was to be the one to tell the Beatles drummer that he’d made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also revealed that his favorite Starr tracks are “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back Off Boogaloo.”