Kanye’s new music video for “Only One” proves that you don’t need a huge budget to pull off an effectively heartwarming video. And did we mention? Miss North West is heavily featured.
The video, directed by Spike Jonze (music video god amongst men, btw), premiered on Ellen today, and has since been making its obligatory Internet rounds. The homemade, lo-fi style video is a refreshing departure from his flashier video collabs with Jonze (a la “Flashing Lights” and “Otis“). The video starts out abstract enough, taking place on a rainy hillside, with West running toward the camera. The video then becomes uncontrollably sweet as soon as Kanye picks up baby North and starts singing to her. We even get a few long close-ups of her big brown Tweety bird eyes (swoon).
Much like the video, the song is pretty unconventional . . . even for Kanye West. Aside from the unexpected Paul McCartney element (that’s McCartney on the keyboard), there are no definable beats or harmonies — just a string of words with scattered piano keys and Kanye, dare we say it, singing. The song is said to have been inspired by Kanye’s late mother, Donda West, who unexpectedly passed away in 2007. West said in a press release that he doesn’t actually have memory of singing the lyrics, claiming that “the words never really came from him . . . [but rather, his mother] had spoken through him that day.” Kim even supported his claim in a tweet, saying “Kanye feels like his mom sang through him to our daughter.” How’s that for context?
With that in mind, the addition of North in the music video makes “Only One” that much more heartwarming. It seems to be more of an emotional family tribute than any effort a chart topper, and that’s totally fine by us.
You can watch the entire video (and those special lyrics) here, on West’s website.
And here’s Kanye’s full interview with Ellen: