Damon Albarn is apparently no fan of Kanye West. In a new interview with the French publication L’obs, the Gorillaz and Blur leader embarks on a bit of a tirade about Kanye, specifically his “abusive” creative relationship with Paul McCartney.
Although Albarn’s comments are a little jumbled after being translated from English to French and back, the tone and substance of the exchange are clear. After the interviewer brings up Kanye’s lengthy process of gathering samples for Pusha-T’s Daytona, Albarn responds, “I do not sample, I create music.” He then begins a tangent about Kanye’s relationship to McCartney: “Do not get me started on Kanye West … Kanye West trapped Paul McCartney.”
McCartney was credited on several Kanye-related songs in 2015, including “All Day,” “Only One,” and “FourFiveSeconds” with Rihanna. It was not always clear exactly what McCartney did on these songs, which Albarn says is because Kanye pared down McCartney’s contributions to almost nothing. Speaking about the removal of McCartney’s voice from “FourFiveSeconds,” Albarn says, “It’s rude… I have a problem with this abusive collaboration: we’re talking about Paul McCartney, anyway! Kanye West thinks only of Kanye West, using a name to make headlines, saying ‘McCartney is in my song.’ In addition, he puts McCartney in the video of the song, but not in the song itself.” (Again, this is English translated to French and then back to English, but you get the point.)
Regarding Kanye’s creative process, Albarn notes, “Kanye West is one of those people who feed on other people.” He says he tried to warn McCartney about Kanye’s vampiric tendencies: “Before he decided to work with Kanye West, I sent a text message to McCartney saying, ‘beware,’ but he ignored it. He does what he wants, it’s Paul McCartney.”
McCartney recently said “FourFiveSeconds” was “much more made up as we went along” than he’s accustomed to, “so much so that I didn’t even realize that I was making songs.” He elaborated, “I was tootling around on guitar, and Kanye spent a lot of time just looking at pictures of Kim on his computer. I’m thinking, are we ever gonna get around to writing?! But it turns out he was writing. That’s his muse. He was listening to this riff I was doing and obviously he knew in his mind that he could use that, so he took it, sped it up and then somehow he got Rihanna to sing on it.”
We’ve reached out to reps for Kanye and McCartney for comment. In the meantime, Gorillaz are releasing their new album The Now Now tonight via Warner Bros., Kanye’s new Ye and Kids See Ghosts are out now via G.O.O.D./Def Jam, and McCartney’s first album in five years, Egypt Station, is out in September on Capitol.