Why is Paul McCartney here?

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So in case you haven’t heard the song Fourfiveseconds, there’s a song, Fourfiveseconds. It’s by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney, and it’s hot right now.

To be clear, I love this song. I really do. I think it’s very listenable, very enjoyable. I even plunked down the $1.29 on iTunes (old school) and bought it two or three days ago. I listened and listened and listened.

And now I’m mystified.

Unless it’s about fame (which would be weird, considering he’s Paul McCartney) or helping struggling artists (which would be weird, considering neither Rihanna nor Kanye are even close to struggling), I don’t get why Paul McCartney is involved in this project. Oh, when I first learned about the trio, I was psyched. Super psyched. I’m a huge fan of crossing genres and crossing generations. Back when American Idol still mattered, I loved seeing 18-year-old nobodies pair up with, oh, KISS or Hall and Oates. It was neat. So, along those lines, this is neat. The singer. The rapper. The Beatle. Groovy.

Only, well, Paul McCartney doesn’t sing here. Not a lick. He helped with background vocals on the Grammy performance, but on the track all he does is play guitar. And, were it cool guitar or unique guitar, I’d get it. I really would. Hell, I’d get it if, midway through the song, he broke out a little “Let it Be” riff. That would make sense. But here, on Fourfiveseconds, Paul McCartney plays a beginning level series of notes, over and over and over. That’s it. That’s all. You could have McCartney do it. Or Eddie Van Halen. Or, truly, Jordan, my 14-year-old nephew, who quit guitar last year because it bored him. Literally anyone with any guitar experience could fill McCartney’s role here.

So why? I suppose it has something to do with stagecraft, and wanting to stay relevant (which I completely understand), and an opportunity to do a quirky little task.

Which is totally fine.

3 thoughts on “Why is Paul McCartney here?”

  1. Don’t think it has any thing to do with being relevant. Maybe it was just something he wanted to do. I assume West, and Rianna asked him to play on the record. Give him some slack

    1. Agreed, McCartney has always shown interest in exploring different ways to make music and that includes collaborating with other artists. I don’t think either of the others write a song like this without his influence, to me, the song has his fingerprints all over it.

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