Album This song officially appears on the All Day Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2015

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Related songs


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Song facts

All Day” is the third and last collaboration between Paul McCartney and Kanye West, released on March 2, 2015. It contains a re-recorded sample of “When the Wind is Blowing“, recorded by Wings in 1971.

My 40-year-old whistling riff came back to me on Kanye’s song as this big industrial noise.

Paul McCartney – from interview with Q Magazine, May 1, 2015

From Wikipedia:

“All Day” is a song by American rapper Kanye West. It features American rapper Theophilus London, Canadian rapper Allan Kingdom, and English musician Paul McCartney. The song was produced by West and ten others. Having initially leaked in August 2014 after being announced for release as a single by West, he premiered the song on March 2, 2015 via Power 106 and Hot 97. The following day, it was released for digital download and streaming as a standalone single, through GOOD Music and Def Jam. The song contains a re-recorded sample of “When the Wind is Blowing” by Paul McCartney and Wings (known to fans as “Two Fingers”) and an interpolation from “Dance with Me” by Jamaican singer Noel Ellis. It includes elements of industrial and drill music, alongside synthesizers. The lyrics center around West boasting about being successful and winning in life, with West comparing certain lyrics to the work of Jay-Z.

The accompanying Steve McQueen-directed music video was announced in March 2015 and ultimately released in February 2016. The video sees West in a warehouse room running around, though he becomes tired and a song entitled “I Feel Like That” is played. “All Day” received generally positive reviews from music critics, who mostly praised West’s vocals. The focus around his vocals was often placed on the flow and lyrical content, while a few critics complemented the catchiness of the song. It was named to year-end lists for 2015 by multiple publications, including NME and Pitchfork. At the 58th Grammy Awards, the song was nominated for both Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

“All Day” reached the top 20 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Scotland in 2015. It has since been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in the US and UK, respectively. The song was first performed by West at the 2015 Brit Awards, with the performance including flamethrowers and he was accompanied by numerous other rappers. West later performed it live on multiple occasions in 2015, including at the NBA Playoffs and Glastonbury Festival.

Background and recording

The song was one of three collaborations between West and McCartney to be released, with the other two being the singles “Only One” (2014) and “FourFiveSeconds” (2015), the latter of which includes Barbadian singer Rihanna alongside the two. In response to criticism of West using the n-word within the song, McCartney stated: “It’s a great record, sonically it’s brilliant, but quite a few people said, ‘You can’t be connected with this, there’s, like, 40 N-words!” McCartney also said in reference to the usage of the word that he “was actually pleased with it.” Allan Kingdom become involved with West through Plain Pat, who was close to West. A phone call was made for Allan Kingdom to join West and Plain Pat’s session; he showed West his music during the session and called doing so “nerve-racking.” One month after West announced the release of the song, a snippet of it leaked online. Melissa Locker of Time called the snippet “a promising hint” of what will be released by West. “All Day” was premiered live by West at the 2015 Brit Awards on February 25. On March 2, 2015, Rolling Stone provided the first official stream of the track.

West spoke about the recording process behind “All Day” in a July 2014 interview with Zach Baron of GQ, telling Baron: “I would have came in with, like, whatever I come in with. But the balance of a meal is that when people walk in, they want water first.” The track’s creation started with American rapper Velous, who revealed in a 2015 interview with MTV that he made the skeleton of the instrumental on a friend’s couch while watching Saturday Night Live in the summer of 2014. In reference to the creation process, Velous stated: “I worked on that and I had the main part of it, I already had the skeleton of it [and] it was for my big bro French Montana.” Velous explained why it ultimately became a West track and not a French Montana track, saying: “I guess Kanye was rocking with it, so he gave it to Kanye and they added some more. Kanye went in, French added some stuff to it and I co-produced it with my big bro.” On March 2, 2015, mixer Hudson Mohawke tweeted that the track was finished and mixed. The production credits were heavy, with a total of eleven people being listed as producers; this was reminiscent of the vocal credits for West’s single “All of the Lights” (2010). West, French Montana, Puff Daddy, Velous and Charlie Heat were the lead producers, while the other six received credit as additional and co-producers. A reference track for “All Day” co-written by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, which was initially thought to be a remix, leaked online in April 2015.

Composition and lyrics

“All Day” includes industrial elements, reminiscent of West’s sixth studio album Yeezus (2013). The song also includes elements of drill music, as well as synthesizers in its composition. The melody of the song is built around McCartney’s whistling from a re-recording of a song written by him in 1969, titled “When the Wind is Blowing“; (also known to fans as “Two Fingers”) as performed by the rock band Paul McCartney and Wings. The chord progression and melody was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s 1903-04 painting, The Old Guitarist. The bassline of Reggae singer Noel Ellis’ 2006 recording “Dance With Me” is sampled. A voice box melody is included at the beginning of the song, while the ending section of the latter contains a sample of McCartney’s whistling on “When the Wind is Blowing“.

The song sees West rap in a fast flow throughout while bragging about his success, including him boasting about spending time in the mall, and the lyrics differentiate from West’s usual dwelling on the struggles that he went through to ultimately achieve success. A number of things already commonly known about West are referenced by him in the song, such as him being from Chicago and having an obsession with his wife. The phrase “All day, nigga” is repeatedly used by West within the song and he raps the n-word a total of 45 times. West viewed the lyrics “All day, nigga, it’s Ye, nigga/Shopping for the winter, it’s just May, nigga/Ball so hard, man, this shit cray, nigga/You ain’t getting money unless you got eight figures” as sounding like content that fellow rapper Jay-Z “would have said.” West shouts “Get low!” during the outro.

Release and artwork

“All Day” was announced for release as a single by West in July 2014. On March 2, 2015, West premiered the studio version of the song on Power 106 and Hot 97. The next day, the song was released to iTunes Stores in various countries by GOOD Music and Def Jam, and made available for streaming on Spotify. On the same day, it was also serviced to US rhythmic contemporary radio stations through the labels. The song was ultimately scrapped from the track list of West’s seventh studio album The Life of Pablo (2016).

The artwork for “All Day” was initially thought to be the album cover for West’s then-upcoming album So Help Me God when he posted it before the song’s release. When West released the song, the information became known that the artwork was intended for the single instead. West’s wife Kim Kardashian revealed via Instagram that the artwork is a 13th Century monastic symbol for the Virgin Mary.

Critical reception

The song was met with generally positive reviews from music critics, with West’s vocals gathering praise from the majority of them. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork dubbed it as “an odd hybrid” and elaborated, writing: “Kanye’s rapping harder, faster, sharper than ever: Years and years into his evolving style, he’s fashioned his voice into something dull and jagged at once, a hacked-off piece of jetliner assaulting the beat.” Greene viewed West’s rapping speed as sounding like American singer James Brown “imitating a tommy gun” at parts and also praised his lyrical content. Kory Grow from Rolling Stone wrote that “the song shows off its triumphant synth line and bouncy beat, as well as West’s one-liners like, ‘You a fake Denzel like the Allstate nigga/If you run in to me, better have Allstate with you’ and guest Allan Kingdom’s soulful vocals.

Writing for Bustle, Kenya Foy stated that “West’s flow is absolutely crazy” and complimented the song’s catchiness, describing it as having the ability to get “the most shiftless couch potato to abandon those comfy cushions” for dancing. Foy elaborated, writing that it “also has the potential to put folks in a sulky mood” due to their daily activities paling in comparison to those undertaken by West. Billboard‘s Alex Gale commented that the song shows West “at his most unapologetically brash” and observed that he performs “over machine-gun snares” and synths reminiscent of Yeezus, while Gale described West’s lyricism as “nimble and quotable.” In a less enthusiastic review, Uproxx writer Katie Hasty praised the opening voice box melody and the “cold party vibe” of “All Day” that she compared to West and Jay-Z’s collaborative single “Niggas in Paris” (2011), though criticized the composition of the later points within the song. Andrew Barber, Brendan Klinkenberg and Ross Scarano of Complex wrote that it “was a dope single but failed to connect the way” that West had with his earlier singles “Gold Digger” (2005) or “Stronger” (2007) or “Slow Jamz” (2003).

Accolades

“All Day” was ranked by NME as the 14th best track of 2015, with Emily Barker of the website saying “its rapid-fire braggadocio was a reminder” of West still being both “bolshy-and-bratty” and “political-and-righteous.” On The 405‘s list of 2015’s best tracks, the song appeared at number 25. Consequence of Sound listed it as the 26th best track of the year and the staff praised McCartney’s involvement, while they called the song “a feverish track” and complemented West’s vocals for seeing him “embrace his braggadocious mindset.” The song was named the 40th best track of 2015 by Pitchfork, being noted by the staff for standing as West’s “proper return to rapping this year” and they wrote that he “made damn sure to snap back hard, reading the riot act to detractors high and low with his most statistically profane performance to date.” It also appeared in the top 50 of best tracks year-end lists for two other publications; Time Out London and Fact ranked the song as the 43rd and 49th best track of 2015, respectively. On Pigeons & Planes list of the year’s best tracks, the song was listed at number 56. Billboard ranked “All Day” as the 5th best hip hop track of 2015, while the song was listed by Magnetic Magazine as the 10th best hip hop track of the year. It was nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards, respectively. At the 2016 International Dance Music Awards, the song earned a nomination for Best Rap/Hip Hop/Trap Dance Track, ultimately losing to French DJ David Guetta’s single “Hey Mama” (2015). […]

Commercial performance

Additionally, the song became West’s second top-20 single in the United States in 2015. “All Day” debuted at number 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling 140,000 downloads in its first week and this led to it entering atop of the US Rap Digital Songs chart. It is West’s first single, as a lead artist, to debut at number one on the chart and followed “Clique” (2012) as his second to reach the position. It became the rapper’s 22nd top 10 single on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, reaching number 6 on the chart. It entered at number 14 on the US Rap Airplay chart with 11.8 million audience impressions logged, becoming West’s 3rd highest debut on the chart and was also streamed 1.9 million times in the US that week. The song was certified Gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of 500,000 certified units on July 28, 2015.

“All Day” debuted at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart for the issue date of March 8, 2015, while “FourFiveSeconds” peaked at number 3 on the same date. These singles stood as West’s only tracks to reach the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in 2015, with the former spending nine weeks on the chart. The track was later certified Silver in the United Kingdom by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for selling 200,000 units on January 5, 2018. As of October 24, 2019, it ranks as West’s 35th most successful track of all time on the UK Singles Chart. The track also reached the top 20 in Scotland, peaking at number 19 on the Scottish Singles Chart. […]

In an interview with RollingStone, McCartney remembered the origin of “When the Wind is Blowing“ and how it ended up being used on this Kanye West track:

Linda and I were having our first baby together, Mary. She was recuperating – I’m sitting around eating chips with my guitar in the clinic, goofing around with it. And there was a picture on the wall that I’d been looking at for days – Picasso, “The Old Guitarist.” The guy held the guitar like this [strikes the pose from the painting], and a lightbulb went off in my head: “What chord is that?” It looked like it was two strings. “You know what would be cool? To write a song with only two fingers.” So I wrote this thing [plays the melody].

I was telling Kanye this story. I whistled it for him. His engineer was recording it, and it went into the pool of ingredients. Kanye was just collecting things. We weren’t going to sit down and write a song so much as talk and spark ideas off each other. It was only when I got this song, the Rihanna record [“FourFiveSeconds”] and “Only One,” the three tracks we did, that I went, “I get it. He’s taken my little whistle-y thing.” It returned to me as an urban hip-hop riff. I love that record.

Paul McCartney – Interview with RollingStone, August 10, 2016

Due to my love of Picasso’s work, I was admiring his picture ‘The Old Guitarist’ (1904) and was intrigued by the chord he was playing. I transferred it to my own guitar and found that it was a beautiful chord. I then set myself the task of writing a piece that would use only two finger chords. I was telling this story to Kanye West when I was working with him and whistled the melody for him saying we might want to use it. He sent me back the track ‘All Day’ where the tune had morphed into a heavy urban riff and was the intro of the song. At the end of ‘All Day’, you can hear me playing the melody in its original form. All thanks to Picasso.

Paul McCartney – From paulmccartney.com, December 9, 2015

I think he mentions the ‘n’ word about 40 times. It’s controversial, I know, especially with the climate in modern-day America. It really shocked Nancy, because she’d been to school with a lot of black kids and been immersed in that experience. Whether you like what Kanye does or you don’t, he’s an artist and it’s his prerogative. His school of thought is that he’s reclaimed the ‘n’ word, he’s re-appropriated it.

Paul McCartney – from interview with Q Magazine, May 1, 2015

Last updated on February 27, 2021

Lyrics

[Kanye West]
All day, nigga
How long you niggas ball? All day, nigga
How much time you spent at the mall? All day, nigga
How many runners do you got on call? All day, nigga
Swish, swish, how long they keep you in court? All day, nigga
Take you to get this fly? All day, nigga
Tell your P.O. how-how long you been high? All day, nigga
You already know I’m straight from the Chi, all day, nigga
South, south, south side! All day, nigga

[Kanye West]
This Ye, nigga
Shoppin' for the winter, and it’s just May, nigga
Ball so hard, man, this shit cray, nigga
And you ain't gettin' money 'less you got eight figures
For that Jesus piece, man, I've been saved, nigga
Just talked to Farrakhan, that's sensei, nigga
Told him I've been on ten since the 10th grade, nigga
Got a middle finger longer than Dikembe, my nigga, uh
I don't let 'em play with me
I don't let 'em talk to me no kind of way
Uh, they better watch what they say to me
Niggas still gettin' popped on the day to day
Yeah, I still got the hundred with the small face, nigga
Might spend 50 racks on my off day, nigga
You a fake Denzel like the Allstate nigga
If you run into me, better have Allstate witcha, uh
You a Rico Suave nigga
Ride 'round listen to Sade, nigga
If you ain't with us, you in our way, nigga
You an actor, you should be on Broadway, nigga
Cause you do shit the broad way, nigga
Your bitch got a ass, but my broad way thicker
Late for the class, in the hallway, nigga
Yeah, the dropout at it as always, nigga, as always
All day, nigga

[Allan Kingdom]
I took a young sweet breath, and I reached into my head
Gave him what I had left
At that moment I dispersed
At that moment I dispersed

[Kanye West]
All day, nigga
How-h-how long you ball? All day, nigga
How much time you spent at the mall? All day, nigga
How long it take you to get this fly? All day, nigga
Tell your P.O. how-how long you been high? All day, nigga
Pour some Hen out for my niggas that died, all day, nigga
And I keep a bad bitch on the passenger side, all day, nigga
You already know that I’m straight from the Chi, all day, nigga
South, south, south side! All day, nigga

[Kanye West]
I could do this all day, boy, (WOO), I'm finna turn this bitch out
They need that Ye in the streets, boy, (WOO), there's been a motherfucking drought
Don't really matter what I make, boy, (WOO), you know I still go wild
Like a light skinned slave, boy, (WOO), we in the mothafuckin' house
Right now, you lookin' real sus right now
I swear I've been on this flight like a month right now
Stupid niggas gettin' money, Forrest Gump right now
Shout-out to Jackie Chan, I need to stunt right now
They've been lookin' at the Gram, I've been lookin' at the Grammys
Like, woo, that's us right now (Right now!)
24/7, 365 days, everybody gettin' paid (Go crazy!)
Niggas lookin' at me like I'm worth both MJs
People saying, "Ye, Ye, take it easy"
20 Gs for the Yeezys off of eBay
Niggas do the most and they ain't done shit
Only way I can sum it up, son bitch

[Theophilius London]
(Hands up, hands up)
Some want you dead, ayy, ayy ayy ayy
All day, nigga

[Allan Kingdom]

I took a young sweet breath, and I reached into my head
Gave him what I had left
At that moment I dispersed
At that moment I dispersed

[Kanye West]
Get low, alright
Get low, alright
What up? Alright, alright
Stay low, alright
Stay low, alright
South, south, south side, all day nigga

[Paul McCartney]
(Whistling)

Well, well, well
Let me run (Let me run)
Let me run to see who came undone
You've been right in my face
Let me run 'til you're off my case
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Officially appears on


All Day

Single • Released in 2015

5:12 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Background vocals, Guitar, Whistling
Kanye West :
Producer, Vocals
Mike Dean :
Co-producer, Recording engineer
Noah Goldstein :
Co-producer, Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Allen Ritter :
Additional production
Mario Winans :
Additional production
Steve Orchard :
Recording engineer
Zeke Mishanec :
Recording assistant engineer
Jeremy Hartney :
Recording assistant engineer
Velous :
Producer
French Montana :
Producer
Charlie Heat :
Producer
Plain Pat :
Additional production
Puff Daddy :
Production
Travis Scott :
Additional production
Matthew Testa :
Recording engineer
Anthony Kilhoffer :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Sean Oakley :
Recording assistant engineer
Tristan Bott :
Recording assistant engineer
Hudson Mohawke :
Mixing engineer
Vlado Meller :
Mastering
Jeremy Lubsey :
Mastering assistant
Theophilus London :
Vocals
Allan Kingdom :
Vocals

Session Recording:
Early 2014
Studio :
Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA

Bootlegs


New - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

5:12 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Background vocals, Guitar, Whistling
Kanye West :
Producer, Vocals
Mike Dean :
Co-producer, Recording engineer
Noah Goldstein :
Co-producer, Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Allen Ritter :
Additional production
Mario Winans :
Additional production
Steve Orchard :
Recording engineer
Zeke Mishanec :
Recording assistant engineer
Jeremy Hartney :
Recording assistant engineer
Velous :
Producer
French Montana :
Producer
Charlie Heat :
Producer
Plain Pat :
Additional production
Puff Daddy :
Production
Travis Scott :
Additional production
Matthew Testa :
Recording engineer
Anthony Kilhoffer :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Sean Oakley :
Recording assistant engineer
Tristan Bott :
Recording assistant engineer
Hudson Mohawke :
Mixing engineer
Vlado Meller :
Mastering
Jeremy Lubsey :
Mastering assistant
Theophilus London :
Vocals
Allan Kingdom :
Vocals

Session Recording:
Early 2014
Studio :
Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA


New - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

5:12 • Studio versionA1 • Clean Version

Paul McCartney :
Background vocals, Guitar, Whistling
Kanye West :
Producer, Vocals
Mike Dean :
Co-producer, Recording engineer
Noah Goldstein :
Co-producer, Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Allen Ritter :
Additional production
Mario Winans :
Additional production
Steve Orchard :
Recording engineer
Zeke Mishanec :
Recording assistant engineer
Jeremy Hartney :
Recording assistant engineer
Velous :
Producer
French Montana :
Producer
Charlie Heat :
Producer
Plain Pat :
Additional production
Puff Daddy :
Production
Travis Scott :
Additional production
Matthew Testa :
Recording engineer
Anthony Kilhoffer :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Sean Oakley :
Recording assistant engineer
Tristan Bott :
Recording assistant engineer
Hudson Mohawke :
Mixing engineer
Vlado Meller :
Mastering
Jeremy Lubsey :
Mastering assistant
Theophilus London :
Vocals
Allan Kingdom :
Vocals

Session Recording:
Early 2014
Studio :
Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, USA

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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