Say what you will about Mr. West's personality issues, but don't say he lacks ambition. This past Saturday, Kanye West premiered his 35-minute film/Thriller-esque music video, Runaway, simultaneously on MTV, BET, and VH1. Weeks leading up to the world premiere, Kanye was seen globetrotting from Paris to Japan screening the film to the who's who of the international scene. Now that the world has seen it there has been a lot of discussion on the message, symbolism, and music of Runaway.
In short, Runaway is a story of a fallen phoenix, played by Selita Ebanks, that Griffin, Kanye West's character, falls in love with and shows her his world. The phoenix is dismayed to learn about human behavior and has to make the decision of either staying with Griffin or leaving earth to burn instead.
After he Runaway film, MTV's Sway had a sit down with the MC to talk about his thought process behind Runaway. In the interview, he explained that his ex-girlfriends were major points of inspiration of the film itself. "I wanted every girl I ever been in a relationship with to feel like a piece of her was being represented," he said. He also went on to discuss some controversial symbols featured in the film.
One in particular is the "All of the Lights" scene, where Kanye and the phoenix watch an elaborate parade with a giant head of Michael Jackson being the centerpiece of the event. The beginning of the scene has a little boy dressed in all red running across an open field with trailing red smoke behind him. After the scene is over, the boy is slowly walking with a hood on his head, reminiscent of those worn by KKK members. "The hood, what it does represent to me ... in relation to the Michael Jackson thing is not the KKK but the concept of cult, because it's multiple people with this hood on," he said. He also discusses interesting symbols like the the black guests being served and entertained by white servants.
But what is most interesting about Runaway has nothing to do with meaning of the film, the cinematography, or the quality of the music. The big question is what is Kanye trying to do?
It’s obvious that he’s focusing on rebranding his image with his television performances, music videos, and weekly G.O.O.D. Friday songs, but at what cost? While most in the music industry are trying to find ways to keep their albums a secret, Kanye is giving away his tracks for free. He's leaked five full-length songs from his 11-track album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, to the public — though he says the final mixes have yet to be revealed.
Still, it seems that Kanye is taking a gamble that people will buy his album, simply because they support the mastermind behind it and not because of their anticipation of unheard music. He’s taking the power from media and putting it back into his own hands. This can also been seen through his Twitter posts and his 40-page spread in the October issue of XXL, where he not only served as the creative director, but also wrote his own feature piece.
After the world ripped him a new one, Kanye wants it back. Come Nov. 22, it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?