Kanye West Delivers A Masterpiece With New “Runaway” Music Video
Kanye West has delivered a masterpiece in the form of his brand new Runaway music video.
Kanye West has never been the kind of guy to do things half way. He believes in himself to a fault and has never been afraid to take chances. With the release of his new video Runaway he has put himself out there yet again. Runaway will be called overindulgent and self-absorbed. He will be called a narcissist, but hidden in the oddities that lie within the 35-minute long video might be a statement about Kanye that his fans will find fascinating.
Kanye West has never been afraid to turn the knife on himself and Runaway is filled with that theme. It opens with him driving into a firestorm that might just be the apocalypse. As he nears the flame he wonders about his future and his place in the world. The next morning a woman who looks like a half human/half bird (Selita Ebanks) wakes up on his couch to a newscaster talking about the day’s events on TV. As she shuts the TV off Kanye warns her about not paying attention to the media. He creates music for her and watches her as she moves with grace and ease.
As Kanye and the bird woman walk into the future they stop and watch a parade that is a tribute to Michael Jackson complete with Klansman and fireworks. They eventually arrive at their destination, a formal dinner, where Kanye is asked by a guest if he realizes his girlfriend is a bird. Kanye leaves the guests and performs his song Runaway as a group of ballerinas dance. His lyrics are sharp and to the point. He knows he might be a bad person, but it is who he is and he warns her to stay away from him. He can only be trouble. It is nice to hear Kanye himself again. On recent albums he has found himself lost in autotune and here it is nice to just here his voice. It is raw, honest and what made him a star in the first place.
After the dinner Kanye and the bird girl are sitting watching the sunset and she tells him that all the statues they see are of Phoenix turned to stone. They have had their wings torn off and have been turned to stone. She tells him she has to burn if she wants to go back to her world. He tells her he won’t let her burn, he’ll never let her burn. But his pleas with her do no good. He wakes in the morning to an explosion as she flies out of the fire, now burning and rising from the ashes like the Phoenix she is. As Kanye West cries out and races into the woods looking for her she soars into the sky reborn.
There is lot of ways to read it. Is Kanye saying that he is really the Phoenix and that after all of the troubles he has had over the past year or so that he is ready to rise above and sore, that he has come through the fire and now will thrive? Of is he saying that he is no good and not worthy of other people’s love and admiration and that it is his nature to drive others away from him? Maybe it is a little bit of both. Kanye has always had an obsession with religion and its place in society. Kanye as an icon or even Christ-like figure is a theme that has run through his work his entire career and here he seems tempted and conflicted like he often is. Kanye West always has questions, but seems to rarely find the answers. He is determined to move forward for better or worse.
Maybe the answers will come on his album. Most (if not all) of the music in Runaway comes from his upcoming album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. If the video is any prelude to what is on the album it is going to be epic. Regardless of whether or not the album can live up to the hype, Runaway is an amazing work of art. I can’t decide if we are seeing an artist hit his prime and begin to create things that are amazing, or if we are watching Kanye West crash and burn. Either way it will be a fascinating ride.
The entire 35-minute “Runaway” short-film is also available on YouTube.
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