Kanye West and “Runaway”

November 22, 2010 § 3 Comments

 

album art for 'runaway'

I have always been a huge Kanye West fan.  His debut album The College Dropout remains one of my favorite hiphop album to date.  I borrowed the CD from a friend in 9th grade and I couldn’t stop listening to the whole thing.  Woven together, the songs and interlude skits created a very solid concept album.  While everyone else was churning out the same formulaic pop song, hoping to score that one summer hit, Kanye West never seemed to see creating just one hit.  He makes his own path.  To this day, he has constantly reinvented himself and his music so that he stood out amongst all the others.  It’s a shame that his often questionable behavior has been magnified in the public eye, turning everyone’s focus on the VMAs or the George W Bush-Kanye feud instead of his work.  Kanye will probably always remain in the center of the music scene for his controversial behavior.  Then again, who is ever interested in someone who behaves the way they should?  His behavior and ego makes the music just so much more…his.

 

George Condo x Kanye West cover art

The Runaway cover art caught me off guard.  It is very different from Kanye’s other covers that you wouldn’t have thought it was for one of his album.  I think the cover is beautiful.  The hue of the colors, the contrast between the steel walls and ballerina just works.

In addition to the cover, the song itself has an extremely catchy beat to it and a simple piano melody.  Based from his tweets and recent interviews, I see this song representing how Kanye is feeling about his fame, his critics and all that’s been going on in the past few years.

**spoiler alert

Kanye touches a lot of different themes in the video, such as the credibility of media, social standards, music as a universal language, love between two different people etc.  His emphasis on and clear portrayal of the different point-of-views (POV) is greatly appreciated.  The audience can see how different people’s POV can significantly impact the interactions of each another. The beautiful phoenix crashes into the earth from another world.  As an outsider, she is unfamiliar and curious with the new world she finds herself in.  She goes about exploring all the different things in this new world, trees, animals, music and love.  Her curious behavior is looked down upon by the guests at the dinner table.  When the turkey is brought out on the table, the phoenix crys out, clearly in anguish.  Kanye, upset about their reaction sings Runaway to his new phoenix girlfriend, along with a group of ballerinas dancing in the background.  The choreography of the dance was by far the best part of the whole film.

It’s just a great point to take home for anyone.  Everyone comes from different backgrounds and beliefs; just because someone’s belief doesn’t line up with the majority belief doesn’t automatically mean it’s wrong (unless it’s like cannibalism).

I personally enjoyed the film and the music.  The film is 30 mins, a little long at first, since it is strange and there were a few parts that dragged.  Overall, worth watching at least once just to see what everyone is talking about and make up your mind as to whether Kanye’s a genius or an egotistic asshole.  Despite what the consensus is, Kanye still wins at the end.  He is singing and the whole world is listening.

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