This week, Yeezy showed us what happens when just one man has all that power –he releases a self-written, directed, and scored short film with a budget as big as his ego. But as much as I would love to rip him apart to make myself feel cooler, the “Runaway” video is a cinematic experience rivaled perhaps only by Inception.
The thirty-five minute epic envisions Kanye meeting a sexy-ass phoenix that inspires him to be something out of his comfort zone: vulnerable. Ostensibly a commentary about discrimination, inspiration and loss, the video is much more intimate than it seems. Just as is the case with the music, the operatic elements of the video belie how personal it really is.
Featuring several songs from the G.O.O.D. Friday releases, including an instrumental version of “Power,” The short film is sparse with dialogue and often includes shots of a pensive, solitary West. Maybe his ability to polarize the people that admire and deride him has finally had some alienating effect on him.
The video’s titular performance is just as cocky as it is self-effacing –no doubt he includes himself in the “toast to the douchebags.” More overtly bleak is the film’s ending in which the phoenix abandons West to the track “Lost In The World.” Take away the designer clothes and snide publicity and what you have left is a surprisingly introspective artist who might finally be at odds with his ego.
Watch the video and decide for yourself, but I’d like to think that when Kanye isn’t busy being “a tad kooky”, he is busy being an artist.