After a shopping round in town today I decided it was about time I watched the video that has the high street in plumes, namely ‘Runaway’ by Kanye West.
My head is now fuzzed with thoughts about chicken breasts and I’m vegetarian, so it’s not because I want some KFC 😉
The short story is that I found ‘Runaway’ a little bit too pseudo-psycho-analytical, or maybe I’m just stupid and don’t get it. The video is trying to say something about ‘real values’ which it then contradicts simply by its existence. Like how much did it cost to produce, for one?
Then there’s the phoenix that Selita Ebanks plays. Historically, the phoenix is a sacred Egyptian symbol of immortality. Thus, the phoenix represents Jesus Christ in Christian belief, and in Jewish folklore it is believed that the Phoenix was the only animal not to join Adam in his banishment from the Garden of Eden. Here, the phoenix is Kanye’s alter ego?
In this light I’m not sure I understand why Mr. West is knocking boots with the symbolic bird. Then again there is something masturbatory about the whole alter ego phenomenon anyway. This is, by the way, why I never was that interested in studying psychology . Unlike a recent self-release post of mine – psychology kind of seems to be all about masturbation!
Back to ‘Runaway’, it seems that Kanye, who also directed the video, was also trying to make a point about femininity.
‘Thinking about it,’ Kanye says in an MTV interview, ‘I wanted Every girl I have ever been in a relationship with to feel like a piece of her was being represented and even for my mother to feel like she was being represented when she sees this and just for females to connect with the different emotions.’
Dear Kanye, with all due respect, when it comes to life, if it ain’t chickens, it’s feathers. Excuse the pun. I couldn’t relate with the phoenix anymore than I relate with other endangered species.
However, I must put aside some of my ideological views to appreciate the creativity. ‘Runaway’ might be a masturbatory display of a broken ego, but I think it is beautiful in its own way. Selita Ebanks is stunning as a phoenix. The ballet dancers are sooo dope and were coreographed by Afropolitan Yemi Akinyemi, founder of the Dance Academy Prague. As far as visual creativity goes this really is quite inspiring, although for the lack of coherency I don’t find it genial.
Nevertheless, I’d much rather watch this video than a lot of the crap that hip hop artists come out with nowadays.
This is a great clip of black intellectuals (well, and Nelly and TI) discussing sexism in hip hop.
What were your thoughts on Runaway?
I have none. I saw it, and I uh… well. Just wasn’t into it. I’m just into Kanye’s music, so I’ll check out whatever he does, but eh… he missed the mark IMO. Oh well, not like it hurt his pockets really LOL. I wish he’d stop considering himself to have “fallen” just cuz he pulled a drunken stunt a year ago. His true fans just laughed it off, and await his new album.
Spot on. And oops(!), your comment reminds me, I said nada about the actual song!! this is what happens when these video goes all overboard, I actually forget about the track, which in this case is pretty cool.
Thanks for sharing, and yeah guess his pockets are are always full, now if he can only fix that alter ego… 😉
Unfortunately I don’t have the energy nor the time to watch the whole video now but might do later… I just wanted to ask if you had seen Kanye’s tweets over the past few days. The man is DEPRESSED! Something is seriously wrong with him. He is complaining that people have set him up, he refuses to trust anyone, he feels lonely etc… I kinda felt sorry for him at first but I guess this is the kind of stuff that happens in the industry and he should know this by now… Still sad though 🙁
Thanks for the comment, did you watch the video? It’s worth seeing, for the creativity if nothing else.
I’m one of the few people who doesn’t follow Kanye’s tweets, I had a peep and they were just not for me.
I do hope he picks out of his depression, or paranoia by the sound of things!
chic therapy says
so about Runway,hmm. didnt get it, so i have no opinion.
I didn’t care too much for the video though it did have some creative moments. Kanye needs to just focus on his music, he is very talented. 808s and Heartbreaks is one of my favourite albums ever and even though it didn’t sell as much as his others I thought it was his most honest and creative. I think he’s shot himself in the foot with all his antics and even though he doesn’t care what people think at the same time he does and that’s how he gets himself in these jams. I think the death of his mother showed that she was his anchor and now his ship is kinda floating about aimless on the sea. Hopefully he will find someone to get him back on his course.
I hope he gets back to his musical course too. He is a talented artist no doubt.
As far as his activism I did quite like his calling out on the recent interview he did about Bush etc. did you see?
I haven’t watched the video either, I can’t bring myself to commit to 30 minutes but I like your review of it! I really like this video debate you’ve posted. It’s really interesting and there were some valid points made. It just seems like a bit of a shame that Nelly and TI only seemed to be there to stand up for hip hop and did not seem to be opening their minds to what was being said – perhaps they thought about it later! Hopefully.
I love hip hop but I do find so much of it is completely disparaging to women. I wouldn’t say hip hop stars are misogynistic; they don’t hate women, they just tend to put them in a tiny box. Basically, in hip hop, women are hos, possessions, sex objects, gold diggers – you’d think Nelly, Snoop and Lil Wayne have never met a female lawyer, or a single-mother working several jobs to take good care of her kids or a woman who wouldn’t sleep with them just because they’re famous!
I haven’t watched the video. But, I have listened to the song on numerous occasions. It seems like he’s trying to reconcile many different things, but, he’s not willing to give up his practices. So, the only thing he can do is to tell any self-respecting women to…well…run away.
Reminds me of a man who once told me, “I am no good for you.” When a man tells a woman this, LISTEN TO HIM. He’s right.