Songs, Videos

Kanye West | Runaway

2 Comments 15 | December | 2010

The always demure and understated Kanye West (*choke*) has done it again.  After the wildly successful “G.O.O.D. Fridays” marketing campaign, where he systematically dropped new tracks from his latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the full release finally came on November 22, just in time for Thanksgiving with the family.

Already receiving dump trucks full of critical acclaim, he’s scored more perfect tens than Mary Lou Retton.  Lined with guest spots, beautiful production, and Kanye’s signature over-the-top self-righteousness, the 13 total tracks may sway the jury on which rapper can be credited with creating the Blueprint.

Laden with “rapper’s best friend,” auto-tune, he implements all the best tactics from his existing discography.  However, betwixt his usual boastful raps and politically and racially charged onslaughts lies a standout track that strips away the many cocksure layers of a persona that has generated as much, or more, hate than love.  “Runaway” runs long and deep relative to any of Kanye’s prior efforts.  On record as 9:08, a minimally boiled-down version appears on the film of the same name.  Yes, I said F-I-L-M.

The 8½-minute excerpt shown above is from the damn-near feature-length brainchild of none other than Hype Williams, who always has his head firmly up the ass of a cash cow (e.g. Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Beyonce, etc.).  Taken out of context, the warehouse wedding scene doesn’t do anything to fortify the song, but rather it answers the question, “is there anything worse than a bad wedding DJ?”  That answer is, “YES!”  A troupe full of unchoreographed, stone-faced ballerinas ad-libbing to a rap-jam makes for a terribly awkward and vacuous black hole of entertainment.  Opposite the pile of arbitrary motion, Kanye stands atop a piano, in his self-aggrandizing style, pouring his heart out to nobody in particular.

Kanye really tickles the ivory (one at a time) as his confession letter rap unfolds.  The song and his guests offer a toast to assholes, jerkoffs, and bags of the “douche” and “scum” variety.  Given a career full of antics that could be classified as any or all of the above, Kanye is keenly aware that he’s toasting himself.  Heavy on self-loathing, the track goes headlong into his inability become intimate, look beyond flaws, or recognize what is he has to lose.  Apologetic and sullen, he may be seeking forgiveness from an ex-lover, one of many offended celebrities (e.g. Taylor Swift or George W. Bush), or the whole lot.  Or maybe he’s just laying out what appears to be a heartfelt and orchestrated apology to see how many people are still paying attention.  I am.

As often as he sticks his own foot in his mouth, the dude’s got talent.  And when it comes to rappers with talent, ego is never far behind.  In Kanye’s case, I wouldn’t doubt that his ego and reputation both precede his physical person.  And what better prank to play than to act the fool for the majority of 2010, pissing off 95% of anyone paying attention, and then drop an album so good that you can’t help but listen and love it.  Toying with the emotions of the American public seems to have become a hobby for US business and government (e.g. bank bailouts on our dime, election recounts, war without basis), and perhaps Kanye is taking notes.  Too big to fail?  The answer to that is unknown.  But asshole or not, as long as he keeps manufacturing Roc-solid beats he’s sure to cement his place history.

Let’s have a toast for the douchebag.

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  • Costas

    It seems that you are not as keen on this video as I am. Seriously, I think it is superb. The “troupe full of unchoreographed, stone-faced ballerinas ad-libbing to a rap-jam” is in beautiful contrast to “Kanye… in his self-aggrandizing style, pouring his heart out to nobody in particular.” I'm not certain the exact nature of the metaphor, but I like it nonetheless.

  • Costas

    It seems that you are not as keen on this video as I am. Seriously, I think it is superb. The “troupe full of unchoreographed, stone-faced ballerinas ad-libbing to a rap-jam” is in beautiful contrast to “Kanye… in his self-aggrandizing style, pouring his heart out to nobody in particular.” I'm not certain the exact nature of the metaphor, but I like it nonetheless.

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