Kanye West’s film debut, “Runaway,” a companion piece to his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is an involved and intricate production, beyond the typical four-minute visuals that accompany much of today’s popular music.
When the MC sat down with MTV News’ Sway Calloway after the film’s MTV premiere Saturday (October 23), it was noted that the project, while ambitious in scope and scale, still reads as an intimate and personal piece for the star. Yeezy conceded that he turned to specific aspects of his personal life for inspiration: his ex-girlfriends.
“I wanted every girl I ever been in a relationship with to feel like a piece of her was being represented. And even for my mother to feel like a piece of her was being represented when she sees this,” he said.
He added that the project wasn’t solely about the women he has known, and said he wanted all of his female viewers to be able to appreciate the film.
“[It’s] just for females to connect with the different emotions, and also it’s a representation of creativity and just being different,” he said. “Like that main point, the world knocks the wings off of the phoenixes and turns them to stone.”
While West said the arc of the phoenix’s experience has some parallels to his career, he maintained the piece is a reflection of how he felt his entire life, not simply what he faced in the past year. The “Power” lyricist also delved into how he spent his time away from the spotlight, which included bouncing around the world and holding court with some of the planet’s most renowned artists.
“I did run away from it all, and I needed to run away,” he said. “I needed that time away. I lived in Rome; I lived in Japan; I stayed in Hawaii to soak in [and] get new people around me, whether it’s chillin’ with [designer] Giuseppe Zanotti in Rimini, Italy, or chillin’ up at Fendi, or chillin’ with Karl Lagerfeld at the atelier at Chanel. Just getting all these new ideas, then going in and sitting with the RZA and Pete Rock and No I.D. and Q-Tip and S-1, that did ‘Power’ with me. All these people coming in [and] giving all this new energy.”
The Chicago spitter also recalled his time kicking back and dissecting music with Miami boss Rick Ross to foster creativity to put to use in future projects.
“We had the chefs out there in Hawaii, and the breakfast would come, and me and Rick Ross just start vibin’ on the game: What did Big Daddy Kane mean? What did Rakim mean? Just the way our voices cut on the track and us bouncing ideas to be able to bring a higher level of art to the table,” he said. “I was just listening to the radio when I came up here, and I was very proud of the music I was hearing — the level, the sonics, the horns — and just bring it back to a Quincy Jones level of production.”
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