But West said the experience was anything but easy for him.
"Was there any difficult parts?" he said to MTV News' Sway, laughing. "Thinking about dressing all of those people. Or finding where the [phoenix] wings were, who would make the wings. Laying the colors, having to go back and forth. Directing myself, 'cause I can make awesome decisions right there. But when I stand on that piano [in the 'Runaway' scene], I got to make sure Kyle, who is an amazing [director of photography] on this, I got to trust him that he caught that shot the proper way. So it takes a little bit longer, when you have to go around and get behind the camera. So these shots, I would have to go look at it, do it again, look at it again. I had a number of concerns: Is it realistic? Are we getting a good angle? We didn't have Hype Williams-level lighting in that warehouse."
Despite the challenges, West put together a moving piece of art that has garnered rave reviews from his peers and fans alike.
Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz called the project "artistically large." "In my opinion, it is the single most ambitious 'music video' of the decade, if you could even put it in the category of a 'music video,' " he told MTV News in an e-mail message earlier this week. "It reminds me of when I was younger, and no matter what Michael Jackson had done last, the next thing [he did] not only topped it, but completely raised the bar beyond what anyone else was capable of."
Swizz Beatz was also effusive in his praise for West. The producer didn't dole out a perfect score to his fellow musician, holding back a higher rating only because he hoped for a longer experience. "On a 1 to 10, it was a 9," Swizz said. "The reason why it was a 9 was because it should've been longer. It was a deep, deep story, and you have to know Kanye to really understand it."
MTV.com user DontblameYouth gave West more than a perfect score, adding an extra thumb to his praise. "I'm absolutely mesmerized by this video," the commenter wrote. "It really shows how Kanye has worked hard at such an innovative idea to introduce maybe even a new area and way of thinking to the world of art and music. I understand that some people may not be able to grasp or watch it and understand it not as it is literally shown in the video but interpret it and apply it to life. But I give it three thumbs up. Love."
What did you think of "Runaway"? Share your reviews in the comments.