So moments after Kanye’s short film Runaway hit the internets, people started chiming in with their opinions.
Bruce Willis 80s action movie Kanye fans wasted no time in touting the flick a masterpiece. While the Biggie Smalls Life After Death Disc Two Track 6’s immediately hit the artist with labels the likes of Fag-o-tron and phoney-try-hard.
Masterpiece or not, musical genius or not, brilliant artist or not, Kanye and his work continues to make noise because he has the guts to do what so many other artists don’t out of fear of criticism backlash; be himself.
Here is my scene by scene breakdown of what I interpreted from Runaway. Of course, like all great art pieces, it should touch different people in different ways. I think you (yes you) understood it too.
- Scene One:
Tom Cruise in a big budget action movie worthy all out sprint in the beginning is intense.
Nikki Minaj narrates, “gather round children, zip it listen”.
Dark Fantasy Plays, produced my RZA, this beat is haaaarrrrrd!
Kanye drives alone is his Lambo (Mirtzialago) raps about being fly “Can we get much higher?” “Don’t make me pull the toys out!”
He’s stunting here, enjoying his Power and Fame, but at the same time he is alone, driving fast, almost dangerously so, through a winding lush country side road. We see a family of deer, and we can’t help but think for a moment that he’s about to hit one. He’s alone, there’s a family, living at peace in nature beside him. He has so much Power, but he doesn’t have what they have.
Maybe he’s wishing for this one last piece of the puzzle to be added to his life. His Power pulls what he wants most right into his path, in a flaming ball of hot fire. Or in the form of the hottest possible girl a brother could want.
She’s just laying there, all for him, he asked for it, so he takes her. Doh! A deer, a female deer, stands in the background, watching, almost skeptically, as if to say “you’re going to mess this up to” or “you shouldn’t be going after that flashy shit Ye, you need something simple, more natural, like me”. No Beasto!
- Scene Two:
Phoenix wakes on Yeezy’s couch in his pad. News reports on TV that fires are raging across the forest, caused by just how hot this lady is. In other words, a bad b!tch just stepped on the scene, and she’s drawing all kinds of attention. Tabloids.
“First rule in this world baby, don’t pay attention to anything you see in the news” Kanye says to her and it’s here we learn that this girl is new to Earth and it’s ways. She needs to be instructed. My reading, Yeezy bagged a bad b!tch, but she needs training, she doesn’t know how to act in certain situations, not just “proper etiquette, how to hold your knife”, but maybe she is too hood, or too bougy (“ghetto university”), either way she is on one level of extremism and can’t handle all situations. She is a fish out of water, but she loves this new world, she is fully basking in its beauty.
Then she finds the beauty in her captor’s art and Stockholm syndrome sets in. We see Ebanks fully naked body here. My reading, that’s one helluva a body! lol but no, seriously, Kanye shows her what he’s all about here and she loves it (Power plays in the background), and he loves that she loves it! So much so that…
- Scene Three:
…a child incarnation of him runs through a field and pops the smoke; a sign that usually a bomb should be dropped on the spot where the smoke is. A good bomb maybe, at first, as we see when the next track plays.
All of the lights blasts! Fireworks go off. The whole brass section is out and marching. Yeezy and his girl are so happy that it brings out that feel good Michael Jackson type vibe.
Explosion from the intial crash is shown again. A bomb dropped on Yeezy’s existence. It looks beautiful right, but wait, it’s a bomb, it destroys. I mean, this really doesn’t need that much breakdown, but if you read this, you’ll see that it’s all quite obvious, even though its masked in sometime absurb visual metaphors. The girl is a blessing, but a curse. “never make a pretty woman your wife” as the calypso song goes.
- Scene Four:
Meet the crew. Yeezy watches as his new flame toys with a tea cup. More out of her element that Julia Roberts before she got schooled my Richard Gere. This isn’t literal, Yeezy is telling her what to expect from his family and friends. “They will judge you. I know you’re a bird, and you gotta spread your wings, but chill, just this once, please!”
At the table, Ye debuts his new girl, and is met with cold stares, secret whispers, and judges all around. Yeezy wants her to be herself, so he doesn’t ask her to hide her wings. The attention she draws though, is a little too much.
All black dinner party, dressed in white, served by an all-caucasian staff. Why are they all white? Come on, we’re descendants of slaves. We’re not gonna whip and torture and not pay our staff, but we’d like to be served now. And we’d like to humble your cracker ass while you serve us.
“You’re girlfriend is really beautiful”
“Did you know she’s a bird.”
“No,” Kanye replies sarcastically, “I didn’t notice that.”
“I mean like. Date the monkey in the zoo?”
Furious, Ye retreats to his music. He’s happy to have this girl. He connects with her. But his fam and friends won’t let him have that. They’d rather criticize what they see on the surface just like the tabloids would. “So I think it’s time to have a toast!” F you! I can’t be happy! Ok fine, here’s to you! Baby, get outta here, runaway from me, ain’t nothing but pain here.
You think he’s calling himself a douche, and maybe on some level he’s admitting that he’s a egomaniac at times, but while you toast him, his toasting you right back, making himself a mirror, showing you your intolerance and hypocrisy.
Powerful female figures, dancing rhythmically. I think he’s reminiscing over the many great women he’s had in his life, none of them perfect, but all with their perfections. Maybe his fam and friends like some of his old girlfriends better. But he’s moved past them, they are just images dancing in his memory now.
Maybe he feels regret here. Maybe one or more the past gfs would really have made great wives. As we see in his selected solo ballerinas, showcasing their special moves. “But I always find something wrong.” Like she eats her peas one a time time type shit.
The bird served for dinner. I read this as Ye’s date saying “wow, really, we’re gonna put all the attention on me? Eat me up, shit me out? Just because I’m being myself and you’re not? F YOU ALL!” she coos and caws.
Ye holds his head and she cries, like “yeah, i told you to tone it down, just this once!” We see the bomb again, the firery mass that brought this bad b!tch into his life. It loses some of its beauty now, and looks more like a piece of hell now.
- Scene Five:
Back in the backyard. “Whose fault?” Things are far simpler here. It’s just Ye, his girl, and their pet…sheep. lol. We can read into that if we like. Sheep are usually seen as followers, the bird-girl is always shown with the sheep, like she is part of that flock. Yes there is only one sheep. So maybe Ye thought that she was unique, but now his is doubting that idea, and seeing her as just another follower. She’s the white sheep, a follower. Ye, dressed Black, is the black sheep, inside the house, but out of the cage that is that backyard boxed wilderness.
Entropy has a hold of their bond now. “Blame Game” plays.
White fluffy clouds. Expanding a lot like the bomb that dropped but a lot easier on the eyes. Duality themes of love.
“Statues are phoenix turned to stone!…I have to burn! Or I’ll turn to stone.”
“No, I’ll never let you burn!”
I have to leave your world, or I’ll just be another thing for these people to stare at. I want to be flashy and fly, but on my own terms.
I won’t let you go.
I won’t be something for you to stare at either.
“Who will survive in America?”
I don’t know….
4/5 Black Ties
Stay classy world.
Filed under: Movie Reviews, Uncategorized, What I'm watching -Film and TV | Tagged: Alex Moors, Cervickova Pavlina, Derek Lee, Hype Williams, Kanye West, Kyle Kibbe, Runaway Review, Selita Ebanks, Yemi Akinyemi | Leave a comment »