Monday, October 25, 2010

Kanye West Short Film "Runaway" : He Did His Job

OK, so the brother's a bit weird. Weird albeit fascinating, because he manages to possess qualities of ridiculous narcissism, along with extreme vulnerability, sometimes simultaneously.

At at the risk of mentioning what's-her-face...yes, he is also occasionally a bit of a jerk. Yet somehow, I think he's so completely wrapped up in himself...that he's unaware of just how he comes across sometimes.

That being said, I DO believe that Kanye West is kind of a musical phenomenon. Even if he believes it himself more than anyone...I can comfortably say that he's totally right. Kanye at 33, in my eyes, is one of the most important entertainers of our time.

His short film, a 40-minute music video "Runaway" debuted on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00pm on a few music stations, including BET and MTV. It was directed by and starred Mr. West, was filmed in Prague, and written by Hype Williams.

It was a work of art.

I loved the way the images were coodinated with the mood and sounds of the songs. Unlike traditional music videos that tend to follow a standard pace and visual....this one seemed to move slowly, carefully, and with grand purpose.

I could have done without Kanye's acting, but I loved Selita Ebanks, a 27-year-old former Victoria's Secret model from the Cayman Islands. So beautiful... I'm still a bit surprised that this chick was previously engaged to Nick Cannon...and have to wonder what it is about Nick that WE don't know, why he seems to have access to the women most men could only dream about securing. But I digress...

I loved the songs! The only album of Kanye's I own is "808s & Heartbreak," and I have often played it on indefinite repeat because I love the energy it conveys. His ear for music, and sound, and composition, and layers, and textures, and emotion....SO strong. I think Kanye West is really good at communicating raw emotion through music. You can feel what he feels. He's that good.

And so my assessment of Kanye isn't coming from the perspective of a hip-hop afficiando by any means. In fact, my taste in rap music is extremely surface level: I like the hits, and I LOVE the old school. I'll definitely pick up CDs from Nas or K-OS (my favourite rappers)...and every now and then I'll give into the hype and buy a Jay-Z or Eminem album...but essentially, my appreciation for hip-hop is pretty mainstream.

That being said, Kanye West has moved me. There was something really strong about the way he put that short film together, the passion that was extremely evident, his online Tweeting while the film was on, and just his overall excitement about it. As an entertainment junkie, I absolutely LOVE when a moment like this happens...when an artist prepares and plans, and promotes...and then everything falls beautifully into sequence.

I'm sure this was one of the highlights of Kanye's career, and rightfully so.

So needless to say, I'll soon be buying my second Kanye album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" which should be released around November 22. I look forward to seeing the new cover, since the gatekeepers aren't feeling the original one.

Overall, the power of artistry was really vibrant this weekend. As a writer who NEEDS music in order to create anything, and as an individual who appreciates the entertainment industry and the passion and dedication mass communication takes...I was really grateful for this piece of work.

And so I truly believe that Kanye West did what he is supposed to do. He's an entertainer. A performer. It's obviously his calling. Regardless of who he is as a man, and how much money his diamond teeth implants cost (wtf?!)...the brother moved me this weekend.

His composition instantly manifested into my well-needed creative fuel.

I was inspired. I was motivated. His passion was contagious. I was impressed, and again, my love for the music industry and all it represents was strengthened. If we ask nothing more of the celebrities and entertainers in our world, it's that they somehow touch us through their creations.

Kanye West did a good ass job.