I finished watching the new Kanye West longform music video "Runaway" last week just before Thanksgiving.
Truthfully, Kanye's never been much of a rapper to me but, of course, I'm not a rap aficionado. He is clearly creative, however, and obviously quite a producer. That said, here it is, all 30-something minutes, if you're interested (raw language is periodically used throughout):
My goodness, what a beautiful chick to feature in his video! Selita Ebanks is her name and she stars as something of a phoenix (defined as a legendary Arabian bird said to periodically burn itself to death and emerge from the ashes as a new phoenix; according to most versions only one phoenix lived at a time and it renewed itself every 500 years) who is alien to modern earth and ultimately repulsed by what she sees of life on earth in the 21st century.
Here's an unrelated picture of Selita that captured my eye, courtesy of TheBeauteeShop, from her work with Victoria's Secret:
Quite a woman, quite a phoenix. Skinny, to be sure, but quite a woman. I absolutely loved her in the "Runaway" video and I also thought the overall imagery in the film was impressive.
As for the story/video/theme --what can I do but sigh, and then slice.
Charitably speaking, okay, Kanye, okay. People are phony, unaccepting, sheep-like slaves to manipulation and conformity and host to all manner of other ills, and on top of all that they are sinful as hell (yourself included, Kanye??? Or are you an alien and different enough to except yourself from the norms of humanity? Like a phoenix? No, I think one point he was trying to make is he's screwed up but so are all of us -- okay, Kanye, okay).
Yep, ladies and gentlemen, go run and shout it from the hilltops. This world is doomed (freedom = free doom) . . . so, escape if you can. And, oh yeah, America is a bastard. At least that part of America that isn't with the conscience crowd and isn't still apologizing for African slavery (as opposed to Arab enslavement of Africans, or, one wonders, as opposed to world slavery in general?), blasé, blasé, blasé, yada, yada, yada.
Now it's time for me to be what some will surely describe as uncharitable: Kanye, this is what you are pushing as revolutionary and thought provoking? This is how you exhibit your creativity? Gil Scott-Heron and Comment #1 ??? Really? In 2010? With an African American as President? With black folks winning seats in Congress from districts that are primarily white in the South? And Republican? With Jay-Z as something of a music mogul, owning his music and more? With black athletes earning millions in multiple professional sports and some of them breaking into ownership of professional franchises? With black businesses open and productive all over the nation and African Americans indisputably the richest community of African descent anywhere on the planet?
One approving reviewer of the film, Ken Tucker, wrote:
Late in Runaway, the phoenix speaks: “You know what I hate about your world? Anything that is different you try to change, you try to tear it down.” West’s visual and musical sophistication was constantly contrasted with images of the phoenix’s playful innocence, until she finally burst into flames and ascended back “to my world,” as she put it, leaving West’s character desperate, running down the road after her, left alone.
Me? What do I think of the video?
I say it's drivel dredged up from the time period of the late 60s, early 70s or so, a time when ABC Records wouldn't promote what would become Louis Armstrong's classic "What A Wonderful World" in America because it just wasn't revolutionary cool, don't you know. ABC apparently had to be shamed by the British public (who made Armstrong's classic a number one single over there) to really push it in the land of its birth.
How incredible is that? Quite incredible, to me.
The bitch-and-moan babies on the far left still insist on bitchin' and moanin' as a governing mindset in the 21st century, even as they earn millions while simultaneously disrespecting many more millions. As financial instability lurks on the global stage, as an era of making do with less, an era of genuine austerity when judged by the standards of the late 20th century, inches ever closer to becoming reality. In the face of all that, here comes Kanye with "Runaway."
Note to Kanye (George Bush Hates Black People) West: you might want to quit sucking from your Mama's revolutionary dead tit.
Yeah, brother, I got a plan. Runaway from your mindset as fast as I can.