To be honest I have never been a big Kanye West fan. I met him a while back, still wasn't impressed. I kinda glared in his direction as he was swarmed by well wishers, I how ever was busy at the buffet. Time and Time again he'd release a new song or video that seemed to toe the line on creativity unadulterated by ego but it still had that polarizing "Kanye West" name attached to it. Through what he's put forth as a persona in the media is...well infamous to say the least, he made Taylor swift a house hold name to millions more by stealing her limelight at a award ceremony, during her acceptance speech.
As of Kanye West's latest release Runaway I have changed my mind about turning a blind eye when ever there is a news item about him. I'm sure by now the world is abuzz with critics and vivisection of this long form video, it over a half-hour. Its a engrossing piece about being leveled to the world and seeing things from a fresh perspective but not being stagnat with your surrounding, to have the ability to rise from the ashes and embers of whats around you and to continue on to burn bright soaring in-spite of what others say.
The story is of a Phoenix crash landing on our world in the form of a feathered woman. Kanye takes her in and shows her ways of the world. She in turn imparts a innocence to him.They grow close but they are from two different worlds. The only way she can survive, the only way as the parable of the story conculdes is that you cant let your creativity be caged or held down. You get brought down to learn and you arise again with a new understanding. The video works on so many levels. Its a heir to the long form format video's/ movies Michael Jackson invented, there is even a homage scene in the video to Jackson's reverence to music video production.
In short this is one of the best video's of the year in it story telling capabilities and visualization. Its a step to a realm where only the King of Pop or the Icelandic Songstress, Bjork, would venture. It's conceptual with out the persona, it divorces it to tell the story. I am a fan of this work, and now Kanye West.
Basic Blac the Zine
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Basic Blac#2 Summer 2010