We know Kanye the man – opinionated. Kanye the rapper / producer – mad talented. Now Kanye the ‘artist’ is spreading his creative wings to make his first short film – Runaway.
The film is indeed a creative and innovative way of telling the story of his new album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. The art direction of Runaway is simply beautiful. Visual narratives, textures and colours reminiscent of glossy fashion mags editorials come to life with a touch of Mad Men aesthetic production values.
Just like the majority of video art the narrative of the film isn’t a 100% clear, leaving the viewer to make up their own interpretation. It seemsKanye West’s intentions have been to push the boundaries and expectations of his work and for that I give him the salute. He’s one of the protagonists of ‘mainstream’ Hip-Hop that saves it from being dull as dirty dishwater (but hey, that’s a whole another debate). However, I was left a little disappointed that after having come so far to create a piece of outstanding visual work, the conceptual thinking didn’t permeate the values of the whole production.
The film features Selita Ebanks and since viewing the video I’ve subsequently found out that Selita is a Victoria Secret model, which brings me onto my point. As beautiful and interesting as the work maybe, the film still relies on the same basic premise that 99% of Hip-Hop videos do and that my dears is what they call T&A in the biz.
Selita does a stella job in the video but in the end still remains a vehicle of ‘objectification’ rather than the central character whose story is pivotal to the piece.
Maybe one fine day, women will appear in a Hip-Hop / R&B videos by male artists and actually contribute to the whole narrative rather than just be the pretty thing to look at. This I feel was an opportunity that the controversial Mr West missed. By taking it that step further he would have really made his crossover to ‘artist’ just that more creditable.