There are billions of people on this earth and one of the most intriguing and awe inspiring happenings is when people find ways to separate themselves from so many that are just like them.
Here we are, a couple of days after, where the authentic feelings usually reside. Kanye has just debuted his short film "Runaway" and it has once again left him standing alone with no modern day peers in sight. The film was roughly 35Mins long with a delicately delivered storyline sandwiched between music and pretty imagery. A lot of artist leave the listener to fend for themselves when drawing conclusions and painting images in their head about the presented music, but Kanye spoon-fed all of his personal visions, whether fond of them or not. However it gives another avenue for avid fans and pedestrian listeners to latch on to, perhaps someone was not substantially moved by the music but they were inspired by the visuals.
Most hip-hop artist forget that they're making art. For the sake of consistency we'll classify Kanye West as a hip-hop artist (although i have another theory). Obviously most people want to sell music to the largest pocket of consumers they can reach, therefore you have to be very generic in your approach...unless you are THAT good (most aren't). One of the most perplexing phenomenons is that record labels usually sign hip hop acts that aren't 'That' talented. For instance I don't think many people would argue that 50 Cent, Rick Ross, or Gucci Mane are much more talented than many of their peers. Many of the faces in music are just that, faces. There are people who produce the track, craft the most important parts of the song, which would be the hook or bridge (IF the hip hop song even has a bridge now) and do a lot of the creative process for the "faces". It has become more important to find the right resource than to be the resource, which isn't always a bad idea but it shouldn't be the first option. The segment that now separates artist is marketing, therefore the eminent emphasis isn't on the art. Most passive music listeners will listen to whatever comes on the radio and aren't very discriminate in what they listen to. So the extra time/effort goes towards other things. Contrary to popular belief music is a niche culture.
Kanye on the other hand works equally hard at both, if you recall back to College Dropout he talked about how he had marketing schemes for an album that didn't even have a home (label) yet; he was the one who forced Rocafella to put the album out because he filmed the video got it played and was pushing his own art with his own drive. Whether one likes Kanye's presentation or not you have to be grateful that he is trying hard. He didn't wake up one day in Prague with a film crew, costumes, and backdrop and decide to shoot this film. He didn't decide to relay another gangster or street related visual back to us. He attempted to give us his story how he viewed it as he lived it; not give us someone else's story and try to fit it to himself. An "A" for effort should be given above all else. His motivation of changing the music landscape is the catalyst behind this and that has always been apparent. There are artist that often leave me perplexed to wonder what their motivation is in the music race. Kanye is amassing a nice collection of audio and visual memoirs to keep him alive for many years after he has stopped, and for an individual looking to change the ordinary that's not a bad idea.
Give Kanye credit, love him or hate him, he probably won't Runaway again... He'll be here in some form or fashion.