Last night at the Landmark Sunshine Theater, Kanye West’s Runaway screened in front of a New York audience for the first time, and Vulture — alongside Swizz Beatz, John Legend, A-Trak, and George Condo — was there. Seeing as many of the movie’s plot details are already out there, and that the flick’s official premiere is tomorrow, there doesn’t seem to be a need to get into the nitty-gritty. But trust that if you go into this expecting a visually impressive, really long music video and not an actual movie, you will not be disappointed. More important: Kanye showed up last night to intro and outro Runaway, and that dude cannot open his mouth without saying something awesome. Since they made everyone turn in their phones before the screening, we took down the following quotes as faithfully as possible on actual pen and paper.
• “You know, the fashion industry discriminated against me like a motherfucker … I compared myself to Karl Lagerfeld, is that too much of a compliment? I don’t care, a 5-year-old can compare himself to me, ‘cause that 5-year-old might one day surpass what I’m doing right now.”
• “Think big, set your goals high. I mean, a 35 minute film — we did it. We so seventies right now. We rock stars, fuck y’all’s opinion.”
• “I said on ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Niggas is hating on the Internet, I couldn’t tell / I was busy rapping, good as hell.’ And there was a blog on HypeBeast, it said “What, come on, you see us, Kanye … stop wearing women’s accessories!” (For the record, this is the second time in this Vulture blogger’s blogging career that he’s attended a Kanye event where Kanye has denigrated bloggers).
• Regarding the Taylor Swift incident: “My whole career crashed about me one day. And I was doing something to help, after years and years and years of watching it happen. I didn’t want to let them say that the aliens built the pyramids, you know? And the next day I’m hearing ‘Die, nigger, die, I hope you never sell another record.’” Also: “My mother passed. Everything was taken from me. I lost the tour, lost my clothing line, left America altogether. But they didn’t realize that they fucked up. When everybody hates you, you don’t have to do shit to make them happy. I was like, I just want to hear a RZA beat, a Pete Rock beat, a Q-Tip beat … that proper hip-hop, punk-rock ‘I don’t give a fuck.’”
• He says he and Jay-Z are going to finish their collaborative Watch the Throne album at the end of the month. Also, he did five tracks with Swizz Beatz and Mos Def, although there were no plans announced to release those. And Swizz’s “Lord Lord Lord” verse (“all white Bentley, I call that mama / my life crazy, like Obama’s”) is his favorite GOOD Friday verse.
• “I won’t go into a big spiel about reincarnation, but the first time I was in the Gucci store in Chicago was the closest I’ve ever felt to home.”
• Directorial antecedents cited: Fellini, Kubrick. Also, Hype Williams got a “written by” credit for Runaway.
• “Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke, they don’t even try for the radio anymore ‘cause they don’t want to do the ten-city tour that I’m doing. They’re like, nah, I’m not doing that. But what song in the last ten years is competing with ‘Closer’? In music, the artists you feel are the best you don’t hear, and the artists you feel are the weakest you hear all the fucking time. I decided to not say ‘fuck pop culture’ when pop culture said ‘fuck me.’”