Kanye on the Phoenix.
Even before the parallel of the crash in my career and the rise from the ashes, even before that parallel I was feeling this idea of this Phoenix. Thinking about it, I wanted Every girl I have ever been in a relationship with, I wanted her to feel like a piece of her was being represented and even for my mother to feel like she was being represented when she sees this and just for females to connect with the different emotions. And also a representation of creativity and being different. Like that point “the world knocks the wings off of the Phoenix and turns them into stone”. The whole thing is, I won’t [let society] turn me to stone. There was this line “I sold my soul to the devil, that was a crappy deal”, when I say that, I am saying “when I allow other people’s ideas to interfer with what I know is true to myself, that’s the devil. People talking mess on the blogs, that’s the devil, or people calling me names. Me thinking twice about what it is that’s really in my heart because of what people’s reaction will be, is me selling myself to the devil.
Kanye on the Michael Jackson scene in Runaway.
The hood, what it does represent to me … in relation to the Michael Jackson thing is not the KKK but the concept of cult, because it’s multiple people with this hood on. It’s me taking [the phoenix] to my world and saying, ‘Let me show you what my world is about.’ ”
The greatest, biggest pop-cultural figure of all time, arguably bigger than Jesus Christ, is Michael Jackson.
“If you saw the kid in the beginning, he’s running and running at top speed holding his torch, and his torch represents his thoughts and ideals. At the end, after he’s been cultivated, he has the hood on now and he’s walking extremely slow. That’s basically how people think. It’s the way society has set people up to be able to control them, slave mentalities.”
“[By] just creating this mentality by cultivating the ideals … you could just make people just stand in their own mental jails. What happens when someone isn’t in a mental jail?”