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Kanye West Unveils Epic New 'Runaway' Film

West says 'The Wall' and 'Thriller' inspired the 40-minute work, which will be released in the next two weeks

October 7, 2010 9:40 AM ET

Kanye West unveiled his new 40-minute film Runaway — which is based around My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 's second single — in Paris on Tuesday and in London last night. "Purple Rain, The Wall, Michael Jackson's Thriller — I wanted to do a modern version of that," Kanye said in his introduction, as the BBC reports. He added that he hopes the film will "bring real culture to popular culture," promising a worldwide debut in the next two weeks. The film will also be packaged with Fantasy when the album hits shelves on November 22nd.

Kanye West's Surprise Visit to Rolling Stone

Eight or nine other tracks from Dark Twisted Fantasy are also featured in the film, which West wrote and co-directed with art director Vanessa Beecroft and producer Jonathan Lia. West has described Runaway as "the story of a phoenix fallen to Earth, and I make her my girlfriend, and people discriminate against her and eventually she has to burn herself alive and go back to her world." Model Selita Ebanks plays the phoenix, and West's "Monster' cohort Nicki Minaj reportedly narrates the film in an English accent. The Hip-Hop Chronicle has a spoiler-filled rundown of the "epic" short film.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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