POTW: Ciara, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Beyonce
Shortly before smugly proclaiming his "swag is so one hundred million trillion," a confident Kanye West greets the room at the New York premiere of his short film "Runaway" on Oct. 21.

After numerous premieres around the world, Kanye West finally made it to the Big Apple to premiere his 40-minute short film, "Runaway."

Video: Kanye West New York Premiere, "Runaway"

Held in New York City's Landmark Sunshine Theater, the showing was attended by not only 'Ye, but some of his famous friends, including Swizz Beatz, John Legend, Chrisette Michele and supermodel Selita Ebanks, who stars along Kanye in the video.

"This is the biggest premiere so far. It's the last one and the one closest to when it premieres on TV, so I'm really excited," Kanye told Billboard, adding that he was "mostly inspired by colors… just the emotion I wanted to put in it" and that "the main meaning of the film is to express yourself and don't let people tell you how to think or how to be."

When introducing the film to the over-capacity room, Kanye talked about his journey to become a famous rapper/producer and the backlash he received after last year's Taylor Swift incident. "After years of trying to make it happen… the next day I wake up and people are saying, 'die n*gga die,' only cause you tried to make a change," Kanye said. "I lost my tour, I lost my clothing line, my mother passed…Even this film was shot down, but we're rockstars -- f*ck your opinion. My swag is so one hundred million trillion."

"Runaway," about a winged-phoenix who isn't accepted by those around him after Kanye makes her his girlfriend, had already been showcased in Sydney, London and Los Angeles, among other cities, but Kanye said New York was his "second home" and it felt "so good to show this here." He revealed that his personal favorite scene of the flick is towards the end, when model/actress Ebanks is flying in the clouds. "It represents everything I ever wanted to do since I was five -- the colors, the wings, the gold, the sky," he said, giving Ebanks a round of applause for working 20-hour days in Prague, where the film was shot.

In closing, Kanye said he's learned a valuable lesson from his tumultuous journey -- "If everyone hates you you don't have to do anything to make people happy anymore," he said about his ability to create freely now. "There's a responsibility to compete with less tasteful things that are shoved down our kids' throats and to make art from a 'not scared' place."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print