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LOS ANGELES - Kanye West told an audience at a screening of his film, "Runaway," that he thought about killing himself, but now feels a responsibility to make a meaningful contribution to pop culture and art.
Describing himself as a pop icon and "soldier for culture," West told the crowd "there were times that I contemplated suicide." However, he said, "I will not give up on life again."

"There's so many people that will never get the chance to have their voice heard" as loudly as his, West said Monday. "I do it for them." West, who didn't say when he had considered suicide, is credited as director of the abstract 35-minute film, which features portions of nine new West songs, boldly colorful visuals and off-kilter camera angles. The mostly dialogue-free piece, set to premiere this weekend on MTV, VH1 and BET, will accompany West's upcoming album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," which will be released Nov. 22.
After a prelude featuring narration from rapper Nicki Minaj, West's character, Griffin, is seen driving a black MTX Tatra supercar down a country road. Lying next to a hole in the pavement is a phoenix fallen to Earth, played by model Selita Ebanks in pink, gray and brown feathers. He takes her home and offers this advice: "First rule in this world, baby: Don't pay attention to anything you see on the news."

The phoenix sits on a lawn with a deer, rabbit and sheep, then joins West at a private parade featuring fireworks, a marching band and a float depicting Michael Jackson. Playing over those visuals are West's next single, "All of the Lights," which he said features Elton John on piano and an all-star chorus including Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Fergie and John Legend. Ballerinas in black tutus perform in a scene featuring his current single, "Runaway." When the tune ended, there was applause from both the on-screen and live audience. In attendance were Morgan Spurlock, Ryan Phillippe, Pete Wentz and others in the entertainment industry.
The 33-year-old West told them that after a "long, hard year," he'd found his "creative sweet spot" by thinking like "a 5-year-old at all times." Besides his mother Donda West's death in 2007, West said he'd also lost three other parental figures in the last three years. "Everything has been taken away from me," he said. "I'm so not ... scared. I so don't care."

After the Taylor Swift incident last year, which he called "a moment of sincerity," West took a six-month break. (At the MTV Video Music Awards, Swift's acceptance speech for best female video for "You Belong with Me" was disrupted by West, who took the microphone to say Beyonce should have won instead for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).")
West said he moved to Rome and "was interning at Fendi" before finding the inspiration to get back to music.
He has hinted at the subject of suicide in his recent song "Power," which includes the repeated lines: "Now this would be a beautiful death - I'm jumping out the window, I'm letting everything go."
That song's remix is among the 10 tunes that West has released for free in recent weeks through his website, a buzz-building initiative he dubbed "G.O.O.D. Fridays" for his label imprint, Getting Out Our Dreams Music.
The producer-turned-rapper said that after "Fantasy" - recorded in Hawaii with the likes of Q-Tip, DJ Premier, RZA and Pete Rock - he will release an album of songs with Jay-Z and another with Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams under the name Child Rebel Soldiers.


Mr. West traveled west for the first full screening of his short film Runaway in the U.S. on Monday night (Oct. 18). Ryan Phillippe, Ashlee Simpson, Pete Wentz, Tracee Ellis Ross, Big Sean, and Teyana Taylor were among those who packed Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles as the rapper presented his self-directed feature following premieres in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. While we won't spoil the film, which premieres this Saturday, read below for Rap-Up.com's recap of the evening.

After a few hundred guests were seated in the auditorium around 8 p.m., a well-dressed Kanye, wearing a black blazer, dark denim, and loafers with no socks, introduced his work of art with a brief speech. He explained that this was something he had been wanting to do since 2005's Late Registration, taking several songs from his album and making one cohesive video. Inspired by directors Jim Henson and George Lucas, he approached the creative process by asking himself, "If I was five, what would I like?"

The 35-minute visuals, shot in Prague, star supermodel Selita Ebanks as a phoenix who comes down from the sky after a cosmic explosion. Kanye takes her under his wing and soon a relationship blossoms. Several songs from his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, including "POWER," "Runaway," "All of the Lights," and "Lost in the World," provide the soundtrack.

Following the screening, Kanye addressed the audience. He mentioned that he had been in the studio with Rihanna the night before, but didn't specify what they were working on. "We're like blue blood and our ideas turn red when they hit the air," he said of RiRi.

He shared how he stepped away from music for six months, moving to Rome and taking up an internship at Fendi. He also witnessed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld at work and noticed the parallels between their jobs. "When I saw the way he worked, it made me feel how he felt in his space, the way I feel in my space," said 'Ye. "I realized any creative can compare himself to any other creative."

His third single "All of the Lights" features an all-star roster of talent including Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Fergie, John Legend, The-Dream, Tony Williams, Kid Cudi, Charlie Wilson, Ryan Leslie, and La Roux's Elly Jackson. He described it as "completely seamless and completely ghetto as f**k."

He detailed a conversation he had with fellow envelope pusher M.I.A. "Smart people almost have to be on drugs to work in a regular job," she told him. Guess we know how she came up with these outfits.

Fans will be happy to know that after Fantasy is released on November 22, his joint album with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, will come next, followed by an album from CRS, his group with Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco. He explained the abundance of music is necessary "to maintain in this culture the way it's set up for creative people."

Kanye was able to let go of his fears by making Runaway. "I'm so not fu**ing scared. I don't care. I don't care whatsoever," he told the audience. "What I see as the truth, that's what I'll deliver."

Growing up, he had six prominent women in his life, but today he has none. "I have absolutely no women-and I lived with a woman my entire life," he revealed, referring to the loss of his mother.

His mission is to deliver change through popular culture, calling himself a "soldier for culture." "If I have this position that can change the culture-make people wear skinny jeans-what do I do with that?" he joked. "So many people will never get the chance for their voice to be that loud and I have to do it for them."

While Kanye once contemplated suicide, he realized what his purpose in life truly was. "What can I do with this in 80, 90, 100 years?" he asked himself. "I have to fight for those that don't have."


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Oh man!!!!! Watch the Throne coming out and then a CRS album. Man that's crazy. Liking the news that Elton isn't featured, but on pianos. I think the intro to the track with the pianos playing, the horns, and then "ALL OF THE LIGHTS" would be a cool way of starting the track.
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