Kanye West f/ Pusha T “Runaway” (2010)

Produced by: Kanye West

Pusha T: “I was trying to write from the perspective of a guy who cares about a girl and he’s just an asshole. And people really need to realize that it’s not that he wants to leave that girl or whatever, he’s just immature. And if she left he’d probably be devastated. Sometimes guys are hard-headed and they have a selfish mentality. I know I’ve been selfish a few times. And I just think that’s the mentality of it. You never know how it goes. You never realize how selfish you are or how much an asshole you’re really being until she leaves or you just end up in one of those horrible situations.

"Kanye West is the hardest working man in music. If it wasn't for deadlines, I don't know if anything would be finished. I've heard things that I thought were perfect, and I come back and they're more perfect—and they're still not done. The guy's the maestro. It's a totally unorthodox way—well, it's unorthodox to me, 'cause I've never seen anyone work in pieces like that. It was really on some Quincy Jones shit, man.

"We could easily be working on one song, thinking we're in a mode, and he'll hear a sound from someone like [producer] Jeff Bhasker and immediately turn his whole attention to that sound and go through his mental Rolodex to where that sound belongs on his album, and then it goes straight to that song, immediately. Now, mind you, his album is a collage of sounds. It has one consistent theme, but you really have to be some type of weirdo to be able to do that. It's like turning on the drop of a dime, in a car. A Maybach on a two-lane highway making a fucking U-turn.

"He's the most meticulous individual ever. I've never penned so many verses for one particular record. ‘So Appalled’? That's a one-take verse. He was like, ‘Go, please. I love this. Thank you, goodbye.’ But I wrote ‘Runaway’ four times—and what he does not know to this day is that I was going through a relationship scandal in my life. So this man is asking me to write a song about a relationship and to say that I'm the biggest douchebag ever. He's telling me, ‘Yo, you need to be more douchebag. We need more douchebag!’ I didn't want to say to him, ‘Dog, I don't know if I even have douchebag in me right now.’

"I've been jammed up, and it's hard for me to even tap into that part, because I'm remorseful. [Laughs.] And he's fucking beating me for fucking more. All I hear in my head is, ‘More douchebag. More douchebag. More douchebag!’ Finally, after a couple of days, I said, 'I'm going to go upstairs and get in total solitude and just do what I need to do.' And: '24/7/365, pussy stays on my mind.' It starts from there."

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