What Instrument Does Kanye West Use in Runaway?

What Instrument Does Kanye West Use in Runaway?

When it comes to music, Kanye West is known for his innovative and unique approach. One of his most iconic songs, “Runaway,” features a distinct instrument that adds to its mesmerizing sound. In this article, we will explore the instrument used in “Runaway” and how it contributes to the overall composition.


The MPC (Music Production Controller)

One of the defining instruments in “Runaway” is the MPC, which stands for Music Production Controller. The MPC is a sampler and sequencer that allows artists to create beats and manipulate sounds with ease. It has been a staple in hip-hop music production since its introduction in the late 1980s.

  • History of the MPC

The MPC was first developed by Roger Linn and released by Akai Professional as a drum machine. Its intuitive interface and ability to sample sounds revolutionized music production, making it an essential tool for many producers.

Over the years, various models of the MPC have been released, each with upgraded features and capabilities. These include built-in effects, increased memory capacity, and improved sequencing options.

MPC in “Runaway”

In “Runaway,” Kanye West utilizes the MPC to create the distinct drum patterns that drive the song. The sampled drums provide a heavy yet crisp sound that complements Kanye’s vocals and other instrumental elements.

The MPC allows Kanye to manipulate samples, adjusting their pitch, tempo, and volume to create unique textures in his music. This versatility gives him complete control over every aspect of the composition.

Other Instruments

While the MPC is a prominent instrument in “Runaway,” it is not the only one used. Kanye West incorporates various other elements to enrich the song’s sonic landscape.

  • Piano
  • Synthesizers
  • Vocals

The piano serves as a melodic centerpiece, adding an emotional depth to the track. Synthesizers create atmospheric layers and unique soundscapes that enhance the overall mood.

Kanye’s vocals, both sung and rapped, further contribute to the lyrical and emotional impact of “Runaway. “


Kanye West’s “Runaway” is a masterpiece that showcases his musical genius. The prominent use of the MPC, along with other instruments, creates a mesmerizing sound that captivates listeners. Understanding the role of each instrument allows us to appreciate the complexity and creativity behind this iconic track.

Whether you are a fan of Kanye West or simply interested in music production, exploring the instruments used in popular songs can be both informative and inspiring. The MPC’s influence on hip-hop music cannot be understated, and its presence in “Runaway” adds another layer of brilliance to an already exceptional piece of art.