The event documentary series “Jeen-yuhs: The Kanye West trilogy” will be available from February 16, and aims to humanize the rapper by showing all the complexity of his personality.
Available in three episodes, for a total duration of 4h30, this Netflix documentary series was directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah. The first is from Chicago, like Kanye West, whose journey he has been diligently following since 2001. For 20 years, he has accumulated nearly 320 hours of images never before unveiled. The set allows us to take a look at the incredible career of a rapper too often reduced, today, to his marriage – and his separation – with Kim Kardashian, or his controversial support for former US President Donald Trump. .
In “Jeen-yuhs: The Kanye West Trilogy,” viewers will discover two key things about Kanye West. The first is the very special relationship he had with his mother, Donda West, and the influence that she may have had on his career. Thanks, in particular, to his blind faith in the abilities of Kanye West. “You do songs like Michael Jordan shoots free throws. Anyone who loves something so much for so long can only succeed,” she says to encourage him.
Gain respect from peers
The second is the adversity Kanye West faced early in his career, and how difficult it was for him to be taken seriously as a rapper, and a producer. “The first time I heard his music, I thought he might win a Grammy someday. But I also saw a lot of people making fun of him, and I knew it would be a battle for him to earn the respect of people in the industry as a rapper.” remembers Clarence Simmons.
“As determined as Kanye West was to be in the limelight, the industry was looking for the new Jay-Z, the new DMX. Sometimes it seemed like Kanye would be just another face in the crowd… But Kanye refused to accept that,” the director continues, adding that the rapper was already rehearsing his Grammy speech when he was a total unknown in the business. In 2004, Kanye West released his album The College Dropout, and won his first awards (he won 22 Grammys in his career).
Kanye West’s anger?
The documentary series promises to show Kanye West in the intimacy of his beginnings, through his successes, but also the more delicate moments of his journey, with his mood swings, and his mental health problems. For Clarence “Coodie” Simmons, it was out of the question that the rapper had a say in the final version of this documentary.
“I told him, ‘man you gotta trust me. I had to tell this story. It’s not about making Kanye West likeable or not. Pictures don’t lie. What makes this movie special is that it’s not definitive; it’s his journey through my vision”, he says.
Kanye West doesn’t quite hear it that way, unfortunately. In a recent message posted on Instagram, the rapper is a bit threatening when demanding access to the editing room. “I will say it nicely for the last time. I must have the final say and approve the editing of this documentary before it airs on Netflix. Open the editing room to me immediately so that I can regain control of my own image. Thank you in advance”, can we read.
Neither the directors, nor even Netflix, have reacted to his request for the moment. And it seems very unlikely that this will change between now and the broadcast of the documentary, from February 16 (the day of the posting of episode 1, the others will be revealed over the next two weeks, note).
At worst, it will be free publicity with the more than 10 million subscribers that the rapper has on the social network.