Kanye West recently released a documentary called Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.
The documentary is split into three episodes that document the singer’s rise to fame. While the film was only recently finished, Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah, two of Kanye’s close friends, began filming the documentary in early 2001. Jeen-yuhs is narrated by Simmons, as he follows West’s career across the country.
The first episode, “VISION,” depicts Kayne’s first appearance in the music industry as a producer. His fame sparked in his hometown of Chicago, where he began shifting from a producer to a rapper and singer. After moving to New York for a record deal, West starts writing his first songs for his eventual hit album, The College Dropout. The documentary covers huge milestones in the singer’s early career, like his first record deal in August 2002 with Roc-A-Fella Records and his performance with the company on the Dynasty Tour that same year. Jay-Z had become a catalyst to his career at this time, aiding in the fame that quickly followed the album.
The second episode, “PURPOSE,” continues to follow the events following West’s early years with Roc-A-Fella. The episode also covers his tragic car accident in Oct. 2002 while he was traveling to Los Angeles. The accident left West with traumatic injuries, including a broken jaw; this traumatic experience led him to write “Through the Wire,” which he sang while his jaw was sealed shut. Simmons takes the viewers through the doctor’s appointments and procedures West had in the following months. Jay-Z, Jaime Foxx and many other famous rappers are also featured in this episode, showing studio sessions with West as he was still trying to prove himself to the world and his record company.
The final episode, “AWAKENING,” discusses more recent topics concerning West’s journey. A major part of this episode was the sudden death of West’s mother, Donda West, in 2007. Simmons explains the pain felt by all those who knew her, and how he noticed a drastic change in West from that point forward. It was also revealed that Simmons and West had a falling-out where they went their separate ways from 2007 to 2014; the two lost touch, and the filming of Jeen-yuhs was assumed to be over. However, they later crossed paths during the Life of Pablo rollout in 2016. This episode also covers West’s recent political involvement, including his public support of former President Donald Trump, his short-lived run for president in the 2020 presidential election and other controversial statements that caused him to lose many supporters. His mental health was a big topic discussed by Simmons after he found out about the singer’s history dealing with bipolar disorder, leading to public outbursts.
Coincidently, the release of the documentary coincides with Kayne’s finalized divorce with reality star Kim Kardashian. The public breakup has caused a divide in the family, especially after the news of Kardashian’s new relationship with comedian Pete Davidson.
The documentary is only available to watch on Netflix.