You don’t have to be a Kanye West fan to appreciate or enjoy the new three-part Netflix documentary “jeen-yuhs” — and these days, it’s easier to understand if you don’t — but the thing is. that’s useful.
Over the past few years, no one has damaged West’s reputation more than West himself, but it’s certainly helped viewers gain a level of admiration for his accomplishments – or even just a some sympathy for his complex, contradictory, polarizing humanity – especially since co-directors Coodie and Chike do an unserviceable job of reminding their potential audiences that despite For better or worse, like everyone else, West was the child of a certain mother.
The first chapter of “jeen-yuhs,” “Act 1: Vision,” demonstrates the filmmakers’ intimate connection with the West and provides the setting to document his journey. But even if their affections for their subjects sometimes overwhelm their instincts as storytellers (and especially editors), the resulting film is an unprecedented look. about moments that shaped the life and career of one of the biggest and most influential artists in the world today.
Coodie, born Clarence Simmons Jr., was the host of the Chicago cable show “Channel Zero” (named after Public Enemy’s “She Watch Channel Zero”) in the 1990s when he met West, a aspiring hip-hop producer revered by local MCs. who desperately wanted to get out from behind the mixing desk and be an artist in his own right. At the time, such dreams were almost impossible to come true in the hip-hop community, but Coodie saw West’s potential as a star, so he decided to continue training his camera. himself in the journey of a young artist, from Donda’s mother’s kitchen to filming. studio where he would create hits for Scarface, Jay-Z, Mos Def and others.
“Vision” also charted the growth of hip-hop Chicago at a time when New York and California were the two destinations where rap artists were most valued. Coodie captures seemingly all the nationally known Chicago artists, from Twista to Common to Rhymefest – but what’s interesting is that almost all of them sing the praises of the West, not their own. . Mind you, it’s a documentary about him, so of course their commentary has either been toned down to highlight West’s extraordinary impact on the scene or overlaid with words. brag about themselves. However, it’s immediately clear that Kanye possesses something that sets him apart from his contemporaries, even as he struggles to keep pace with their (or their variable, rhythm) successes. his tunes, by his tunes).
The fact that the chapter opens with West rapping at a mansion in the Dominican Republic in 2020 suggests that the documentary will follow the artist from the very beginning of his career at a time when he most culturally annoying, but by the end of “Vision,” West had barely earned a record contract. It’s an appealing option for viewers who may be on the fence about whether to continue, but it’s not one that completely serves the “jeen-yuhs” as a complete entity. .
It’s certainly fascinating to watch West become one of the messers through a company-organized birthday party for Jay-Z, waiting for a chance to shake hands with the rapper he’s produced “Izzo (HOVA)” )”. And it’s almost sad to see West “the guy behind the guy,” going from office to office in Def Jam performing “All Falls Down” in a desperate attempt to convince someone to sign a contract. with him, or even campaigned for him, knowing what we now know about his presence in modern music.
But where Coodie and Chike (the latter weren’t really a part of the rapper’s life until Coodie met him at MTV in 2002) excel at humanizing West is in the juxtaposition of the hustle and bustle. with his mother’s defense of him – expressed in her understanding of his lyrics, her tireless belief in his success – and his loving upbringing. her to him when he ran a business that was often in trouble. You’ll get to know his personality, and where it comes from – from the start, the “fake it until you make it” attitude was instilled in Mama, reinforced by her guidance, and Drive success with determination and talent. At that point in life, that talent was still intact. But in retrospect, that seems completely undeniable.
Does the world need a seven-hour documentary about Kanye West? Only Acts II and III tell us for sure. But “jeen-yuhs” absolutely gives his fans and critics a view of the artist unlike any they’ve seen before. That’s not to say the opinion isn’t generous, or even commendable. Coodie’s dub describes his feelings for the young rapper (from the moment they met) as nothing but kindness, encouragement, patience, and compassion.
But if you’re a ’90s hip-hop fan looking for a little truth about the industry at the time, or a fan of stories about the artistic struggles, or, yes, a Kanye West fan, this certainly brings merchandise and then some. West may not have been able to land his own artistic development and the documentary in toto could not, but “jeen-yuhs” is at least as promising as its original theme, and that makes it more than worth exploring.
“Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy,” Act I premieres on Netflix on February 16.
https://www.thewrap.com/jeen-yuhs-a-kanye-trilogy-act-i-film-review-documentary-netflix-coodie-chike/ A Kanye Trilogy, Act I Film Review provides insight