First Episode of Jeen-Yuhs Kanye Doc Drops On Netflix
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First Episode of Jeen-Yuhs Kanye Doc Drops On Netflix

February 16, 2022 Share

“Hopefully with God’s blessing, and I got Chicago on my side, it shouldn’t be no way for me to lose really.”

THOSE were the words spoken by a 24-year-old Kanye West sitting in his Newark studio in 2002 preparing to take his album to Jay-Z’s Rock-A-Fella Records. The confident young artist is desperately searching for his big break on the mic, one that will cast aside the shackles of being labelled just a producer and establish him as a rapper in his own right.

The first hour of act i: VISION sees Kanye in a totally different light to how the 44-year-old is perceived often today. An element of innocence, perhaps vulnerability, creates a sense of endearment as his natural charisma and humour are made all the more genuine by the handheld footage shot by his friend Coodie Simmons.

Credit: Netflix

Coodie realised early on that Kanye was destined for greatness and decides to document the early days in the hope that one day the footage will be referred back to as the beginning of a dynasty.

As West makes his way through the mires of the hip-hop hierarchy, he is kept humble by his mother Donda West, who gives him a talking-to on camera at her apartment in Chicago and reminds him that “the giant looks in the mirror and sees nothing,” – a lesson in grace that may have become diluted for the rapper since her passing in 2007.

After several roadblocks in his path to stardom, progress for Kanye finally comes in the form of recognition from Houston MC Scarface who calls Family Business, a song from what would become Kanye’s debut album The College Dropout, “incredible”.

It was enough positive affirmation to give Kanye all the motivation he needed to persist. The following scene sees him finally penning a deal with Rock-A-Fella Records.

This first episode of Jeen-Yuhs is a story of determination and tenacity. Ye’s validation for all his early hard work comes in the form of The College Dropout, which went on to sell 4m copies, produce several hit singles and won best rap album at the 2005 Grammys.

All Falls Down has now been streamed nearly 250m times on Spotify alone, and the track Scarface declined to contribute to, Jesus Walks, regularly makes lists of the best songs of the 2000s and the greatest hip-hop tracks of all time.

Ye and his mother Donda – Credit: Netflix

The image of a young, ambitious Kanye is a heart-warming one but is put in perspective by the persona we see in the opening scenes of this episode where and his team are in the Dominican Republic recording vocals whilst planning his failed 2020 presidential run.

The camera then cuts to Kanye typing what is presumably another ill-advised tweet. “Don’t tweet that?” he asks someone off-camera, before ignoring whatever advice he might have received and firmly pressing the send button. This impulsive version of Kanye is a lot harder to warm to, and the path between the two personas will hopefully be clarified in the next two episodes.

Act 2 of Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy will come out at midnight Pacific Time on February 23rd and looks like it will document the near-fatal car accident he was involved in, whilst tracking the rapper’s progress towards the upper echelons of hip-hop. Take a look at the two directors discussing the documentary below:

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Author: Tom Cramp
coodie simmons
Kanye West
The College Dropout