Kanye West’s origin story revealed in video documentary

Kanye West fans who were hoping for a nostalgia trip rejoiced on Feb. 16, when the first episode of the Netflix Documentary Jeen-Yuhs released. The documentary explores West’s early life in the music industry, all through the perspective of his friend, Coodie Simmons.

Simmons is a comedian-turned-cinematographer, who filmed a majority of footage from the documentary, as well as a few music videos for Kanye.Simmons also narrates to add his thoughts to events as they are shown, and transitions from one phase of the story to the next.

The first of three parts to Jeen-Yuhs introduces the viewers to Simmons and 19 year old Kanye West. In Episode 1, Simmons documents Kanye’s time as a producer in Chicago, and his move to New York, in hopes of getting a record deal for his rap talent. He shows West’s struggle to get a record deal, and his determination to get signed.

Episode Two begins during West’s car crash, which is later revealed to be a defining moment in his career. Recovered from his crash, he worked on Through the Wire, despite still struggling to find a record deal.West released a music video for his song, which showed his talent to the world. 

Soon after, Roc-A-Fella Records would sign Kanye West, allowing him to release his first album “College Dropout.” The astounding success of his first album got West nominated for 10 Grammys.

Part 3, while still unreleased, will delve into West’s journey after the Grammys, and the major events in his life that led to his many controversies. 

Jeen-Yuhs is a wonderful documentary showing rarely-mentioned segments of Kanye West’s career, while incorporating lots of rap industry culture, to expose viewers to sounds used during his early career. For those interested in learning about the rapper’s early time in the industry, Jeen-Yuhs is a great way to learn the full story of Kanye’s rise to fame.

As Kanye held up his Grammy award in 2004, “What would I do if I didn’t win? I guess we’ll never know.”