The genius aspects of the “jeen yuhs” documentary


On February 23rd, Netflix released part one of the “Jeen-Yuhs” documentary centered around artist Kanye West. West is a polarizing figure due to his antics and demeanor of recent years, but this documentary focuses on his past. With footage shot by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons it follows West from his days as a producer to the hyper-influential artist of today.

My takeaway from this three part documentary was that West’s story is very inspirational and was super enjoyable to watch. West was someone who I have always known about, however his rise to fame was before my time, so this documentary was a great insight into the years that I was not able to witness. It also did not seem to shy away from the antics that have surrounded West, but definitely made them seem more real in part three.

Part one titled “VISION” followed West as he tried to transition into the hip-hop industry. This was the most striking episode of the documentary because the hoops people were having West jump through and the unyielding support that his mother, Donda West, was amazing to see. This episode had me listening to West with a profound new appreciation.

The following episode titled “PURPOSE” showcased West’s talent in creating music. My favorite scene in the whole series occurred in episode two when acclaimed music producer Pharrel heard ‘Through the Wire’ for the first time and had to step out for a moment. Apart from his talent this episode had the overarching theme that hard work and self belief will achieve any goal.

The third episode titled “AWAKENING” showed Kanye’s struggles with mental health and the multiple instances of public outcries. This episode humanized West in a way that I had never seen before. He went from a narcissistic, unrelatable and monstrous person to a real person who is grieving over the loss of his idol, his mother and struggles with mental illness.

The third episode did not seek to forgive Kanye but did seem to put a different lens on the camera that is pointed towards him.

This documentary was a very enjoyable watch and I highly recommend it. There were brief intermissions that explained time lapses in the footage however I believed that supplementing them with Coodie’s story was an unnecessary part. Other than that, this documentary was a flawless retelling of the story of Kanye West.