Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy - 5 reasons everyone’s talking about the new Kanye West documentary on Netflix

Filmed over 21 years, this new Netflix documentary gives you unprecedented access into the multi-faceted world of rapper, fashion designer and presidential hopeful Kanye West.

By James Descombes Published: 17 February 2022 - 11.32am
Netflix Kanye West Jeen-Yuhs documentary

Kanye West only has to post a tweet to get people talking, so the new three-part Netflix documentary about the controversial rapper, record producer and fashion designer is sure to get tongues wagging.

Whatever side of the fence you sit with Kanye – musical genius for a generation or irritating egomaniac – this documentary promises to lift the lid on the real Mr West, warts and all.

Here are five reasons why everyone’s talking about the new Netflix documentary, Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.

1. It’s a 'once in a lifetime global event'

This new documentary is being released in three parts, with a new episode available to stream each week starting from 16 February.

The three episodes will track the pivotal chapters in Kanye’s life, focusing on his Vision, Purpose and Awakening.

Netflix referred to the new documentary as a “once in a lifetime three-week global event”, so the streaming platform is going big on this one. And we know that Kanye also likes to go big with everything he puts his mind to. 

2. The footage has been captured over the past 21 years

Make no mistake, this isn’t an all-access show that’s been put together during a specific period of Ye’s career: the content has been recorded throughout the past 21 years, capturing the key moments in Kanye West’s life.

Jeen-Yuhs encapsulates everything from Kanye’s early days making waves on the Chicago rap scene and his involvement with Roc-A-Fella Records to his marriage to Kim Kardashian and bid for the US presidency in 2020.

It’s all been captured by director duo Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah (collectively known as Coodie and Chike), who worked with Kanye on his debut single ‘Through the Wire’, as well as collaborating with a bunch of other musicians such as Christina Aguilera and Erykah Badu.

Watch Coodie and Chike talking about the process of capturing Kanye’s story below.

3. The documentary features cameos from heavyweight rappers such as Jay-Z, Scarface, Pharrell and Mos Def

Expect to see a bunch of famous faces appearing from across Kanye’s career.

In the first episode (Vision) of Jeen-Yuhs, we see rapper/actor Mos Def raps along with Kanye to the song Two Words, we see Kanye and Talib Kweli listening to music together in a car and Kanye playing tracks to Houston rap legend Scarface.

We also see the producer Pharrell Williams talking about Kanye in one of the clips. “Very rarely do you encounter self-contained people. This man can do everything himself. He livin’ it," he says.

We also see Jay-Z presenting Ye with his Rocafella chain while on tour in Chicago. We're likely to see more of Jay-Z and Dame Dash in the next episode (Purpose). And of course, we’d be surprised if we didn’t see Kim and the rest of the Kardashian clan later on in the documentary.

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4. See inside the celebrity life of KimYe

From the moment Kanye and Kim stepped out together for the first time all the way back in 2012, they became the biggest celebrity couple on the planet. Everything they’ve done since has been plastered across newspapers, magazine, websites and TV channels.

We’ve been there for the get-together, the births, the breakups and everything in between. They split for good last year, with Kanye dating Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox (they've now split too) and Kim seeing comedian and actor Pete Davidson. Jeen-Yuhs is likely to give us more insight into the ups and downs of family life. 

5. Get a glimpse into Kanye's other non-music ventures

One thing we know about Kanye is that he doesn’t like to be creatively restricted. And he loves to prove people wrong. We can’t wait to get a closer look at the workings of some of his other ventures.

He had to fight hard to break into the world of hip-hop, where rappers loved his beats but were more sceptical of his overall style.

Still, that didn’t stop Kanye not only becoming a rap superstar, but also a fashion trendsetter and design heavy-hitter, from popularising those impractical shutter-style glasses to creating the must-have Adidas Yeezy trainers.

Check out all of Kanye’s fashion statements over at GQ.com

Then there’s the run for presidency in 2020 and his close ties to ex-President Donald Trump. It's all fascinating stuff we’d love to learn more about. 

Ratings and reviews

Kanye took to Instagram on 21 January and posted the message: 

"I’m going to say this kindly for the last time. I must get final edit and approval on this doc before it releases on Netflix. Open the edit room immediately so I can be in charge of my own image. Thank you in advance."

For a moment, it looked like there could be trouble brewing. But Kanye soon deleted the tweet (and his Instagram account) and turned up to a viewing of the documentary, where he appeared to be happy with what he saw (see below). 

 

Speaking about Kanye's initial request for more control to Digital Spy, Chike commented:

"I mean Kanye is Kanye. Like he's a polarising character and this doc wouldn't be as highly anticipated if we didn't have antics like that. So it's something that we're obviously used to because we've worked with Kanye before in the past.

"For us, our company's Creative Control – so obviously, we understand the importance of the subject, the main subject of your doc, [but] it's not an autobiography of Kanye, you know? It's not a type of documentary where it would serve the doc best for him to have ultimate control."

Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy got its first screening at the virtual Sundance Film Festival in January and the reviews have already been pretty positive. 

Thrillist called the documentary a "sprawling, riveting epic" while Deadline said, "Fans are sure to take many different things from this documentary. There are funny moments, fascinating moments, weird moments, scrappy moments."

Screen Daily commented, "Although it’s a cliche, Jeen-Yuhs legitimately gives the sense of watching a star being born," while Rolling Stone added, "You may have issues with where Ye had ended up. But watch Jeen-Yuhs, and you can’t help but be impressed by how he got there."

After the first episode both The Times and The Guardian gave Jeen-Yuhs 4 stars out of 5. The Guardian called it, "a heartwarming, sometimes heart-rending biopic."

Is there a trailer for Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy?

Yes, watch the Netflix trailer for Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy below. 

When is Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy released?

Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy comes to Netflix on 16 February.