Jeen-yuhs: A journey through the history of rap’s most magnetic figure

Sizwe Sibiya

Famously, thousands in the American entertainment industry have their own “Kanye West story”, but nobody knows the superstar as intimately as Coodie. The documenter has been a close friend of Kanye’s since the 1990s, and is the creator of Netflix’s new documentary, Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.

Coodie has been filming Kanye since the day they first met on Chicago’s rap scene, when he was just a kid with a dream and a tape full of hip-hop beats. Coodie kept his camera rolling throughout Kanye’s journey to becoming the most feverishly loved rapper on the planet.

Coodie, whose real name is Clarence Simmons Jr., had to take the leap early on to leave his bread-and-butter job as a comedian to join Kanye on this journey.

In a way, the documentary is also telling Coodie’s own story, as the co-founder of Channel Zero, a film director and an important figure in Kanye’s entourage.

In the first part of Jeen-yuhs, through the eye of Coodie’s camera, we get to see Kanye working hard “through the wire” to lay the foundations of the Kanye West brand. We quickly discover that Coodie is not much of a neutral onlooker and is truly Kanye’s number one fan. He predicted Kanye’s huge success before he had even signed with Roc-A-Fella, the biggest record label in the industry.

Kareem “Biggs” Burke, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, said in a recent interview about Jeen-yuhs that Kanye laid out his ambitions to him in 2002, and there is nothing that he has failed to achieve.

Video source: YouTube/Netflix