“Jeen-Yuhs” is a three-part documentary on Netflix revealing behind-the-scenes moments of rapper Kanye West’s early life and career while capturing his growth as an artist. “Jeen-Yuhs” offers both fans of West and those who know nothing about him interesting insights into his life and successes.
The documentary sets up an easy-to-follow chronological story, covering West’s actions and accomplishments throughout his career.
The documentary takes on an original production style. It feels as though the viewer is following West’s life, giving a vivid recap. From 1998 until present day, West’s videographer Clarence Simmons Jr., or “Coodie,” constantly recorded his life. This adds thorough detail throughout the documentary and gives the full picture of West’s career progression.
Coodie also happens to be one of West’s close friends, so the interactions between West and those around him feel authentic. These private experiences allow the viewer to witness sides of West that they would not be able to see otherwise.
The trilogy includes three episodes: “VISION,” “PURPOSE” and “AWAKENING.” Each episode focuses on different aspects of his career.
“VISION” takes a deep dive into West’s early rapping career. It is fascinating to learn about his initial struggles, including his journey of signing his first record deal, getting noticed by the rap community and moving from Chicago to New York City.
Given that these things tend not to be highlighted in his current life due to his great success, it was interesting to see these sides of his career, watch him fail and then later achieve all of his accomplishments.
“PURPOSE,” as the name suggests, introduces West’s purpose and commitment to his career.
This section covers his violent car crash, breaking his jaw and threatening to end his rising success as an up-and-coming rapper. Prior to West releasing his first album, “The College Dropout,” Jan. 24, 2004, many scenes capture his struggles to record and produce this album.
This section focuses extensively on West’s first taste of success and his overall love for rapping even while persevering through hardship.
“AWAKENING” summarizes and attempts to capture the next two decades of West’s life and career.
The majority of this episode pays homage to his mother, Donda West, and the impact she had on him.
Numerous videos capturing memorable moments between the two dominate the episode and provide insight into how special Donda was to West.
The documentary takes on other issues aside from music in this episode.
Development of West’s Yeezy fashion label, marriage and being a global sensation all are captured in this section, giving an interesting change of pace to the documentary and acting as a strong conclusion to his story.