‘Jeen-Yuhs’ takes West fans back to the early 2000s

As he currently engages in more public conflicts with family and friends, Kanye West is the subject of  “Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy,” a set of documentaries that reflect on his journey and how he became the well-known rapper he is today. 

The film takes the audience through West’s back story, starting with archive footage from 1998. The mind behind the documentary, Coodie, narrates the film and gives insight on West’s career. 

Ye started as a music producer, but his rap group Go-Getters got him into creating his own music. What makes the documentary unique is the use of only archival footage with narration throughout. Each clip is arranged and specifically labeled to showcase important moments in West’s career. After his move to New York in 2002, West focused his time making beats for music he would rap on. The next item on the agenda was to be a part of Jay Z’s record label, Roc-A-Fella. West keeps striving to put his name on records. The footage takes you into West’s process of creating a beat and coming up with lyrics for any and every studio that was willing to take his work. 

The documentary takes a shift when we start seeing West freestyle rap. At this point, the audience sees when he switched to rapping on his own beats. The film gives the background of some of West’s earliest pieces. For example, there is a scene in which his mother, the late Donda West, reminded him of a rap he used to do when he was a kid. Many of the titles they mentioned came to be part of his work. 

What makes West stand out is the ability to lyrically not hold back lines. It makes you root for his successes hearing and seeing his true emotions and feelings and how much the people around him believed in him. When you see how much confidence he has in himself, it shows how much his dedication paid off. The film ends with West signing onto Roc-A-Fella, but we get taken back to his childhood home. Here, we experience some sweet moments between Ye and Donda. They share stories from his childhood and put a major focus on her influence on him. 

There are moments where the audience themselves get taken back to the present day. For example, West mentioned changing his name to Ye back when he was first making his way into the industry. A lot of beats in the documentary were distinctly edited in a way that makes the film feel like looking into a time capsule. Another huge part of the documentary is the nostalgia. The footage, the fashion and aesthetics of the early 2000s are all there, which makes it a must-watch if you’re wanting to be taken back to that era. 

However, the main purpose behind the documentary is to watch West’s journey from being an unknown music producer to becoming one of the most well-known rappers of all time. Stream the first part of the trilogy exclusively on Netflix. Parts two and three will come out in the following weeks.

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