This month, Netflix will premiere the first installment of the three-part documentary jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, delving into the rise of Kanye West, the mogul now legally known as “Ye.” In Hollywood on Friday night, the doc wa screening in the Citizen News event space with co-directors Clarence “Coodie” Simmon and Chike Ozah present. Also there to speak to attendees was J. Ivy, a scriptwriter who worked on the project.
“This journey started in Chicago back in the ’90s when there was a Chicago Renaissance,” J. Ivy said to the crowd, per The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a historic moment — driven by heart, driven by passion, to document this history that was happening in Chicago … that vision that turned into something so incredible, into something so beautiful, it turned into history.”
Ozah thanked everyone involved for helping to put the doc together while Coodie added, “This is godsent. It started 21 years ago in Chicago when we were all young and hungry … it took a village. Everyone in here is a genius. And when you got geniuses around you, you let them do their genius. And that’s how you get a beautiful project.”
As his presence was unannounced, those in attendance were surprised to see Ye himself speak about jeen-yuhs. Along with the film, Ye also addressed Hollywood’s “cancel culture” along with his faith and the importance of Black unity.
“When y’all see me doing certain things you wouldn’t expect us to do, and y’all would want me to step back … that’s not my position. My position is to make what y’all might think are mistakes in public so I can show you that there ain’t no red line, that ain’t no real wall. That’s just a smokescreen. And it’s for us to take this. We’re on labels we don’t own, play for basketball teams we don’t own, the time is now,” Ye said.
“It was so good to see the times I mentioned God throughout the whole journey,” Ye added. “To lean on God when the moments seem the darkest, and to be able to see people trying to play you your whole life every step of the way – there’s always going to be somebody not believing in what you’re doing [but] as you reach new frontiers and new goals in life, and when you have people that believe in you … a community that sticks together, that’s the way that we can protect each other.”
Ye Was Very Involved in the Making of jeen-yuhs
jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy goes back two decades when Ye was still finding his way in the hip hop world. The doc details from that moment the journey he’d take that would eventually lead him to become one of the world’s most successful rappers. Of course, after finding that success, Ye also developed a certain reputation for preferring things to be done a certain way. He was initially hoping to get the final say on the doc’s editing, and the filmmakers had to tell him to back off.
“When it came down to making it, I had to let him know to make this film authentic, he had to step back,” Simmons told THR. “I had to take control of this narrative that God created — we didn’t create this. And he said he trusted I would do a good job on it.”
jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy will premiere on Netflix on Feb. 16.