10 Things We Learnt About Kanye West From ‘Jeen-Yuhs’

The last episode of Coodie Simmons’s ‘Jeen-Yuhs’ documentary released on 2/03/2022 to conclude an in depth look into the career and life of Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. 

A global enigma whose name is etched in history following a variety of monumental moments and eye-popping quotes. 

This documentary brought us back to the reason Ye’s name rings so loudly in 2022 – his musical talent and innovation as we follow his career from its inception. 

Jeen-Yuhs offers never before seen footage into the early days of Ye’s journey. From a renowned young producer to winning 2 Grammys for his first album ‘The College Dropout.’ 

After watching the documentary, these are the 10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs :

10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs

1. Donda West’s Presence

Ye’s Release of his 10th Studio Album ‘DONDA’ released late 2021 would’ve alerted many who weren’t aware of Donda west – Kanye’s mother.

Those who follow Ye closely know the impact that Donda had on Ye’s life and career. And how devastating her passing was in 2007. 

Jeen-Yuhs highlights this very clearly. Donda’s shows her support for Kanye through reciting unreleased songs with her son and attending his recording sessions. 

While Donda was clearly Ye’s biggest fan she also had a way of keeping Ye grounded. She stopped him from inflating his own ego making sure he stayed focused.

It’s heartbreaking how quickly Ye becomes lost and misguided without her at his side.

2. You Are What You Say You Are

10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs

Jeen-Yuhs captures Ye’s desire to be seen as a rapper rather than a producer-rapper. West achieves this through his consistent work rate, playing music to anyone who will listen.

It seemed only a matter of time until he would be taken seriously due to Ye’s confidence in his own ability. 

In one studio session Ye claims he wants to be known as “the best dressed rapper.” Fast forward a decade Ye is worth a billion thanks to his clothing and trainer brand YEEZY.

Ye manifested a life he believed was possible and the documentary follows him every step of the way

10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs

3. The Blurred Line between Genius and Erratic

Many people have weighed in on the Kanye West genius debate. Jeen-Yuhs highlighted that one of the biggest advocates for pro genius is Kanye himself. No surprise there! 

As his career progressed Kanye was put on a worldwide stage and he used that stage without reservation. Ye continued to be open and give his opinion no matter how sensitive the topic or big the audience.

To some his actions were arrogant and disrespectful. To others the controversial moments just further cemented his place as a misunderstood genius. 

What’s clear is perception is key to understanding Ye. Nonetheless Ye’s refusal to hold back and continue “being himself” means that this debate is unlikely to disappear any time soon.  

10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs

4. Coodie Simmon's Unconditional Love for Kanye

The documentary is as much an introduction to Coodie and his relationship with Ye as it is an insight into West’s Life. 

I was unaware of Coodie prior to watching Jeen-Yuhs. 

However Coodie’s narration and footage offers a different perspective on Kanye’s journey. The documentary does a great job of capturing emotion. 

The elation regarding Ye’s success, Coodie’s disappointment at being left out of numerous tours or the increasing concern for Ye’s deteriorating mental health. 

Coodie’s love for Kanye is one of the most heartfelt things we took from this documentary. 

10 things we learnt about Kanye West from Jeen-Yuhs

5. Kanye’s Relevance Today is Deserved

Jeen-Yuhs tells a story that spans 21 years and yet in 2022 its relevance is a credit to Ye and his contribution to music and fashion.

His musical journey hasn’t plateaued, instead Ye continues to innovate and push boundaries. The respect for his creative process from those around him was evident to see.

Furthermore, the documentary highlights how Ye’s interests continue to broaden. 

His pursuit of knowledge in areas such as meditation and interior design show this. 

Despite what you think of Kanye, his work ethic and self-belief allows him to continue to dictate modern popular culture.

6. The Music Industry is Cutthroat

The contrast between the treatment of Ye members of the music industry in the first episode as he struggles to make people take him seriously. 

Comparing this to how the industry deals with him in episode 2 & 3 feels like a confirmation of all the rumours that Music industry is heartless. 

Fellow rappers ask him for beats and continue to call him a producer despite him telling them to their faces that he’s a rapper. 

In one particularly memorable scene label executives ignore Ye as he plays “All Falls Down” for them. 

Episodes 2 and 3 show Kanye as an established artist, one who’s aware of his stardom. 

Instead of challenging some of Ye’s more controversial moments industry peers seem to contribute to inflating his ego. 

7. Kanye’s Battle with Mental Health is a Worrying One

From voicing his insecurities about his weight to admitting battling a Percocet addiction. 

Behind the scene footage of Kanye’s battle with mental health is hard to watch at times. 

Young Kanye, despite his brazen nature, was like many young men entering the working world. 

Eager to prove his worth and learning from his peers whilst also trying to carve his own legacy. 

The mixture of bravado and insecurity was to be expected and showed a very human side to the self proclaimed God.

However, the documentary didn’t capture a progression in composure. Instead Kanye seemed more and more lost as the documentary came to a close. 

And this in turn left you to wonder how many people close to him truly understand his day to day struggles.

8. Losing a Lost One

Jeen-Yuhs footage of Donda West is so rich with love that when her passing is discussed it felt as if we’d all lost a family member.

For many losing a parent is unimaginable, but it’s a reality that many also deal with day to day. 

Jeen-Yuhs calls attention to the delicate nature of grieving and how to support someone in that situation. 

Ye’s way of grieving was to bury himself in work and he claimed that his mother would’ve wanted that from him. 

On the contrary, what developed was a heartbreaking decline in Ye’s mental health.

9. Lost in Translation : Kanye's Communication Difficulties

Ye’s brain seems to work at a speed incomprehensible for the average person.

Unfortunately this often means those listening to him speak have trouble following his ideas. 

Joe Rogan told Ye: “You’re thinking in all these different layers, and you’re thinking of things from all these different perspectives. And they all come together out of your mouth like a tornado of ideas.”  

Clearly Ye is capable of doing jaw dropping things as he has proved through his success in his respective fields. 

Kanye receives a lot of backlash for his public statements and behaviour on social media. 

However a large majority of the backlash seems to be down to his inability to communicate his opinions clearly.

10. Coodie’s purpose: The selfless work of documentary workers

Coodie’s decision to walk away from a career as a comedian to film Ye’s journey is a selfless one. 

 Coodie’s Jeen-Yuhs is 20 years of footage he didn’t know would ever be released. 

Despite Jeen-Yuh’s focus on unseen footage documenting Ye the parts that focus on Coodie are some of the most wholesome. 

His sacrifice is not taken for granted and this documentary has cemented his place into hip-hop history.

This documentary is a thank you message to all those documenting moments across the world.

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Louis Davis

Louis Davis