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Review of Jeen-Yuhs Directors Discuss Shooting Kanye West Documentary Over 20 Years

Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye West Trilogy is an upcoming three-part documentary series set to release on Netflix next year Ahead of the release, directors Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah spoke on the film in a recent addition to Netflix’s Director on Director series.

RELATED: First Look at Netflix’s Kanye West Documentary Jeen-Yuhs

In the video, Simmons described meeting Kanye for the first time and noted that he never seem afraid of anything.

“He would come with beats,” Simmons says as he remembers meeting a young Kanye in a Chicago barbershop. “I remember he had the one beat that Jay Z picked later on in life called [“Izzo”]. I’m like ‘Yo, this was so ill.’ But he was this kid with braces, you know, this dude was talented. But that was my first impression of Kanye when he walked in, I’m like ‘this dude is not scared,’ you know he wasn’t scared of nothing.”

Later in the discussion, Simmons spoke about deciding to film West and wanting to just see how far his career could go. “When I started filming Kanye, I’m like ‘Okay, I’m going to just document and see how far he’s going to take his career,'” Simmons said. “Seeing him win Grammys…first of all, I didn’t even think nothing about music videos…but then to be documenting Kanye, you understand you’re going to see some array of characters.”

Toward the end of the discussion, the conversation turns to the later parts of the documentary, which sees a much older Kanye now collaborating with artists that had grown up listening to him.

“But there’s a whole history lesson that’s happened,” Ozah says of the entire documentary. “We’re crossing generations in three films. At the end of the film, Kanye’s collaborating with artists that were babies. The crazy part is, Kanye’s a through-line. He’s still as relevant at the end as he is in the beginning because his music [has] passed the test of time.”

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The upcoming three-part documentary will chronicle 20 years of Kanye’s life, starting with his younger days as an up-and-coming producer and leading all the way up to his life today as one of the biggest celebrities and brands on the planet.

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