Everyone comes equipped with their own form of genius, but it’s often up to them to unlock that power that is within them. One person who managed to do so was Kanye West.
In today’s landscape, depending upon who you ask, there is a still version of Kanye West that might just resonate with everyone, whether it be through music, as an artist, or simply the desire to believe in yourself.
West may have first hit the scene as a music producer in the late 90s, but today he is an icon who has broken down barriers not only within the music industry, but also through fashion, business, and beyond. Yet, he was met with a bunch of nos before receiving a yes that completely changed the trajectory of his career.
Netflix's jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy follows the journey of West throughout the course of his career in a trilogy with three acts: VISION, PURPOSE and AWAKENING. This landmark documentary, produced by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, manages to showcase West from his early years to where he is today as arguably one of the greatest creative geniuses of this time.
When Coodie made the decision to leave his position as a host for Channel Zero to document the journey of a young producer from the same birthplace as him, he knew that it would be a test of his unwavering faith.
“It’s been an eye-opener and let me know that I’m walking in the right path with Christ," said Coodie in a recent interview with Shadow and Act.
“As a kid my mother taught me about Jesus and she told me how he was the son of God and I’m the only boy of three girls so I used to pray to God and kick it with Jesus,” he added. “So that alone…and then just to see all of the things he blessed me with all the times that he saved me, and then fast-forward, I wind up documenting a kid from Chicago named Kanye West who had a song called ‘Jesus Walks.” You can’t write this. We always say, ‘God writes and Jesus directs.’”
Inspired by Steve James’ 1996 documentary, Hoop Dreams, Coodie decided to turn his camera on a young Chicago kid with dreams of becoming a rapper, whom the world knows and loves (or hates) as Kanye West – the rest is, as they say, history.
“The purpose is for others to see how they can have a dream...It’s going to be powerful for the dreamers of all ages," he continued.
Although the docuseries focuses on the dreams and aspirations of Kanye West, Chike explains how the film mirrors his own faith.
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“That leap of faith embodies my whole life in a sense that it’s what’s gotten me to the point that I’m at in my career,” he recalled. “It’s what’s gotten me to even meeting and collaborating with Coodie. We both share in that same journey, we both share that faith in God, that’s been the true testament to why we’re even able to achieve these things. He’s just putting us in positioning, we’re just vessels and just following and listening and moving and flowing.”
In a journey of a lifetime, Coodie and Chike bring never seen before footage to streaming giant, Netflix that will take fans back to where it all started for Kanye West while also encouraging them to follow their own dreams.
“Being able to take on a journey with my brother Coodie, who has been like an older brother to me, has been amazing,” Chike said. “We take the good and the bad. There’s no such thing with us as bad, it’s all about perspective. So all of the adversity for us is all blessings as well. It’s the adversities that define you and make you who you are.”
Act I of jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy is streaming now on Netflix and the following parts will be released in the following two weeks.
Watch the full interview below