Netflix has released a new trailer for their new Kanye West documentary jeen-yuhs. The first part of the three-episode “trilogy” will begin airing on the streaming service on February 16 despite a last-minute request for final edit privileges the rap star posted via his Instagram on Jan. 21.
The documentary premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival premiere. The film will have a nationwide cinematic release next Thursday after which it will become available to Netflix subscribers on the 16th. Directors Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah (aka Coodie & Chike) have a long working relationship with West – who is now legally known as “Ye”. The pair have known Ye since the late 90s when he was still a producer struggling to kickstart his own career. They directed the rapper’s “Through the Wire” video, and the third version of his “Jesus Walks” video. The pair has been collecting footage of Ye for over twenty years now.
Despite the fact that the movie was for all intents and purposes complete, Ye, who is notorious for his protectiveness regarding his personal brand, made headlines when he made his Instagram request for editing privileges. “I’m going to say this kindly for the last time. I must get final edit and approval on this doc before it releases on Netflix.” he wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
Despite Ye’s request, the directors insisted that theirs was the final say in the process, telling Deadline, “To keep it authentic, [jeen-yuhs] had to come from a perspective of the filmmaker. The story is really through the perspective of this journey of me and Kanye. When I showed him the sizzle, Kanye wanted to put the sizzle out, but it wasn’t time. And I just told him, I said, ‘Dude, you have to trust me, like you trusted me for Through the Wire, me and Chike. You have to trust us. And he was like, ‘I trust you.’”
Thus far, the film seems to be building critical acclaim following its premiere, earning a 90% fresh rating on the review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes. Thrillist crit Dan Jackson stated, “If you’re even a casual fan of West’s music, the first two parts of jeen–yuhs — subtitled “VISION” and “PURPOSE” — make for riveting viewing.” and The Times UK declaring it, “Indecently watchable…”
Some reviewers also have pointed out that the contrast between the entertainer’s earliest self and his current flamboyant public person, known for stirring up controversy, can be disturbing. Dwight Brown of National Newspaper Publishers Association wrote, “Ten minutes into this lively documentation of 21-year-old Kanye West the unsettling contrasts between this hopeful, humble adolescent and his embittered and inflated persona these days is quite jarring.”
Critics have yet to see the third part of the documentary which will chronicle the singer’s last few years, including his marriage to social media mogul Kim Kardashian as well as his failed and highly criticized presidential run in 2020. All will have to wait until the final product can be viewed in its entirety on Netflix.
jeen–yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy will hit theaters on Feb. 14. It will be available on Netflix beginning Feb. 16 if it feels like a weird Valentine’s Day choice all things considered right now.