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Despite threequel normalcy, jeen-yuhs finishes strong
The three-act documentary Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy concludes with act III titled “Awakening.” When we left off in Act II, Kanye was a full-fledged superstar. Directors Coodie & Chike open part 3 with archive footage of Ye in 2002 performing a lost song, “Wow,” he spits one of my favorite bars, “Mayonnaise colored Benz, I push a miracle whip.” We see a hungry Kanye engaging banter with fellow MC Rhymefest about whether or not Ye is a genius.
Through a passionate voiceover, Coodie sets the stage for the meat of what “Awakening” centers on. Following a quick montage of Kanye West and his erratic behavior throughout the years. Initially, I thought this part of the documentary would have the vibe of Ye’s verse from the remix of Chris Brown’s “Deuces.” Kanye spits a bar in that song, saying, “Jay finally got it through my head not to run my mouth.” That said, if you expect this part of the documentary to delve into the reasoning behind some of Mr. West’s behavior, prepare for an upset.
The closing part of the documentary shows Kanye becoming the brash individual we have become accustomed to. One particular scene at the 2006 Grammy after-party invokes memories of The Temptations classic “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)” when we see how Kanye treats Coodie, who is merely trying to get an interview. Throughout Coodie’s voiceover, we learn that Kanye and Coodie would often lose contact as Ye felt he no longer needed Coodie.
Coodie mentions that the only time he would see Kanye is when Donda West would request Coodie’s camera skills. In this regard, one would think that the editing attempts to paint Ye as pompous and ungrateful. However, Coodie explains Kanye’s mindset at the time was that he already had enough cameras on him, and he is now acting. I took that as Kanye not wanting to expose one of his day ones to the negativity of fame.
As Coodie wasn’t around for years in the second half of Ye’s career, key moments such as the Taylor Swift interruption, Kanye’s fling with Amber Rose, and his marriage to Kim go unmentioned. Instead, we see highlights of Coodie going through his own awakening as he becomes a father and makes a name for himself away from Kanye. In the end, I did not find myself as fully invested in the final part of Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.
As with most trilogies, there are only so many places you go with the third chapter, no matter how interesting the topic. As Coodie mentions in the closing moments of Act III, while we miss the old Kanye, there is still greatness left in Kanye. Despite his dalliances, no one can deny that Mr. West is a true pop culture phenomenon. The domino effects we have seen play out in Kanye’s life since his moms passing in 2007 have been a remarkable sight.
Final Grade: B
act III of Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy premieres tomorrow March 2nd on Netflix.
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