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Netflix confirm release date for Kanye West documentary ‘Jeen-Yuhs’

'Act 1' of the three part series arrives next month

By Joe Goggins

Kanye West at the 2020 Oscars
Kanye West. CREDIT: Alamy

A release date has been confirmed for Netflix’s three-part Kanye West documentary, along with the release of a teaser trailer.

The first part of ‘Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy’ will hit the streaming platform on February 16, with the other two instalments presumably following soon after; the entire series is apparently arriving as part of a “once in a lifetime three-week global event”. According to Netflix, the series will offer viewers an “intimate and revealing portrait of Kanye West’s experience, showcasing both his formative days trying to break through and his life today as a global brand and artist”.

The documentary, which has been in the works for over two decades, was directed by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, better known as Coodie & Chike. It will feature previously unseen archival film of West, now legally known simply as Ye. In the teaser trailer, candid footage of the rapper is backed by Caroline Shaw’s ‘Partita for 8 Voices’. You can watch it below.

‘Jeen-Yuhs’ had been scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, as part of a packed slate of music documentaries that would also have included Kathryn Ferguson’s documentary ‘Nothing Compares’, which follows the life and career of Sinead O’Connor between 1987 and 1993, and ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, an adaptation of Lizzy Goodman’s 2017 oral history of the early-noughties New York indie rock scene.

However, the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has forced the Utah festival to cancel all in-person events, including the ‘Jeen-Yuhs’ premiere. Instead, part one of the documentary will receive a theatrical release in the US on February 10. There are no details on a UK cinema release at present.

During a ‘Netflix Playlist’ showcase, Ozah said that ‘Jeen-Yuhs’ represented a “whole history lesson of music”, adding, “we’re crossing generations in three films. At the end, Kanye is collaborating with artists that were babies. But the crazy part is that Kanye’s a throughline; still as relevant at the end as he is in the beginning because his music passes the test of time.”

West returned to the stage at the Coliseum in Los Angeles last month for a headline performance at the Free Larry Hoover benefit concert, bringing out Drake as a special guest in a sign that the feud between the two hip-hop stars is over. Rumours suggest that West may join Billie Eilish in topping the bill at this year’s Coachella Festival in April, per Variety.