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Jeen-Yus Filmmakers Explain Denial Of Final Edit To Kanye

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Theo Wargo, Getty Images

The documentary makers also describe the “narrative shift” with Kanye West after the untimely passing of his mother Donda West.

Filmmakers  Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah are being praised for their footage of Kanye West. Over 330 hours of tape filmed since the 1990s, chronicling Kanye West’s life and career have been compiled into the jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy docuseries that has stunned the world. This is an unprecedented look into the rise of West as a music artist and fashion icon, and it arrived at the same time that West began promoting his Donda 2 album.The project, as well as its first installment, are named after West’s late mother Donda West, and in a recent interview with Business Insider, Coodie and Chike were asked about the “narrative shift” that occurs in jeen-yuhs following her passing. The publication wanted to know the filmmaker’s perspectives on just how Ms. West’s death “affected both Kanye’s career” and the work they were doing with him.


“When you have a situation when two people had an amazing goal and then you accomplish your goal and all of a sudden that person is not in your life, it’s all in how you perceive it,” said Coodie. “And I couldn’t even imagine — because I’m not in Kanye’s head — how it would feel to have Mama West make a transition at the same time as you reaching the top of your goal. And then have that publicly. And to have a million people worshiping you. Like I couldn’t even imagine the feeling and when it happened I just knew.

“You gotta understand the energy that she had and how bright the room got when she walked in. She had such amazing energy, an amazing soul. And she was such a great supporter of Kanye and she adopted all of us and supported us, which we didn’t lose. We feel it every moment of this journey, even editing and all. We understand that she’s with us.”

They were also asked about West publicly stating that he wanted the final say in editing—a request that Coodie and Chike denied. They shared that West’s team has been instrumental in bringing jeen-yuhs to life, but his method of control isn’t the way filmmaking works.

“The film doesn’t lie on that, so you definitely have his participation … on camera,” said Chike. “But, for us, as filmmakers, the name of our company is Creative Control, so, there are just certain rules in documentary filmmaking for it to be authentic. And for it to resonate, people need to see certain things. So sometimes it’s just not best for the filmmaking for the subject, who the film is largely about, to have control over the direction the story goes in.