The rise of the one and only Kanye West is being told in the three-part documentary series, jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy. The first part of the documentary is now available on Netflix, and the following two episodes will be released weekly. Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah are the directors of jeen-yuhs.
The first episode focuses on how Coodie’s life intersected with Kanye back in the late ’90s. Coodie’s narration gives us an inside glimpse at Kanye’s experience at the start of his career, and Ye’s intense ambition to become one of the music industry’s premier rappers. So, who is Coodie? HollywoodLife has rounded up 5 key things you need to know.
1. Coodie is the narrator of the first part of Kanye’s doc.
The first part of the Kanye documentary trilogy, act i: VISION, is narrated by Coodie. He walks viewers through what he recorded of Kanye in his earliest days. Coodie follows Kanye to recording studios hoping to strike a record deal and more in never-before-seen footage.
2. Coodie began recording Kanye back in 1998.
It all started with a short interview between Coodie and Kanye in 1998. At the time, Kanye was only an up-and-coming producer. Coodie says in the first part of the documentary series that this interview was the “beginning of a brotherhood that would last for more than 20 years.”
3. Coodie got his start hosting a TV show.
Coodie started out doing stand-up comedy on the South side of Chicago. He was asked to host a public access show called Channel Zero, and he hoped he would be able to showcase his comedy there. The more he hosted Channel Zero, the more he began to realize that he was “documenting the rise of hip hop in Chicago.”
4. ‘Hoop Dreams’ inspired Coodie to do a documentary about Kanye.
Once Coodie began to hear Kanye’s music, there was “no doubt” in Coodie’s mind that Kanye was going to be a major star one day. Coodie says he was inspired by the movie Hoop Dreams to see how far Kanye’s “dreams would take him.” After Kanye agreed to the documentary, Coodie left Channel Zero and moved to New York City to follow Ye.
5. Coodie frequently directs with Chike.
Coodie co-directs the three-part Kanye documentary with Chike. Their career as a unit began with Kanye’s “Through the Wire” music video in 2003. They also directed Kanye’s “Two Words” and the third version of “Jesus Walks.” Coodie & Chike have directed for other artists like Lupe Fiasco, Pitbull, and Erykah Badu. Their 2012 ESPN 30-for-30 film Benji received critical acclaim.