Wake up, Mr. West!
(Warning: spoilers ahead!) We’re pretty sure Kanye misses the old Kanye as much as the entire world does, taking into mindful account his rampant behavior on social media. Despite the media villainizing one of hip hop’s biggest game-changers, the new Netflix documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy lets us into the world of Kanye West before he rose to the top of the food chain. The show was 22 years in the making and was seen through the lens of director Coodie Simmons, who didn’t realize Ye was going to blow up exponentially in just a few years, yet stuck with him even when everything else fell down. In case you haven’t seen the new documentary, here are some life lessons we’ve learned from the old Kanye.
1. MANIFEST YOUR LIFE INTO EXISTENCE
Kanye knew early on that he was destined to be the best. ‘jeen-yuhs’ is amazing. pic.twitter.com/U0JCixjhG9— Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) February 16, 2022
Kanye will always have the best self-support system, because honestly who else will? He once said, “If you are a Kanye West fan, you aren’t a fan of me. You’re a fan of yourself.” Despite Jay-Z telling him to stick with producing beats and major labels snobbing him even when he worked on Hov’s album, The Blueprint, Kanye was just hungry for the world to hear what he brought to the table. He basically predicted his whole life through music over the years, including legally changing his name to “Ye” and his married life.
2. EVERY CHILD NEEDS A SUPPORTIVE PARENT
The first episode of Jeen-Yuhs showed the real star of the show: Kanye’s mom Donda West. She even rapped with him after reminding him that “the giant looks in the mirror and sees nothing. Everybody else sees a giant.” Donda didn’t always agree with everything he did, but she knew her support meant everything to him. We completely lost it the moment she saw his new gold chains with a huge angel pendant, saying, “You know what? You need an angel to watch over you, so it’s all good.” (*Sobs aggressively*) As Coodie narrates, “It was easy to see the confidence Kanye had in himself was because of the confidence Donda had in him.”He was never the same after her passing.
3. EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE THE VISION, IT TAKES PERSISTENCE TO PROVE YOURSELF TO EVERYONE
— Steez (@Steez_HH) February 16, 2022
There’s something so reassuring about Jeen-Yuhs showing how Kanye West went to different record labels to play his tracks just like how an ordinary person looking for a job would do. When he moved to NYC from Chicago in hopes of getting signed as an artist, he went to the Roc-A-Fella Records office, which Jay-Z co-owns, and played All Falls Down before they kicked him out. Nobody cared back then, but the song went on to be one of his best hits, got Grammy-nominated, and became a multi-platinum record.
4. WITH GREATNESS ALSO COMES HATE
When Kanye went to Burger King after learning the fact that he was going to get signed after getting turned down by labels.— Yeezyrih #RIHANNADAY (@Yeeezyrih) February 17, 2022
‘Jeen-Yuhs’ beautifully captures the last few moments Ye could go out in public without being recognized ❤️
Kanye always had to deal with criticisms for most of his life. Memphis Bleek told him in the first episode, “When a dude becomes great people get hate.” They hate to see you shining, that’s for sure. Even hip-hop fans speculated that Jay-Z didn’t sign Ye to Roc-A-Fella because he wanted to keep him behind the curtains and was threatened by him. He knew how great Kanye was destined to be and didn’t want him in the spotlight. Jeen-Yuhs also showed that Kanye’s had beef with the media early on, with one of his close friends and fellow rapper Dug Infinite dissing him in a track. How could the world be so heartless?
5. TALENT CAN ONLY GET YOU SO FAR
With no one taking Kanye seriously as a musician, it definitely made him cling onto the people who believe in him. Jeen-Yuhs showed a scene where he initially wanted rapper Scarface in Jesus Walks, and even made it to the booth, however after listening to a couple of demos, left. He never returned to the studio, but him bobbing his head to the tracks was enough for Kanye to go on. Another scene where he wanted to be interviewed badly on MTV’s You Hear It First show was pivotal. The channel was a huge melting pot of pop culture and music back then, months later he gets signed to Roc-A-Fella.
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