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Review: Chi-Town Inspiration

By Christian Valdez

Image by: USA Today

Years and years of compelling footage of the rise of the Chicago icon, Kanye West, has recently culminated in the three part documentary, Jeen-Yuhs.

West’s past is riddled with controversies. The Netflix documentary that concluded on Feb. 16. revealed that there is more to West than his mistakes. Clarence Simmons Jr., directed the series and has followed West with a camera since 2002.

Simmons said, “there was something different about Kanye,” and, “there was no doubt he was going to be a star.”

West achieved prophesied stardom in style racking in 22 Grammy Awards and 7 platinum albums according to West has achieved a lot in the music industry, but nothing compares to how he overcame adversity in his life. The documentary does a spectacular job illustrating West’s numerous failed attempts to get a record deal.

The Chicago native was determined to reach his goal and this came to full fruition when he signed with Roc-A-Fella Records. West talks about practicing his Grammy Speech prior to even getting a deal. Some may say this is arrogant, but it really is inspirational. This inner confidence is what boosted him to climb the ladder to stardom. Not to mention, he opened the gateway for Chicago artists like Chance the Rapper.

These first two episodes do a great job highlighting the fact that West is truly inspiring. West’s drive and persistence are admirable traits that people would not see without this docuseries. The series also emphasizes the importance of West’s mother, Donda, in his life.

His mother played a monumental role in his life providing advice and countless laughs. West’s newest album even shares the same name as his mother. West’s sentimental side that he shows with his mom adds more layers to his character. Simmons dedicates the third episode to West’s struggle with being bipolar. Simmons highlights that West still achieved greatness with the difficulties of his disorder.

West’s resilience is quite inspiring, but nothing is as inspiring as when he overcame a near fatal car crash. There was a possibility that he could never rap again yet he produced the hit “Through the Wire” while he was still recovering in the hospital.

Simpson student, Ronald Bolling, said, “This moment made me realize Kanye’s passion for music is indescribable and inspiring for all people.”

This documentary sheds light on the inspiring nature of West. The first two episodes are magnificent, but the concluding episode is left unfulfilled. The third episode is good, but it strays from the inspirational theme that the first two prioritize. This documentary is definitely worth a watch especially if you are in need of inspiration. It is a 8/10.

Simpson students, Louis Down and Bolling, agree that West is truly inspirational and they have even been revisiting his music. Down says that “Kanye has the culture in the palm of his hand.” West is an inspirational figure who is still influencing the culture today. Make sure to check out the documentary.

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