“jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” - Act III Review

Story posted March 11, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Jayson O’Connell

In this day of age, mental health has become a big topic over social media, and it has lost the negative stigma it has carried.

Most people encourage others to get help when needed whether that is through therapy or medicine.

Many celebrities today deal with mental illness and serve as role models for those who are dealing with the same issues.

One celebrity that is dealing with problems mentally is Kanye West. He has become very vocal about his bipolar disorder and has no shame in it.

But West has made very controversial decisions and comments during manic episodes. Because of this, he has received a lot of hate from the general public.

Act III of “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” sheds light on why West acts the way he does and takes viewers on another emotional rollercoaster.

In the first two acts, the audience sees West put in a lot of hard work to get signed by Roc-A-Fella records and release his debut album. He proceeds to gain a lot of fame and wins the best rap album at the Grammys.

The viewers immediately get hit with a very melancholy moment when Coodie Simmons, the cameraman and producer for the documentary, says he stopped filming West daily.

Time passes and Simmons films moments at West’s Grammy after-party after he won best rap album again for “Late Registration.”

West and Simmons have a very touching moment at the party where West speaks about how grateful he is for Simmons. This gives the audience some hope that the two will rekindle their relationship.

After some time passed, Donda West asked Simmons to film a fundraising event for the Kanye West Foundation. At the event, West gave a very inspirational speech where he said that he feels he is the greatest and everyone should feel that way too.

This is followed by a very heartbreaking moment where Donda West dies. Simmons created one of the saddest moments of the documentary by putting together a compilation of clips of Kanye West and his mother. The most tear-jerking clip is West singing his song “Hey Mama” with his mother.

A week later, West said at a concert that people keep telling him to take a break and go home. He responded to this by asking what he was going to go home to and that his mother would want him to continue to perform.

West then reaches out to Simmons and asks him to film shows for his tour. But West’s team then tells Simmons that there is no room for him.

Four months later Simmons is asked to film a recording session for West, but he said that he didn’t feel welcomed in the studio and West asked him to stop filming. From this clip, you can see that West is not taking his mother’s death well at all.

The audience then sees flashes of West’s career that make them happy for West but also mad at him. This is because the flashes include West’s fame from more album releases, but it also includes West interrupting Taylor Swift at the VMAs.

The audience is then taken to the Saint Pablo tour in 2016. At this moment, viewers get scared for West because he was hospitalized after an emotional outburst on the tour, forcing him to cancel the remaining shows. This is the first appearance of West’s mental problems.

West and his team go to China to record the “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” collaboration album. During one of the sessions, West moves viewers by talking about his struggle with mental illness.

When he returns to the states, West seems to go through another manic period which is very emotional to see and angering.

This is because West makes one of his most controversial comments when he said slavery was a choice.
After seeing West perform at his Sunday Services, release “Jesus is King” and run for president, Simmons films him in the Dominican Republic.

West meets with real estate partners, and you can see he is mentally unwell. He rambles on and makes comments that make no sense. The documentary ends with West finishing the album at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and his listening parties there.

The final installment of the documentary takes viewers on an emotional journey. Just like in the previous acts, West is put into a negative light at some points. But there’s also moments where the audience can’t help but feel bad for West because of his struggles.

West’s drive and his hard work make anyone watching feel ecstatic when he succeeds because he has that underdog mentality.

But West distancing from Simmons is one of the main things that doesn’t sit well with the audience.

This documentary also explains the controversial decisions he makes. His actions can’t be completely excused by his bipolar disorder, but viewers can see what he is going through and sympathize with him.

“Awakening” is a fitting title for this act of the documentary because West is learning to deal with his mental illness for the first time.

Realizing you have mental issues is an awakening as it explains why you feel the way you do.

It is also an awakening for viewers, as they get an inside look at what someone in a manic episode goes through.
The ending is very open-ended because West has so much life ahead of him. He must learn to live with his mental illness and can continue to grow as an artist.

Jayson O’Connell is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jbo5216@psu.edu