Kanye West and the Style Evolution of a “jeen-yuhs”
Coodie & Chike’s new Netflix documentary explores the artist’s ever-changing aesthetic.
You can’t talk about Kanye West without talking about his style. West’s clothes and music have always been intertwined—something made clear in the new Netflix documentary jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy from Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah, better known as Coodie & Chike, the first installment of which makes its streaming premiere on February 16.
“I really like clothes,” West says in a clip from Def Poetry Jam—before The College Dropout had dropped—that’s included in the docuseries’ first act. “I want to be the best-dressed rapper in the game.”
The story of West and his clothes is about more than aesthetic greatness or sparking trends, though. Kanye’s ever-changing personal style is noteworthy because of how deeply linked it is to his music. He isn’t just the best-dressed rapper in the game—he’s the best at using his clothes as a way to reflect the music he’s making. It’s “album mode” taken to a new extreme, where the look inspires the sound and the sound inspires the look.
Fashion is not the focus of jeen-yuhs, but it would be impossible to tell the story without it. “You can literally take a screenshot from all the years and decades of our film,” co-director Simmons tells GOAT, “and put together a fashion story and see the evolution of Kanye’s style. We don't have to talk about it in the film because, visually, you can piece that together.”