While most celebrities who have a taste of bad press seem to retreat from the spotlight, in the case of Kanye West the media publicity is something welcomed. Few can attest to having as long and controversial a career as West, who not only dominated the music industry but has since taken the fashion world by storm with his Yeezy line. And, as the events of 2020 illustrated, West isn’t intent on stopping there. This is a man with a vision, and as the world witnessed, he committed to his plan of a presidential bid, even though it ultimately was unsuccessful.
Given that there are just so many sides to Kanye West, it seems fitting that a documentary capturing his life is in order. Now, such a thing looks to come to fruition as Netflix has bought a documentary series spanning two decades of Kanye West’s life, covering the death of his mother, Donda in 2007, and even his failed US presidential bid.
While still untitled, the film is said to even include previously unseen home videos of West and footage shot over a 21-year period by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, who also directed West’s music videos, Jesus Walks and Through the Wire. Whether the documentary will provide an insight into West’s marriage with Kim Kardashian and their pending divorce remains to be seen.
Safe to say, something of this nature is rare to come by. Sure we’ve had all the biopics and six-part docu-series to binge on in recent years, but a documentary spanning one man’s life that’s been 21 years in the making?! It almost sounds like it could be an Oscar contender. To put that in perspective, West first became known as a producer thanks to his acclaimed work on Jay-Z’s 2001 album, The Blueprint. Since then, he became a global star in his own right, with successful solo albums like The College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation. It wasn’t until 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped that the genius of West really came to be proclaimed, and even things like his use of autotune that was criticised came to define a new generation of sound.
While his recent albums have come to be preoccupied with his Christian faith, something that has become central to West’s work and public persona, West has continued to create even as his career moves in other directions. And there have been no shortage of controversies either, with West infamously interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV video music awards, then coming out in 2016 as a Trump supporter before saying slavery was “a choice” in 2018. His 2020 presidential bid reportedly even violated fundraising rules.
Safe to say, this documentary didn’t come cheaply. According to Variety, a source reported that the series cost Netflix something close to the tune of $30 million USD. Billboard suggests that the documentary series will be released sometime this year.