Monday Feb 14, 2022
The director of Netflix´s new Kanye West documentary was left disappointed -- though not surprised -- by the controversial rapper´s last-minute demand to recut a movie decades in the making.
Clarence "Coodie" Simmons started following his friend West with a camera in 2001, curious to see how far the ambitious young music producer from Chicago could go, and eventually amassed 320 hours of behind-the-scenes footage of his journey to international stardom.
The first part of seven-hour movie "jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy" will be released by Netflix on Wednesday, but the famously perfectionist West last month took to Instagram demanding "final edit and approval" on the project, in order to "be in charge of my own image."
"I told Kanye he had to have 100 percent trust in this film ... he said he trusted," said Simmons.
"So when I seen that Instagram, I was a bit disappointed."
As recently as last week, West -- now known as Ye -- continued to issue demands, such as having fellow rap superstar Drake take over the narration.
Ironically, Simmons had gone to significant lengths to ensure West was happy, scrapping plans to first release the footage back in 2005 because West "said he wasn´t ready for the world to see the real him."
The pair later grew apart and Simmons had little access to West for the next decade or so.
But in a seeming reconciliation, West showed up at a Hollywood screening of the documentary Friday, hugging Simmons and telling the audience that "people try to cancel us and we all run away from each other and scatter or we be not talking to each other, not communicating."