Jeen-Yuhs Act 2 review: The near-fatal accident that changed it all

Act two of the acclaimed docu-series , 'Purpose' was released yesterday. Read our in-depth overview of the chapter and discover our main takeaways from the story so far

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 24th Feb 2022

'Purpose', act two of Kanye's documented uprising, arrived on Netflix yesterday (Wednesday 23rd February) and, as we promised, we're here with an overview and thorough examination of the all the major incidents and interactions observed over the second, ninety-three minute chapter.

Launching straight into the next episode of the already critically acclaimed series, the opening scenes feature grainy footage of a West family gathering in Oklahoma City back May 1990. A young and almost unrecognisable Kanye appears after a little while, donning a polka dot top. His lyrical ability and vocal talent becoming centre of focus, as the soon-to-be world dominating rapper puts on a show for the camera. What's the intention of this included scene, you ask? To prove to the viewer that Kanye is, in his eyes, first and foremost, a rapper. But why? All will become clear...

Twelve years later, we pick up again from where we left off in act one with Kanye being officially introduced as a Roc-A-Fella artist at a press conference in New York. Leaving in a brand new Mercedes G Wagon outside of the event, we hear Ye once again referring to the struggles he's faced to get to this point in the documentary and the long road he must continue upon to prove his worth as a rap artist on the Rock-A-Fella label. 

Check out the official Netflix trailer for 'Jeen-Yuhs' below...

Less than twenty minutes pass in part two and the cracks are beginning to show. Sidelined from the 'gang', the stereotypical names and faces spearheading the gangsta rap era of the time, it's obvious that Kanye 's image, his talent and what he represented through his music wasn't getting the full attention it deserved. A highlighted meeting with Big Face Gary sees Kanye offended, when he's labelled the ‘best rapper-producer', something which Kanye feels is derogatory and damaging to his cause. And thus, his mission to demonstrate to the whole world that he's much more than a beat maker begins.

Reaching out to the big hitters, the likes of Dame Dash and Jay Z, Ye looks to secure a feature with the hope of, ultimately, getting Roc-A-Fella to sit up and take notice. A move which proves fruitful. Skip to images of the pair in the studio, the 'thirty minute assassin' linking up with J-Hova, hashing out ideas for the verse on 2002's 'The Bounce'. Things were looking up, until disaster struck.

Following a late night session in the studio in Los Angeles, on a beat making assignment from Roc-A-Fella, Kanye found himself involved in a near fatal car accident in which famously, he broke his jaw in three places. All the gains that he'd made had been in one moment thrown into doubt. Would he ever rap again? Of course, we now know that he did. Thankfully. 

From his hospital bed three weeks on, and with little footage showing the true extent of his injuries in between, the documentary maker, Coodie receives a phone call. It's Kanye. He proceeds to rap down the phone through the pain of his surgically reconstructed jaw a track which would go on to change the course of his career. That track was 'Through The Wire'.

A further six weeks on, we find Ye in a makeshift studio working on his debut album, The College Dropout out of a hotel room. Hospital visits from this point become a regular occurence, with his doctors consistently delivering damning news on his recovery. Months of therapy and long waiting times for surgery are further setbacks on the progress he's made. It's at this point, for the second time in the docu-series so far, that we witness a vulnerable Kanye. Led horizontally in a medical facility with a disfigured face, tears drawn from the pain of his injuries and his ensuing treatment, powerless to the situation he's immersed in. It's a poignant scene that only lends to the testament of Ye's strength and self-belief, and a moment that's largely responsible for driving his future success. 

Determined to use the time of his recovery to write and complete the rest of his debut record, but with little to no budget or support from his label, he begins calling in favours from some of his high profile friends, with the likes of Ludacris, actor Jamie Foxx and Pharrell Williams all giving Ye the studio access he so desperately seeks.

There's a couple of special moments to point out here. The creation of 'Slow Jamz' with Jamie Foxx, the awe and surprise on Ludacris' face upon hearing his project and the growing confidence of Kanye when rapping over 'Through The Wire' in the presence of Pharrell. The swagger we now associate with Ye is starting to shine through. From the content of his music to his delivery and the hand and body gestures - he's fine tuning his persona. Something picked up on by the-then Neptunes frontman, Williams who can be heard saying in a tone of disbelief, 'I thought it was just the music', recognising Ye's ability. 

Different scenes in different studios, recording different tracks from The College Dropout come thick and fast. Waiting for the label to appreciate his talents was no longer an option. Kanye was going to do it on his own. The Shy Town community stepped in to support, with Chicago natives J. Ivy and comedian DeRay Davis featuring on the record. He appeared live on TV series, Def Jam Poetry with his first ever rendition of 'Self-Conscious'. A buzz was growing and yet still, no backing from Roc-A-Fella. 

Perhaps the overconfidence and arrogance we identify with the present day Kanye West is founded. It seems that, without his self-assuredness, he wouldn't have earned his place at the top., and you can't contend his work ethic. 

Kanye would have to wait until 2003 for the that long-time-coming acceptance from Dash and the Roc-A-Fella crew. The release of his self-funded video for 'Through The Wire, also produced by Coodie, was a global success. It had Dash admitting publicly that he didn't believe Ye had what it took to become a rapper, that he never took his talent seriously and that he was wrong. The hustle had paid off and here was Kanye, on the edge of becoming a great.

Towards the end of they year and in the build to the release of The College Dropout in February 2004, Coodie took his camera to film a New year get together, at Kanye's first home in L.A. Well-known faces of the rap community, Donda, Kanye's mum, and his family appear on camera, making New Years wishes and resolutions. One in particular stands out. Ever the devout champion, Donda foresees the success of Ye's future in the coming year. And she was right. The College Dropout would alter the status and direction of the hip hop world. He had pioneered a brand new image and sound, one that’s still an influence on artists today - think the likes of Tyler, The Creator, for example. 

The album debuted at number two on billboard 200 and is regarded widely as one of the greatest hip hop records of all time. 

Like the first chapter, 'Act 2: Purpose' ends with the lens turning inward on Coodie, who’s career is simultaneously taking off with other burgeoning artists at the time reaching out to request a documentary - one of those said artists being John legend. All the while, 'Jesus walks', track seven from the album, was becoming a phenomenon the world over.

Coodie was eventually brought in to produce the video for 'Jesus Walks', after many failed attempts to capture the songs substance, and went on to receive multiple Grammy nominations. The sync and connection between the pair obviously at this point, a special one.

Collecting his award for 'Best Rap Song' at the forty-seventh Grammys in 2005 was another pivotal moment for Kanye. His unwavering commitment, his passion and dedication had led him to this place. He’d reached the ‘top of the mountain’. It's an Incredible story that will surely resonate with young creatives around the world for years to come. But it doesn't end there...

 


 

A little preview rounds up the final minutes, with an insight into what we can all expect from next week's final act 'Awakening'. Cue the out-of-control Kanye. Who’s is the Kanye of the modern day and what destabilised this legendary role model? Check back next Thursday to hear our thoughts.

 



 

Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.

 

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