“I’m going to say this kindly for the last time,” the rapper, who now goes by Ye, wrote. “I must get final edit and approval on this doc before it releases on Netflix. Open the edit room immediately so I can be in charge of my own image.” Variety has reported that while West is listed as a producer on the film, he was not given final cut approval.
The film has been scheduled to premiere as part of the Sundance film festival on Sunday at 6 p.m. MST. It would then hit theaters on Feb. 10, a week ahead of its Netflix premiere. Deadline reports that screening copies of the film are already circulating in the media with the caveat that it’s a “work in progress.”
Neither reps for West nor Netflix returned Rolling Stone’s requests for comment ahead of publication.
Longtime West associates Coodie and Chike, who helmed the rapper’s breakthrough “Through the Wire” video, directed the trilogy. Jeen-Yuhs is expected to chronicle the artist’s career with never-before-seen footage, shot over a 21-year period. Rolling Stone has reported that the pair captured behind-the-scenes footage of West after the death of his mother, Donda, in 2007, and after his failed 2020 presidential bid for the film.
“Everybody is born with a genius,” Coodie has commented. “When God blesses you with a vision and you move with belief in your purpose, you’ll be awakening to the fact that no matter what obstacles you face you will see that vision become reality. Trust God. Period.”
Iconic Events, the production company behind David Byrne’s American Utopia, will handle the film’s theatrical rollout. The company plans on putting it in several hundred film houses around the country.