Twenty-one years, twenty-one years…
In his 2005 single “Gold Digger,” Kanye West lamented about the 18-year financial hold that child support has on a nigga to emphasize the length of time (“Eighteen years, eighteen years / She got one of your kids, got you for eighteen years”) and now it looks like we’re about to witness 21 years of his own personal journey.
According to Billboard, Netflix has purchased a documentary chronicling the life of Kanye for $30 million. Well, that’s the number going through the grapevine (heh)—according to Variety, “a person familiar with the matter tells Variety that that is not an accurate figure.” The documentary will reportedly “tell the story of the rapper and producer’s rise to success and fame’s impact on him as well hip-hop’s impact on popular culture and the world’s evolving relationship with celebrity.”
Variety further reports on what to expect from the doc as well as how it came to be:
The series is said to include never-before-seen footage of West, and will cover his career in music and fashion, his failed 2020 presidential bid, and the death of his mother, Donda West.
The multi-part docuseries, which does not yet have a title, hails from music video producing duo Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, better known as Coodie & Chike, who directed and produced West’s 2004 music video “Jesus Walks (Version 3)” and “Through the Wire.” The pair have also produced and directed the 2012 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Benji, about Benjamin Wilson; music videos for Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu and others; and the 2019 documentary on former professional basketball player Stephon Marbury, A Kid From Coney Island.
The documentary certainly has a lot of cover—just in these recent years alone there’s been the aforementioned failed presidential run as well as an ongoing major lawsuit, a divorce, a career shift to gospel music, his growing fashion empire and a retracted billionaire label (a label which his estranged wife recently picked up instead). As this appears to be quite an in-depth documentary, I’m also expecting there to be more intimate discussions about his bipolar diagnosis.
West is not creatively involved in this documentary, but it does appear to be authorized given his close relationship with the producing duo. Because ‘Ye’s life can’t seem to escape drama and scandal, there’s apparently another documentary being pitched by his former bodyguard Steve Stanulis chronicling their “stormy” work relationship. Stanulis has gotten a couple of lawsuit threats from Kanye’s legal team for making public disparaging remarks about the rapper, so it’s pretty safe to say his version isn’t authorized at all.
Billboard reports the documentary is expected to be released this year, though Netflix has not yet officially commented.