It was family business for the cast and crew behind jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy at Sound of Brazil (S.O.B.’s) in New York City on Monday, February 21st. Over two hours, a panel of artists featured in the documentary, led by the project’s braintrust Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, gathered to share their memories beyond the film, full-circle moments, and the lasting impact of Ye on their careers now.
The night began with a poetic parallel, as fans eager to go back to The College Dropout era poured into the SoHo dancehall where Ye held his first headlining show in 2003. QR codes lined the walls with offers for an exclusive $225 hoodie that commemorated both the documentary’s release and S.O.B.’s 40th anniversary this year. The merch was only for sale that night.
The event started with moderator and former MTV VJ Quddus Philippe, who would be familiar to viewers of “act i: vision” as the interviewer that Kanye tries to persuade to give him a profile on the channel’s You Hear It First show. He kicked off the show with a humble confession, which became a recurring theme of the night: “When we first met Kanye, no one knew what to make of him.”
He was soon joined by Chike and Coodie, who noted how strange it was to be talking about a film rather than performing at S.O.B.’s, while he plugged his laptop directly into the large screen center-stage. They were followed by the night’s unannounced special guests: J. Ivy, J.B. Marshall, Devo Springsteen, and Abstract Mindstate’s E.P. Da Hellcat and Olskool Ice-Gre.
All fresh from the first part’s feverish reception and in the comfort of old friends, the group was primed for a wide-ranging, open conversation about themselves and their relationships to Ye. Abstract Mindstate went into gritty detail about their early-aughts dissolution caused by Kanye’s recruiting of OlSkool to New York, while Coodie addressed his transition from being mentored by Bernie Mac to walking away from comedy entirely with blunt honesty: “First of all, I knew I wasn’t funny.” The quip earned the biggest laugh of the night.