Kanye West’s decades-spanning docuseries is finally coming to Netflix

The series features unseen footage of the last 20 years of Kanye’s life. 'KUWTK' found dead in a ditch.

by Roisin Lanigan
08 April 2021, 10:52am

Still from "Through The Wire" video

Netflix has secured the rights for a Kanye West documentary series that charts the last two decades of the rapper, designer and one-time presidential candidate’s life and career, Billboard reports. Yes, Keeping Up With The Kardashians might finally be coming to an end after its impressive 14 year, 20 season reign, but that doesn’t mean our insights into the lives of Kanye and his family have to stop just yet. And even better, given that this upcoming series has been a long time in the making, it surely means we’re going to see more of Kanye than the awkward, fleeting glimpses of his life as a husband and dad that we were granted via KUWTK.

The upcoming documentary, which is as of yet unnamed, is a labour of love spanning nearly 20 years. Created by directors Clarence Simmons and Chike Ozah, the series first began its life as a kind of behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Kanye’s “Through The Wire” video, which the pair directed back in 2003. Over the next 18 years, Clarence and Chike stayed in touch with Kanye, filming him around life-changing moments like the death of his mother Donda, his controversial appearance on SNL, and his doomed 2020 presidential bid.

And it could go back even further, charting Kanye’s rise to fame as a rapper and producer in the 90s. A source told Billboard that one half of the directorial duo, Clarence Simmons, has been pals with Kanye since way back, and reported that the series “will 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”.

The series will use never before seen footage of the star, as well as home movies and interviews with his loved ones. It’s unclear, given the scope of the documentary, whether it will touch on Kanye’s ongoing divorce from Kim Kardashian, which the final season of the latter’s show is said to reveal.

And while we don’t know exactly when the series might drop just yet — it’s expected at some point later this year — it seems that Netflix paid a lot of money for the rights to Kanye’s life. In its initial report, Billboard set the figure paid by Netflix at a cool $30 million. While this figure was later disputed by Variety, it seems obvious that the series is a big win for Netflix, especially with the serendipitous timing of KUWTK coming to an end. Whenever it drops and however much it costs, we can’t wait to see it.

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