Who is Coodie Simmons and Where is He Now?

Kanye West is an intriguing figure who has created an impressive legacy for himself since he first hit the music scene in 1996.

The iconic rapper is now the subject of Netflix documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, which launched on the streaming platform on Wednesday, February 16, and will be released on a weekly basis.

Giving fans a deeper look at the musician and his rise to fame, the documentary also features several key figures in West's life from his late mother, Donda, to Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

One such person who features heavily in the documentary, and indeed is important both in front of and behind the camera, is Clarence "Coodie" Simmons.

Who Is Coodie Simmons?

Simmons is a director, screenwriter, producer and cinematographer who is part of a duo alongside Chike Ozah.

The filmmaker first met Ye in 2002 when the musician was starting to make a name for himself, which prompted Simmons to start recording footage of the rapper to create a documentary about him (more on this later).

It was during this time that Simmons met Ozah, as West was appearing on an MTV show called You Heard It First, which Ozah was producing at the time.

Simmons and Ozah became a duo from that moment, and they worked together on music videos for West, including his first video "Through The Wire."

After that first foray into filmmaking, Coodie and Chike also directed "Two Words" and "Jesus Walks" from West's debut album "The College Dropout."

They most recently worked on the music video for West's song "Heaven and Hell," which features on his 2021 album "Donda."

Where Is Coodie Simmons Now?

Simmons and Ozah founded a company called Creative Control in 2007, which they now use to focus on making films as well as to create music videos for musicians like West.

The directing duo are also the creative minds behind Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy, in which they used the aforementioned footage from Simmons' early days with the "Gold Digger" hitmaker.

The two directors spoke to Newsweek about making the documentary, and the reasoning behind why now is the right time to release the trilogy.

Simmons told Newsweek: "They say everything happens in God's time. We were going to do the documentary in 2006, but Kanye wasn't ready for the world to see that side of him because he was a performer and he wanted to have that light."

"Then we were going to do it in 2014, but they had another agenda for Kanye, so that didn't happen then. Then this time I said, 'It's time for this to happen'—and everything started lining up."

Act 1 of Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy launched on Netflix on February 16. Act 2 and Act 3 will arrive on the streaming service in the following weeks.

Coodie Simmons
Director Coodie Simmons attends the "A Kid From Coney Island" screening during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at Village East Cinema on April 27, 2019, in New York City. The filmmaker has worked with Kanye West for many years and directed "Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy" for Netflix alongside Chike Ozah. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival