Coodie Simmons has been making waves as the director of Netflix’s new docuseries, Jeen-Yuhs, which offers a rare glimpse into Kanye West‘s life. Having met Kanye in the late 1990s, Coodie began documenting the aspiring rapper’s journey from a producer to a global superstar. As Kanye’s career skyrocketed, Coodie’s own growth as a filmmaker flourished. Here are 10 fascinating facts about Coodie Simmons that you probably didn’t know.
1. A New Yorker with Chicago Roots
Born and raised in Chicago, Coodie hails from a supportive, close-knit family. Although he cherishes his Windy City upbringing, he has called New York City home for several years and shows no signs of leaving.
2. A Self-Taught Filmmaker
Coodie’s filmmaking prowess didn’t come from formal education. Instead, he honed his skills on the job through his public access show, Channel Zero.
3. A Life-Changing Robbery
When Coodie realized he needed to follow Kanye to New York City to continue filming, he lacked the funds to make the move. Surprisingly, being robbed at gunpoint provided the solution. After his car was stolen, insurance payouts allowed him to relocate to New York. Coodie believes that everything happens for a reason, good or bad.
4. Inspiring Dreams with Jeen-Yuhs
Coodie always had faith that his footage of Kanye would eventually come together in a meaningful way. Now that Jeen-Yuhs has been released, he hopes the docuseries will encourage others to pursue their dreams.
5. A Devoted Father
Coodie’s passion extends beyond his career; he’s a dedicated father to his daughter, Ivy. Although it’s unclear if he’s married to Ivy’s mother, Coodie cherishes the time he spends with his family.
6. Collaborations with Other Artists
Kanye may have been Coodie’s entry point into the entertainment industry, but he has since worked with other renowned artists, including Erykah Badu and Pitbull. He has also contributed to projects like ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series.
7. College Dropout
Coodie shares more than just his Chicago roots with Kanye; both dropped out of college after brief stints. Coodie attended Northern Illinois University for a year, studying communications before being expelled. This seemingly unfortunate event ultimately set him on his current path.
8. A Man of Faith
Coodie’s belief in God has been a driving force in his life and career. His faith has sustained him through the years and allowed him to trust that his footage of Kanye would eventually become something special.
9. Donda West’s Generosity
Coodie’s close relationship with Kanye led to a bond with Kanye’s mother, Donda. He fondly remembers her kindness, including the time she bought him a new video camera at B&H Photo.
10. Entrepreneurial Spirit
Coodie’s creativity is matched by his business acumen. He co-founded Creative Control, LLC with his partner Chike Ozah, and the duo has worked on numerous projects over the years. They even have a YouTube channel, although it hasn’t been updated in some time.
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