Say what you want about Kanye “Ye” West, but you can’t deny that the rapper is talented.

The three-part Netflix docuseries jeen-yuhs: a Kanye Trilogy is a testament to the challenges Ye has overcome. The first part documents his rise to popularity as a producer, with footage dating back to 2001, before he signed his first record deal in 2002. Throughout it all, Ye appears unfazed by the obstacles that appear in his way because, as his late mother, Donda West, insists in the series, he’s destined for greatness.

Still, Ye acknowledges that record executives aren’t looking to sign someone with his kind of talent. Sure, they respect him as a producer, but they didn’t want to sign him to their label as an artist. Time and again, jeen-yuhs shows Kanye as he’s approached with offers to produce but he wants more for himself.

At the time, DMX and Jay-Z were topping the charts with songs based on their gang experience, a trend that the “Heartless” artist says he respects but can’t relate to. He explains, “I wasn’t in the streets killing and shooting motherf–kers because I was determined. I felt like I wanted to f–king make it in music. So what? You going to hold that against me cause I ain’t kill nobody?”

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