One of the highlights of Jeen-Yuhs, the new Netflix documentary about Kanye West, is seeing West’s tender relationship with his mother, Professor Donda West. It’s no secret that Kanye considered Donda one of his major anchor points — he named his last album and his non-profit foundation after her — but to watch them share quiet moments together before his ascent to stardom gives viewers a better understanding of just how close they were.
The moment that perhaps best highlights their bond in the first part of the three-part docuseries sees Donda reminiscing about a rap Kanye wrote in high school. Almost instantly, Ye begins to recite it for her, and it doesn’t take long for her to join in, rapping along with the verse as though it were one of Kanye’s hits like “Through The Wire,” “Gold Digger,” “Stronger,” or “Power.” The glimpse into their private world exemplifies how much Donda believed in Kanye’s art — and perhaps reveals part of why Kanye believed in himself so much, even when the recording industry establishment didn’t.
Ye also shows off a truly impressive and hilarious impression of his “big brother” Jay-Z in the episode, which follows him from his humble beginnings as an aspiring rapper and producer for Chicago’s underground hip-hop scene to his eventual signing to Roc-A-Fella Records. You can watch the full episode on Netflix, with parts two and three coming next week and the week after.