The first part of the Netflix Kanye West documentary Jeen-Yuhs has been out for about a day now, and as fans take in the episode, one scene, in particular, has sparked a wide-ranging Twitter debate between fans and industry professionals. The documentary follows Kanye as he bum-rushes the Roc-A-Fella Records office with his camera crew in tow to play “All Falls Down” for people during a busy workday.
Much of the criticism focuses on then-head-of-marketing Chaka Pilgrim’s stonefaced reaction to Kanye’s antics as he commandeers her CD player and proceeds to perform the song in her face. Meanwhile, the narration provided by the documentary’s director and longtime Kanye cheerleader Coodie depicts this moment as a deflating one for Kanye, who believes that he should be signed to the label as a rapper and not just a producer.
Kanye West was playing “All Falls Down” for the label and they didnt take him seriously pic.twitter.com/zf1iiaLP6k
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) February 16, 2022
Today’s fans are aghast that the denizens of the office seem less than enthused by the record, which went on to peak at No. 7 on the Hot 100, receive a double Platinum certification, and was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 47th Grammy Awards. However, some industry professionals — at least one of whom was actually in the office on the day in question — have responded to the backlash hoping to set the record straight.
sometimes I see these industry people and wonder are you guys even a fan of music or is just a job to you.
I couldn’t imagine an artist bringing a song this good and just acting like I didn’t hear it. Smh. I get why kanye the way he is sometimes. https://t.co/dZAXjwl3A8
— Tomi Sanni (@rnbtomi) February 17, 2022
Kanye West played ‘All Falls Down’ for everyone in the Roc-A-Fella offices and they all did this. pic.twitter.com/HfBkAVSwLl
— Colb (@___Colb___) February 17, 2022
To all those *shocked* at Kanye being snubbed, remember Russell told Nas he sounded like a fake G Rap. Jay had to start his OWN label to get signed. Wendy Goldstein said, “Why would I sign Eminem when I could sign Killah Priest?” Drake, Kendrick and Cole all got multiple passes
— Noah Callahan-Bever (@N_C_B) February 17, 2022
By way of context, Wayno Clark, who is the current VP of A&R for Quality Control Music after holding positions all over the music industry for the past two decades, offered his take as one of the people who were in the office on the day in question. “He played this song in the office and did this with a camera crew like 10x,” he explained. “How many times can you have a crazy reaction to something you’ve heard 10x? It was kind of annoying at that point.”
So, Kanye, in a nutshell.
“Y’all also gotta realize this is at a time when phones ain’t even have cameras on em,” he further elaborated. “He came with a camera crew all the time recording everything. People weren’t used to that, Chaka hair ain’t even done you think she was happy to be on camera?”
Lmao the context behind this is he played this song in the office and did this with a camera crew like 10x , how many times can you have a crazy reaction to something you’ve heard 10x it was kind of annoying at that point. https://t.co/65RjYoLDRN
— Wayno (@Wayno119) February 17, 2022
Y’all also gotta realize this is at a time when phones ain’t even have cameras on em , he came with a camera crew all the time recording everything. People weren’t used to that , Chaka hair ain’t even done you think she was happy to be on camera? 🤣
— Wayno (@Wayno119) February 17, 2022
Other industry vets also weighed in on the intrusion, explaining that it was not only a workday but that the folks in the office were busy ensuring that Roc-A-Fella’s existing roster of potential hits got out to the world at large, as well. That didn’t stop fans from replying with their fan goggles firmly in place, berating industry pros — y’know, the people whose jobs entailed making sure that the music was put out and marketed well enough that it could do all those things listed above — for basically not doing their jobs — which, y’know… they did.
It’s a prime example of “not everybody deserves a platform to share their opinion” but alas, here we are. Social media gives everyone a megaphone — including Kanye, who spent the last week or so abusing his by using it to harass his ex-wife — and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But there comes a certain point when you really should listen to the experts. Fortunately, they’ve got megaphones of their own. Check out more responses below.
Bro no part of this was about not feeling it or not taking him seriously. He pulled the equivalent of subway showtime in the middle of a work day. It's unprofessional and obnoxious and honestly, whatever he thought was gonna happen shouldn't have on principle https://t.co/1Me9CwbEyj
— AaronSmarter (@AaronSmarter) February 16, 2022
If Kanye burst in my office while I’m working and played All Falls Down, I’d ignore his ass too.
— Joshton Peas (@joshtonpeas) February 17, 2022
if i'm in the middle of a work day and a rapper walks into my office, opens my CD player and starts playing his song – i don't care how good it is. you are on my nerves.
— karliehustle.nah (@THEkarliehustle) February 17, 2022
It truly saddens me the percentage of people that will see the old footage of Kanye West playing "All Falls Down" who might not even know who the hell Chaka Pilgrim is or the job she had at the time Kanye entered her office or the job(s) she had later on in her career…
— Dart_Adams (@Dart_Adams) February 17, 2022
I watched this last night and I agree w @dances even more than I did yesterday. She’s trying to get work done in her office and Kanye just barges in. He already was on their radar bc he produced half the Blueprint! What’s she supposed to do here? Throw money at him!? https://t.co/trihBpDws8
— kang (@jaycaspiankang) February 17, 2022
1.this was the 3rd single for a reason
2. Chaka Pilgrim has other things to do
at that moment then listen to YE demo
SHES WORKING IN MARKETING SHES
NOT AN A&R SHE HAS NOTHING to do with this
3. HES ALREADY SIGNED WITH A BUDGET
this just bothering workers
SHES A BIG EXEC NOW THO https://t.co/RrsODfFbdZ
— Meek Mitski (@dances) February 17, 2022