Coodie Simmons is an American filmmaker, director, producer, and entrepreneur who has a net worth of $1.5 million.
Coodie is best known for directing music videos and documentaries featuring Kanye West. Some of his most notable works include the 2004 documentary Through the Wire and the recent 2022 documentary Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy.
Coodie has built an impressive career over the past few decades. He is a talented storyteller who has provided insight into Kanye’s journey to stardom. Coodie’s work has received critical praise, and he continues to take on new projects across television and film.
Coodie Simmons Net Worth
Coodie Simmons has amassed an estimated net worth of $10 million as of 2023. The multi-part jeen-yuhs documentary was likely his most lucrative project to date, given its critical acclaim and distribution by Netflix.
Coodie owns extensive archives of valuable footage and continues to produce new content. His net worth will likely rise in the future as he remains active in filmmaking and potentially releases more projects from his vault of Kanye West content. Despite his success, Coodie has maintained a relatively modest lifestyle focused on his creative work.
Early Life and Education
Coodie Simmons was born on January 18, 1971, in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up on the city’s South Side in a working-class family. From a young age, Coodie was drawn to filmmaking and directing.
He attended Julian High School, where he played football and was known by the nickname “Coodie.” After graduation, he went on to attend Northern Illinois University from 1987 to 1991.
At NIU, Coodie pursued studies in radio, television, and film. During college, he hosted a radio show on the campus station and began filming local musicians and rap artists. This early experience helped lay the foundation for his future career directing music videos and documentaries.
Career Beginnings in Film and Music Videos
After college, Coodie relocated to Los Angeles and launched his career as a director. In 1993, he formed a creative partnership with filmmaker Chike Ozah, known together as Coodie & Chike.
One of Coodie’s first major opportunities came in the late 1990s when he directed the music video for rapper Eminem’s hit song “The Real Slim Shady.” That helped establish Coodie’s reputation for capturing hip-hop artists’ energy and personalities on film.
Over the next several years, Coodie & Chike directed dozens of music videos for top artists, including Jermaine Dupri, The Roots, and Common. Their creative, kinetic visual style became highly sought-after in the music industry.
Sources of Income
Throughout his career, Coodie Simmons has earned income through several key sources related to his work in film and television:
Early in his career, Coodie earned solid fees for directing major music videos for artists like Kanye West, Eminem, and Jermaine Dupri. Even today, these iconic videos continue to generate revenue through streaming royalties and licensing.
Coodie has directed numerous commercials for top brands like Nike, Reebok, and McDonald’s. These big-budget commercial shoots pay well for his directorial skills and visual style. Long-term branding partnerships have provided steady income over the years.
However, Coodie earns income as a producer and director. Both the Benji documentary and Jeen-Yuhs trilogy on Netflix likely made Coodie seven-figure payouts, given their critical acclaim and widespread distribution.
Breakthrough with Kanye West Collaborations
Coodie first met and interviewed an up-and-coming producer named Kanye West in 2002. They immediately established a rapport, and Coodie could see Kanye’s determination and star potential.
That marked the beginning of a meaningful collaborative relationship between the two. Coodie went on to direct several of Kanye’s breakthrough music videos, including “Through the Wire” and “Jesus Walks.”
Coodie captured Kanye’s recovery after a devastating car crash and helped share his life story with these impactful videos. Their teamwork combined Coodie’s directorial skills with Kanye’s bold artistic vision.
In 2004, Coodie and Chike released their first documentary feature, Through the Wire, which followed Kanye’s early career. It received the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Their collaboration continued with videos for Kanye’s songs “Drive Slow” and “Two Words.” Throughout the 2000s, Coodie carefully documented Kanye’s swift rise from a promising artist to a global superstar.
Recent Projects and Jeen-Yuhs Documentary Series
Coodie directed and produced the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Benji about the tragic story of basketball phenom Ben Wilson in 2012. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
From 2019 to 2022, Coodie focused efforts on his most ambitious project to date – a definitive documentary series on Kanye West called Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy. Over twenty years in the making, the series provides unprecedented access and insight into Kanye’s life and artistry.
The first part of the trilogy premiered virtually at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022 before the whole series debuted on Netflix in February 2022. Jeen-Yuhs has earned universal acclaim from critics who have praised its candid, revealing perspective on a divisive pop culture figure. It provides a complex, humanizing portrait of Kanye spanning decades.
From now on, in 2023, Coodie Simmons will continue to direct commercials and develop new documentary projects on major musical artists and athletes. He has an extensive archive of unreleased footage ready for future films. Coodie’s legacy as a pivotal chronicler of hip-hop in the 2000s is assured, thanks to his visionary collaborations with Kanye West.
Other Business Ventures
Coodie Simmons has pursued some other entrepreneurial business ventures over the years. In the late 1990s, he helped launch a hip-hop-centered clothing line called Hiphopsouth. Based in Atlanta, the urban apparel company produced fashionable t-shirts, hats, and other items. While the brand ultimately folded by the early 2000s, it marked Coodie’s early efforts at creative entrepreneurship.
Coodie and partner Chike also delved into creating a music label and artist management company named Creative Control Entertainment. They signed and developed hip-hop artists before closing up shop to focus on visual content and filmmaking instead.
Throughout his collaborations with Kanye West, Coodie carefully archived extensive amounts of footage and content. He knew from their first meeting that Kanye was a star in the making and preserved his rise to fame on camera. Coodie now owns a valuable vault of unreleased video content spanning decades.
Coodie Simmons has been involved in giving back to the community through philanthropic efforts over the years.
Coodie has been a consistent supporter of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a non-profit organization founded by Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., focused on social justice and empowering underserved communities. He has donated to their annual fundraising galas and supported their voter registration drives.
FAQs on Coodie Simmons Net Worth
How did Coodie Simmons first meet Kanye West?
Coodie first interviewed Kanye in Chicago in 2002 when Kanye was an up-and-coming producer yet to release his debut album. Their initial chemistry and Coodie’s belief in Kanye’s talent sparked a creative partnership.
What was the first music video Coodie directed for Kanye?
The breakthrough video collaboration between Coodie and Kanye was “Through the Wire” in 2003. It documented Kanye rapping with his jaw wired shut after a car crash.
How much unseen footage does Coodie have of Kanye West?
Coodie shot over 250 hours of unseen footage of Kanye over the years. He still owns an extensive archive of content spanning Kanye’s career from the 1990s to today.
Where can I watch Coodie’s Jeen-Yuhs documentary on Kanye?
The three-part Jeen-Yuhs documentary series premiered on Netflix in February 2022. The series provides an intimate look at Kanye’s path to fame over two decades.
Coodie Simmons is a talented director and documentarian with an estimated $1.5 million net worth. He built his career in the music industry directing iconic videos before achieving wider recognition for his Kanye West documentaries.
Coodie’s unique access to and trust in Kanye has allowed him to produce compelling insights into the rapper’s life. With more archived footage waiting to be unveiled, Coodie’s impact on hip-hop’s visual history will continue growing for years to come.