“The Defiant Ones” examines the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre – one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton – and their leading roles in a chain of transformative events in contemporary culture.
In the new HBO four-part documentary about the lives and intertwining careers of producer/record executive Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre, Iovine recalls his first impression of meeting Dre and his then protégé, Snoop Dogg. “I said, ‘Wow, these guys remind me of when I first saw the Rolling Stones,'” he says. “They’re the same as Mick and Keith. They scare you, but the music brings you in.”
Iovine and his Interscope label wound up releasing Dre’s 1992 classic The Chronic, the start of a longtime partnership between the two men. The Defiant Ones (which premieres July 9th) tells that story – from each man’s rise in the business (Iovine as a producer, Dre as a founder of N.W.A) to their co-launching of Beats Electronics in 2006 and subsequent sale of the company to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. What could have been a vanity project turns out to be a multilayered history of pop music, touching on the rise of Seventies arena rock, the turbulent world of gangsta rap (parts of the movie are akin to a documentary version of Straight Outta Compton), and the digital revolution (up to Iovine’s shock when Dre accidentally announces the Apple deal on Facebook).
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