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Jimmy Iovine on The Defiant Ones: I delved into hip-hop after hearing Dre’s The Chronic

Legendary producer Jimmy Iovine says he first delved into hip-hop after hearing Dr. Dre’s iconic album The Chronic — which eventually led to him teaming up with the music legend.

Iovine was speaking at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour about new four-part HBO documentary series The Defiant Ones, which tells the story of the Beats headphones founders.

Speaking about falling out of love with producing after U2’s album Rattle and Hum, he said: “I didn’t want to be the guy producing Rod Stewart’s son.”

But recalling how he first heard Dr. Dre’s 1992 album, Iovine said: “When they played me The Chronic, I said, ‘Who did this? Okay, this is a whole different kind of guy.'”

Iovine said hearing the album for the first time gave him a similar experience to when he first listened to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and it started his interest in hip-hop.

Set amid many of the defining events of the past four decades, The Defiant Ones tells the story of Iovine and Dr. Dre, one a son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton.

It centers on their unlikely partnership and surprising leading roles in a series of transformative events such as finding Eminem, and creating headphone company Beats, which catapulted them to fame and fortune.

Described as gritty, revealing and raw, this unflinching story is filmed in recording studios, modest family homes and luxurious mansions, from criminal courts to the halls of corporate power.

Filmed over a three-year period by Allen Hughes, recorded are interviews with Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre along with Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen and will.i.am.

The Defiant Ones airs this Spring on HBO.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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