Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine: The zenith of pop culture
Allen Hughes’ “The Defiant Ones” gives viewers an exciting look at music’s most dynamic and powerful duo.
For over five decades, the lives of Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and Jimmy Iovine have drawn the kind of coming of age parallel that Hollywood films are built on.
Take Marvel’s “Avengers” for example. A coterie of superpowered forces from all walks of life who are united by one common goal: saving the world. Then there’s 1958’s “The Defiant Ones,” a black-and-white picture that captures the story of two prison escapees, one black and one white, as they attempt to make a break for freedom while shackled together. While Dre and Iovine are far from Iron Man and Captain America or Noah Cullen and John “Joker” Johnson, they are however giants whose individual and collective stomps have produced seismic shifts within pop culture over the last 30 years.
In science, they call it the Big Bang Theory. The idea that the universe may have been created after a huge explosion at least 12 billion years ago. Going from single point to an expanding universe, this cataclysmic birth created what we have now. This same ideology correlates with the alliance between Dre and Iovine.
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Straight out of Compton is Dr. Dre, a musically-gifted whiz whose passion for music began on the turntables before transitioning into a locally respected DJ crew and later becoming the walking soundboard for “The World’s Most Dangerous Group” and gangsta rap. Approximately 2455 miles away is Brooklyn’s own Jimmy Iovine, a working-class kid who followed the universe’s trajectory and found himself in studio sessions with John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen all before launching Interscope Records. By the time they joined forces in 1992, for the launch of Dr. Dre’s Death Row Records imprint, this bond would form the proverbial “bang” — one that has reshaped pop culture, influencing a staggering portion of American popular music that include names like Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Snoop Dogg, Eazy E, Ice Cube, 2Pac, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Eminem, 50 Cent, Game, and Kendrick Lamar to name a few.
Airing Sunday (July 9) through Wednesday (July 12) at 9 p.m. EST on HBO, director Allen Hughes tracks this journey in a four-part docu-series, aptly titled “The Defiant Ones.” Putting a scope on the iconoclasts’ paths and how they eventually came together to form such an outsized cultural impact, resulting in the $3 billion sale of their Beats Electronics to Apple, in 2014, the film serves as both a rearview mirror for the parties involved and a microscopic lens for viewers to better understand the gravity of their influence — collectively.
“Knowing that Jimmy and Dre, and where they were raised couldn’t be further apart,” Allen Hughes explained to REVOLT, “You have to write each story and develop each story separately because you know what’s going to happen once they eventually meet on The Chronic.”
While discussing their game-winning bond, Hughes described Jimmy and Dre as “brothers.”
“Dre likes to play his position and Jimmy loves to play his position,” he said. “They bounce off each other as well and they produce each other,” Hughes continued. “They collaborate, as just human beings… they’re like brothers.”
As “brothers,” both figures have gone to make a mark on culture that should last a lifetime.
For a close look at how this is so, catch our interview with both Iovine and Hughes above and be sure to catch the “The Defiant Ones” when it debuts Sunday, July 9, at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.