Dr. Dre is opening up about his rise to unprecedented fame in a new four-part documentary on HBO called The Defiant Ones. The docu-series focuses on the partnership between the iconic rapper and his longtime friend and record producer Jimmy Iovine. While the series will feature in depth interviews with a slew of famous artists, such as Ice Cube, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and more, that look up to Dre and Iovine, the beating heart of the upcoming series is a tale of two underdogs overcoming insurmountable odds together.
The Defiant Ones looks at the duo's longtime business and personal relationship, however, Dre doesn't shy away from opening up about the bias he dealt with as a young black man trying to make it in the music industry. He spoke about trying to push his now legendary album The Chronic, calling it his "do or die album" and saying he put his "body in to this record." Despite playing it for multiple record companies, he kept getting turned down again and again. Dre knew it was because they didn't want to put out a gangster rap record on their labels.
One producer, though, did see The Chronic for what it was: a masterpiece. Of course, that producer was Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records. "All I remember is that Dre had come in to play us The Chronic," Iovine recalls in the trailer for The Defiant Ones. "I said 'Wow, this guy will define Interscope.'" That was the beginning of an epic partnership that launched the careers of hip hop artists like Snoop Dogg and Eminem, as well as making Iovine and Dr. Dre two of them richest men in the world.
Dre also opened up about how Beats Electronic came to be, revealing he might have endorsed sneakers instead of speakers without the guidance of Iovine. "Out of the blue, he's like 'Dre, man, fuck sneakers," he recalls in the trailer for the docu-series. "No, you don't sell sneakers. You sell all kinds of different speakers." Apple ended up buying Beats for $3 billion.
Despite the massive amount of success Dre has come to know over the years, he knows he has "always been underestimated" throughout every step of his career. By tuning in to the first episode on HBO on July 9th, you can find out how Iovine and Dre turned fear "into tailwind instead of a headwind."