On Tuesday night (July 11), part three of HBO’s documentary The Defiant Ones illustrated the genius behind some of Jimmy Iovine’s signings to Interscope in the early 90s, to the emergence of West Coast rap through Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
The third installment of the documentary displayed the initial encounter between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. In the early ’90s, the revered producer was seeking a home for his debut album, The Chronic. Together, they joined forces and quickly became a formidable duo.
Take a look at some of the best moments from part three below.
Iovine Tells 16-year-Old Gwen Stefani She Has Star Potential
Before No Doubt bloomed into a behemoth in the rock world, initially they were struggling to pen quality records in the eyes of Jimmy Iovine. Despite their initial shortcomings, Iovine was enamored with the talent exuded by the-then 16-year-old Gwen Stefani. “I didn’t know anything about getting signed,” Stefani reflected. Her naivety didn’t deter Iovine. “You’re gonna be a star in six years,” she said.
Iovine Dupes TVT Into Giving Away Nine Inch Nails
Hungry for a band with attitude, Iovine salivated at the thought of securing a deal with Nine Inch Nails in 1991. The precocious band had everything Iovine craved: swagger and great stage presence. There was one problem, though. Nine Inch Nails was locked into a seven album deal with TVT. In the eyes of Nine Inch Nails, TVT was a “collection of sh-t.” Iovine used his guile to convince TVT to sign the band’s contract over to Interscope.
(Ed. Note: Following the publication of this story, TVT founder Steve Gottlieb reached out to Billboard to dispute the documentary’s portrayal of the facts, particularly as they related to TVT’s joint venture with Interscope Records and Reznor’s account of events.)
Snoop Dogg “Was a Diamond in the Rough That Needed to Be Polished”
While at a bachelor party, Dr. Dre discovered Snoop Dogg after listening to his cassette. Astonished by Snoop’s delivery, Dre asked him to come to his studio. According the legendary producer, Snoop freestyled to the first beat that was played. From there, Dre worked with Snoop and Warren G and began crafting his magnum opus, The Chronic.
?Dr. Dre Finds a Home for The Chronic
After being tied up in a slew of lawsuits stemming from his past relationships with Jerry Heller and Eazy-E, Dr. Dre had trouble finding potential suitors for The Chronic. He finally found a home in Interscope after a successful meeting with Jimmy Iovine. Iovine was amazed by the sheer fact that Dr. Dre engineered and produced the entire album himself. “This guy will define Interscope,” said Iovine regarding his first encounter with Dr. Dre. “They scared you, but the music brings you in,” he added.
Atlantic Records Helps Death Row Bail Out Tupac
High off the success of The Chronic and Doggystyle, Death Row was hoping to lock in a deal with Tupac. Despite being marred by legal issues, ‘Pac was still being courted by Suge and company. What hindered Death Row was their lack of capital. Atlantic Records — a subsidiary of Time Warner — and Interscope Records forked over the bail money needed to free Tupac. Upon his release, Tupac returned with a bang and released his double-disc album All Eyez on Me.
The Violence in Death Row Was Too Much for Dr. Dre
Violence beget violence. For Dr. Dre, he no longer could endure the gruesome lifestyle carried out by his cohorts at Death Row. He watched engineers get beaten up in front of his eyes. “I wanted to leave Death Row,” Dre said despite the success behind the label’s newly formed triumvirate. “Don’t break up The Beatles. Keep the band together,” Iovine told Dre regarding his allegiance to Tupac and Snoop Dogg at Death Row.