On Sunday (July 9), hip-hop aficionados tuned in to watch HBO’s new series The Defiant Ones. Spearheaded by music industry powerhouses Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, viewers received an in-depth look on how each mogul found their respective lane in part one of the documentary.
With notable stars like Eminem, Diddy, Bruce Springsteen, Ice Cube, and more detailing the path of Dre and Iovine, Apple’s two-headed monster overcame a series of hindrances before becoming the fearsome duo they are today.
Take a look at some of the most interesting moments from the Allen Hughes-directed documentary below.
Iovine’s First Job Was As a Studio Assistant At New York’s Record Plant
Like any young college kid growing up, Iovine’s first couple of jobs weren’t glamorous. Through his connection with his cousin, songwriter Ellen Greenwich, Iovine was able to work at several studios. Sadly, he was fired a few times. Luckily, he struck gold when he engineered Bruce Springsteen’s third album Born to Run. The acclaimed album was lauded by TIME, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone. “Bruce taught me work ethic,” Iovine confesses.
Iovine Meets John Lennon After Skipping Out on Easter With His Family
Instead of partaking in Easter with his family, Iovine chose work over play. Because of his dedication, the young engineer was given an opportunity to work alongside famed singer John Lennon. The two forged a relationship, which led to Iovine working on three of Lennon’s albums.
Iovine Was Fired by Foghat
After scoring a successful album with Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, Iovine was brimming with confidence. High off his recent feat, Iovine landed his first job to produce Foghat’s new album. Unfortunately, his swagger derailed him and he was fired. “I wasn’t ready,” recalls Iovine. “It was the wrong type of music for me.”
Iovine Lands His First Top 10 Record With Patti Smith’s “Because the Night”
Dejected after his recent firing by Foghat, Iovine had no idea how he would recover. Before he had time to sulk, punk rock star, Patti Smith, offered Iovine a second chance at redemption. Often praised for being an indomitable workhorse, Iovine proved his worth when he zipped to the studio and handed Smith a record he originally made for Bruce Springsteen’s album Born to Run. The result? Smith’s riveting record “Because of the Night,” which earned Iovine his first top 10.
Dr. Dre Never Cared About Being a Rapper
Despite his magnum opus, The Chronic, Dr. Dre’s affinity for producing trumps rapping. “[I] never considered myself a rapper. I don’t like how I sound on the mic,” says Dre.
Dr. Dre’s First Group Was World Class Wreckin’ Cru
Before he yelled “F–k the Police” with N.W.A, Dr. Dre was creating dance-laden records with his former group World Class Wreckin’ Cru. Though he was grateful to have this initial start with WCWC, Dre thought that some of their records were “corny as f—.” His desire to start his own hip-hop imprint outweighed his love for the group.
Dr. Dre Teamed up With Eazy-E to Form Ruthless Records
After falling out of love with his group World Class Wrecking Cru, Dre had an insatiable appetite to build a hip-hop empire on the West Coast. In hopes of capitalizing on his dreams, he linked up with Eazy-E — who was a hustler at the time — and created Ruthless Records.
Dr. Dre Convinces Eazy E to Rap on “Boyz in Da Hood”
Though he had a fond appreciation for hip-hop, Eazy-E never had aspirations to become a rapper. According to Dr. Dre, he spent two hours cajoling Eazy to step inside the booth and rap “Boyz in the Hood,” which was penned by Ice Cube. Eazy succumbed and made a genius out of Dre, as the record propelled Ruthless Records to the forefront of rap.