‘The Defiant Ones’ Interview With Jimmy Iovine
Jame Minchin/HBO

Luck may reside where preparedness meets opportunity, but as creative and business partners, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, illustrate in the Grammy-nominated documentary, The Defiant Ones, building an empire requires consistent hard work. Laser-sharp vision and talent come in handy, too.

Directed by Allen Hughes (Menace II Society) and now available digitally, on DVD and Blu-Ray, the four-part series highlights the ups-and-downs that Dre and Iovine (“the innovator and the levitator,” as Eminem refers to them) experienced during their rise to the top of their games. 

Both self-made, their journeys were far from smooth. Instead, they endured their fair share of personal and professional tragedies and missteps, much of which they reflect upon with a mixture of laughter, sobering truth and a bit of sadness. Interviews with Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and The D.O.C., as well as Diddy, Nas, Kendrick Lamar and Dee Barnes help fill in the blanks and add color to the pair’s legendary stories.

Over dinner at Hollywood’s NeueHouse earlier this month, Iovine spoke about opening up, on-camera. 

“There are times when somebody in your life dies unexpectedly,” he said. “There are [also] times where you feel lost in your career, when you have to pivot, and you’re too afraid to do it – and usually, it happens at the same damn time… Forget that it happened to me, it happens to everybody, but we had a director who presented it in a way where everybody can relate.”

Hughes chimed in, “As I was cutting [the material], I was trying to figure out how to make these stories transcend, so they could connect.” Adding, “I was just waiting for the goose pumps.”
Of the many life lessons sprinkled throughout the series, there is one that speaks the loudest – keep striving. Whether you watched it during its summer run on HBO or will experience it for the first time on home video, if you’re in need of personal and/or professional inspiration, The Defiant Ones is worth watching…again and again.

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