Documentary Event THE DEFIANT ONES Debuts 7/9 on HBO
Allen Hughes filmed Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre with unfettered access over a three-year period in making THE DEFIANT ONES. In addition to extensive interviews with Dre and Iovine, who speak frankly about their highs and lows, the show includes interviews with such music icons as Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, Gwen Stefani, Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Stevie Nicks, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Jon Landau, Patti Smith, Lady Gaga, Doug Morris, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Diddy, Alonzo Williams and will.i.am. The series also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, JJ Fad, Stevie Nicks, N.W.A., Tom Petty, The D.O.C., Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others.
Set amid many of the defining societal and cultural events of the past four decades, THE DEFIANT ONES tells the stories of two men - one black, one white - from different tough neighborhoods and their improbable partnership and surprising leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture. This revealing, compelling and often-gritty story takes place in recording studios, in humble homes, in criminal courts and in the highest corridors of corporate power.
Defiance is defined as "daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force." This unique and inspiring tale shows how decades of DEFIANCE and determination helped Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre build a few empires, make a series of American Dreams come true and transform two street kids into global forces to be reckoned with, here and now. The result is a master class in how to work your way up from the bottom to beyond your wildest dreams.
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Years before they brokered one of the biggest deals in music history - the 2015 sale of Beats Electronics to Apple for $3 billion - Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine navigated very different environments towards destinies that would, ultimately and improbably, bring them together.
Dre's story began in Compton, Cal., where his fascination with dance music, DJ innovations and sound brought him into contact with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren. Together, they would become the core of the 1980s gangsta-rap supergroup N.W.A.
A native of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Jimmy gravitated to music following an indifferent academic career, and with a determination to avoid continuing in THE FAMILY business as a longshoreman, he turned stints answering phones in recording studios to connecting with artists like John Lennon, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen through a combination of hard work and old-fashioned luck, eventually building a reputation as a fearless, talented and indefatigable producer.
Debut: MONDAY, JULY 10 (9:00-10:10 p.m.)
With provocative songs like "F**k the Police" and "Straight Outta Compton," shaped by the bitter race relations in Los Angeles, N.W.A. evolved into a force to be reckoned with, in LA and beyond. But a series of calamities - including personal losses on the streets, run-ins with the law, a bitter contract dispute and a clash over management that strained Dre's relationship with Eazy-E - undermined the band and landed Dr. Dre at a crossroads, looking to make a fresh start.
Meanwhile, Jimmy continued his rise up the music ladder via successful collaborations with Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks (with whom he had a relationship). But he hit a wall, and considered his own career shift, after a particularly arduous collaboration with U2, whose tireless drive in the studio rivaled his own.
Debut: TUESDAY, JULY 11 (9:00-10:25 p.m.)
By 1989, Jimmy had parlayed his production expertise into a new career as co-founder of Interscope Records, committing the label to on-the-edge artists like Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt ... and Dr. Dre, whose solo LP, "The Chronic," had been recorded by DEATH ROW Records, a post-N.W.A. label he created with Suge Knight, the D.O.C. and Dick Griffey. Blown away by Dre's singular talent, Jimmy cut a deal with DEATH ROW for Interscope to become the label's distributor. "The Chronic" became a huge hit and spawned an even bigger LP from Dre's protégé, Snoop Dogg.
But hostility was mounting across America towards the misunderstood violent influence of rap music, and Interscope and Time Warner (which owned 25% of the company) found themselves in the crosshairs of an angry political mainstream. As Jimmy resisted overtures to sell Interscope's stake in Death Row, Dre, along with Snoop Dogg and recent signee Tupac Shakur, became embroiled in a violent FEUD with East Coast rap rivals, notably Sean "Puffy" Combs and his Bad Boy Records, which drove Dre to seek out another new beginning.
Debut: WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 (9:00-10:30 p.m.)
Leaving DEATH ROW Records to form a subsidiary of Interscope called Aftermath Entertainment, Dre endured a string of disappointing solo releases, but Jimmy stood by him as others argued he should be dropped. Dre's fortunes turned when Jimmy turned him on to the music of unknown white rapper Eminem; with Dre producing, Eminem and Aftermath recorded "The Slim Shady LP" and took the rap music world by storm. On a roll with Dre and an enviable list of hot new acts, Jimmy was nevertheless worried that the music bubble would burst due to the emergence of Napster, and looked to forge corporate-marketing partnerships to boost the visibility and incomes of his artists.
An opportune sit-down between Jimmy and Dre led to the idea of Beats Electronics, the speaker-headphone phenomenon that vaulted the partners to new heights, and paved the way for an historic 2014 deal with Apple. The world's most valuable company wasn't just interested in headphones: It was investing in the GENIUS of Jimmy and Dre, who continue to innovate at Apple Music while picking up accolades - Dre was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with N.W.A. last year - and giving back to the communities that fostered their unique talents.
THE DEFIANT ONES is an HBO presentation of a Silverback 5150 Motion Picture in association with Alcon Television Group; executive producers, Allen Hughes, Doug Pray, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Jerry Longarzo, Michael Lombardo and Gene Kirkwood; written by Allen Hughes, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray; edited by Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray; music composed by Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, Claudia Sarne; producer, Sarah Anthony, Steven Williams, Fritzi Horstman; directed by Allen Hughes.
Image courtesy of HBO.