HBO partnered with two of the most successful and influential figures in the music industry for a docuseries called The Defiant Ones. The 4-part television event unfolds the stories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton, and their improbable partnership and surprising leading roles in transforming music and pop culture.

Iovine started as a music producer/ engineer in the 1970s working with John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Patti Smith. Eventually, he co-founded Interscope Records in 1990 and it was history after that. He signed 2Pac as the label’s first hip hop act and provided funding and distribution to Death Row Records during its glory days. This ultimately led to the connection with Dr. Dre. Through their partnership spawned classics albums like The Chronic and 2001, as well as the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar. And of course, in 2006, Iovine and Dre teamed up to create a brand of headphones which ultimately sold to Apple for $3 billion. They are hands down the savviest business moguls in music, an industry that is known for being slow to adopt innovations and trends. To achieve success, sometimes risks are needed to be taken, and being defiant can ultimately get you to the peak even most people don’t understand you during the present.

The Defiant Ones shows how decades of defiance and determination helped Iovine and Dre build a pop culture empire.  In addition to extensive interviews with the two, who speak frankly about their highs and lows, the show includes interviews with such music icons as Bono, David Geffen, Eminem, Nas, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen and The series also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, N.W.A., Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others.

The Defiant Ones debuts on HBO on July 9th.  You can check out the trailer below.


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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.