Interscope Records was home to Dr. DRE and Jimmy Iovine. Together they defined 90s popular music.
By Gregory Crofton
I was late in seeing “THE DEFIANT ONES,” a four-part docuseries (2017) directed by Allen Hughes (AMERICAN PIMP, MENACE II SOCIETY) because it was difficult to find.
I finally found it on VOD listed under “HBO Series.” I eagerly watched part two, three and four. I had seen the first episode about a year ago as a free sample but then failed to ever track down the rest. Its episodes clock in at more than four hours, but not a minute of any one of them is flat.
The reason it’s so compelling is the talent of Mr. Hughes behind the camera. Of course the subject matter — the rise of Gangster Rap and the work of the “innovator” Dr. DRE and his “levitator” Jimmy Iovine — is rich material, but clearly it’s in the right hands, someone who knew what questions to ask and what stories were important.
If you haven’t seen the Hughes brothers’ “American Pimp,” don’t wait. It’s a stylized, slick-in-the-right-way doc that illustrates how the genre can be stretched and developed into a truly entertaining art form.
“The Defiant Ones” is as good a piece of work as “American Pimp,” maybe even better given its complex subject matter. It’s much more than a “Behind the Music” on N.W.A.’s “Fuck the Police,” rather it’s a look into the heart of American culture through the eyes of artists like Trent Renzor, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, Snoop Dogg and many more.
Watch the trailer below: