Allen Hughes on the experience of directing 'The Defiant Ones'
Filmmaker Allen Hughes has been friends with music moguls Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for years. But when he set out to make the new HBO documentary series The Defiant Ones -- about their careers -- Hughes found that getting them to open up on camera wasn't easy.
Director Allen Hughes tells us how he got Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre to participate in his massive HBO documentary project The Defiant Ones -- along with everyone else in the music industry -- from Bruce Springsteen to Ice Cube to the interview-averse Patti Smith. Hughes also talks about how this series led to an emotional revelation of his own -- finally processing the deaths of hip hop icons Tupac Shakur and Eazy-E.
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The new four-part documentary series The Defiant Ones on HBO traces the rise of music titans Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, from their childhoods, respectively in Brooklyn and Compton, to their partnership in founding the headphone company Beats Electronics -- which Apple bought in 2014 for $3 billion.
The Defiant Ones is massive -- both in terms of the ground it covers and the sheer volume of interviews with musical luminaries who have worked with Dr. Dre and Iovine over the years.
Iovine started as an audio engineer in Manhattan, and got a big break when he was hired to work on the 1975 Bruce Springsteen album Born to Run.
A decade later, Dr. Dre was starting out as a DJ in Compton clubs.
By the time the two met in 1992, Iovine had become a major music producer, and had founded Interscope Records.
Dre, meanwhile, had established himself with NWA, but things had gone sour and he was mired in legal troubles stemming from his departure from the group. And he was having problems finding a distributor for his first solo album, The Chronic. But when Iovine first heard the album, he was floored, and an unlikely partnership was born.
The filmmaker who directed all four installments of The Defiant Ones is our guest Allen Hughes.
For many years, Hughes directed movies with his twin brother Albert, starting with Menace II Society. They went on to direct Dead Presidents, From Hell and The Book of Eli before they began to pursue solo careers.
Allen Hughes tells us about getting into feature films via music videos at a young age, his complicated friendship with Tupac Shakur, and the origin story of The Defiant Ones.