I was fortunate enough to be one of a small group of journalists who were invited to an intimate dinner with movie director Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) and music mogul Jimmy Iovine to discuss the documentary on which they collaborated, The Defiant Ones.
Over the course of two hours, we had the opportunity to pick the brains of both of these geniuses in their fields and find out just what went into making the project that tells the story of how Iovine and Dr. Dre started out on parallel paths that eventually became perpendicular.
The just-over-four-hour documentary, which has been nominated for a Grammy for best music in a film, traces the roots of both men as they start out small in an industry in which they both eventually become giants. The friendship that develops between the two as they work together at Interscope records is both inspiring and hypnotic; you want to know how the short kid from Brooklyn, N.Y., and the music addict from Compton, Calif., created all the magic they did over the course of four decades.
Hughes spent three years filming, interviewing everyone from Stevie Nicks and U2’s Bono to Ice Cube and members of J.J. Fad. Their successes and failures along the way add to the colorful story that ends with them making a multibillion-dollar deal with Apple for the Beats line of headphones and speakers.
At the dinner, Iovine was humble and thoughtful in the stories he told. Allen was funny and a great listener.
Iovine said that he answers every email he gets no matter what, and he gave us his email address a number of times.
The next morning, I emailed him to thank him for spending time with us.
He replied within minutes: “Thanks, Monique. I had a blast.”
The Defiant Ones was released on digital Nov. 20 and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 28.