Defiance

noun

-a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.

 

 

“The Defiant Ones” is an HBO four part documentary that tells the story of how a “F— The PoliceDr. Dre from Compton, CA and a John Lennon musical student named Jimmy Iovine from Brooklyn, NY formed an unlikely partnership that later turned into a billion dollar empire.

Now, this doc has way too many gems to go over everything so we’ll just go over the stand out ones that hit like a punch in the gut.

 

 

Tyrese almost blew a billion dollar opportunity for Jimmy and Dre…. literally.

It is 10mins into the doc when we learn that as rumors first began to surface of Apple buying Beats By Dre for a billion dollars, Jimmy feeling cautious warned Dre to keep the deal quiet until the process was complete. Dre, who admitted that he is usually reserved about his business ventures, could not resist the temptation powers of Tyrese. Yes, you read that right. The singing Sweet Lady/Every month Baby Boy showing/Fast & Furious/ late night dropping Hotep knowledge to ladies Tyrese. Late night in the studio edged on by Tyrese, Dre revealed to the world through social media that the billion dollar deal was official and these negroes celebrated by crip walking and shouts of “Yeeeeeeaaaaaah boyeeeeee” in the background. Apple, a tech company that invents devices which help to contribute to the advancement of social media ironically prides themselves in being discreet and could have potentially could’ve backed out of the deal. Jimmy later stated that Apple “Kept their word” and the $3 billion dollar deal was completed. Yet still, there is nothing more hilarious than watching even Snoop Dogg in is his laid back voice say “Yeah, Tyrese fucked that sh– up.”

 

 

White Rock Stars were the original Love and Hip Hop

Fresh off producing records with legendary artist Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, a young Jimmy Iovine’s next project was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers whom he developed a close friendship with. Things took a turn when Jimmy started secretly dating rock star Stevie Nicks (and even hid her in the basement whenever guests were over) and gave her a song that was originally Tom Petty’s. The record label put out Stevie and Tom’s album at the same time causing some tension. Stevie Nick’s album began to overshadow Tom’s causing a strain in his friendship with Jimmy. Jimmy admitted that he had no knowledge that the label would put out both of their albums at the same time but should’ve had his friend’s back more causing their friendship to forever suffer. We can all guess that if the social media or the internet were in existence back then there would’ve been a lot of blond hippie fights going viral.

 

 

Rapping is legit hard to do….

Rapping is hard, like really hard. It was never a secret that Eazy-E didn’t write his rhymes but to see the video of an unpolished legend struggling to say each word is damn near heartbreaking. N.W.A. members Ice Cube and MC Ren both said they had to leave the room because watching Eazy rap was torture for both their eyes and ears. Although Eazy-E had a unique voice, he still needed Dr. Dre to walk him through the process of how to say each word and line. Nowadays not writing your rhymes is taboo but, back in the day, Hip Hop groups worked as a collective to make the song successful like a rock band. Patience paid off because once Eazy-E found his voice for the track Boyz-N-The-Hood, the rest is history.

 

 

 

Docs are for information, Biopics are for entertainment.

Straight Outta Compton, although a good movie, one of the biggest complaints was how much was left out, even though the movie was damn near 3hours long. The Defiant Ones doc spoke on how the success of a female MC group named JJ Fad on Ruthless Records helped fund every album that came out afterward. Former Pump It Up host VJ Dee Barnes was able to tell her story about the infamous incident with Dr. Dre where he beat and choked her at a party one night. Dr. Dre apparently was drunk and pissed at Dee Barnes for airing an episode featuring recently NWA departed member Ice Cube dissing the group on camera. Dre again admitted he was wrong and apologized for the incident with Dee Barnes. Dre himself is still not able to speak on the death of his younger brother and unfortunately if you were the one waiting for him to acknowledge or admit accusations of physical abuse from his former girlfriend Michelle, then tough luck because she is only mentioned as an artist for a micro second.

 

 

The D.O.C. has got to be the most tragic UNSUNG MC in Hip Hop history.

Straight from Dallas, TX not only did The D.O.C. write rhymes for the group but had his own impressive debut “No One Can Do It Better” that easily rivaled most east coast rap legends. The D.O.C.’s career was cut short when one drunken night, a car accident took away his unique voice. To watch The D.O.C. listen to his past voice on a loud speaker with no beat is painful because the uneasy body language he expresses is highly visible and uncomfortable. With remarkable talent, The D.O.C. is the biggest “What might have been” in Hip Hop.

 

 

The NWA pool party is the center of all things.

Whether it’s the movie Straight Outta Compton, a doc or hell even Michelle’s lifetime biopic, that NWA pool party seems to be the IT party of the early 90s. Dr. Dre met his future wife, NWA manager Jerry Heller warned Eazy-E about sex with too many women, Suge Knight told Dre about his contract being suspect while Congress was able to pass laws. Maybe N.W.A. should have a reunion pool party that will help solve world hunger?

 

 

 

“Fuck Rolling Stone, It’s all about the Source”

Jimmy Ivoine believed in the magic of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg so much that he thought they should be celebrated like rock stars by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. However; he underestimated the concern of a young Snoop Dogg who’s first response was “Fuck them, I’m trying to be On the Source, “that’s Hip Hop supremacy” Yes, see long ago before the internet and gossip blogs, the Source magazine was the Hip Hop bible with their exclusive interviews and famous 5 mic classic album ratings. The Source magazine moved the needle of the culture by showcasing music and fashion of Hip Hop. To an outsider, it would seem as if a young Snoop was being small minded. However; he was being true to a platform that had always shown love to a culture he identified with. The Source, unlike other media music mags who only paid attention to pop/rock star artist of the lighter complexion, from day one always promoted the importance of the culture and who represented it. Although in present time the mag has lost its validation status, history will never forget its value to a once underground culture that is now mainstream America’s pop culture.

 

 

Diversity is king and a mofo…

At one point under their musical umbrella, Interscope had Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson on the same roster at the same time. Team piss-off society had parents both black and white protesting against each of these artists. Hip Hop gets a bad rep but if you ever want to have a counter argument, take a time trip back to 1996 when Marilyn Manson “AntiChrist Superstar” dropped. White Christian groups were terrified that a Goth Satan worshipping rock star dressed in drag was going to corrupt the souls of their pure blued eyed children. While pastors were steamrolling the latest rap CD’s in the street, Marilyn Manson was being blamed for the Columbine high school massacre.

 

 

 

2Pac is a scene-stealer…

Even from beyond the grave, Tupac Shukar commands the screen’s attention. The moment he is introduced in slow motion to his signature song “So Many Tears”, playing in the background, it is as captivating as it is haunting. It is hard to not get hooked into 2pac’s story and quickly forget Dre and Jimmy. It is learned that Pac’s influence and the impression he left heavy on not just fans but artist and executives who worked with him. 20 years later Snoop still gets choked up when talking about the last visit to see 2pac in the hospital before he died. It’s enough to further piss you off when you think about how horrible All Eyez On Me was a movie.

 

 

You can trace every error in Hip Hop history back to the Source awards in 95….

Gather every recipe of negativity, fresh out the jail, 40-ounce flag wearing dudes in one room, and that’s just the entourages. The Source Awards are what happens when the adults finally leave kids alone without a babysitter because they felt that they were mature enough. Negative. Once upon a time, The Source magazine hosted their second annual awards show that became known for everything EXCEPT the actual awards. Let Queens MC Nas tell it, tensions were already building between the boroughs of NYC so nobody was thinking of disrespecting Death Row, unfortunately, that reality was not the perception. The night being mixed with boos and applause gave Suge Knight the fuel he needed to express his personal beef by giving the most infamous acceptance speech of all time by insulting Bad Boy CEO Sean “Puff” Combs in his own hometown. Suge’s words united all of NYC to point their now tension towards Death Row, planting seeds to the negativity that was to come. The Source awards 95 became known for everything Hip Hop has fought against by becoming a black eye on the culture and a reminder of the night the niggas showed out.

 

 

Eminem gave Dr. Dre new life….

At the time Dr. Dre who had left Death Row because he witnessed one too many office ass beatings, had produced two flops; one solo named Aftermath the other The Firm. Jimmy expressed how executives wanted to drop Dre from the label but he (Jimmy) fought against it. So Dre, career wise, was at an all-time low until he met a rising freestyle rapper coming out of Detroit named Eminem. So while Suge was in jail getting his push game together, Dre got another wind of life.

 

 

Napster almost killed the record business.

In the early 2000s, Napster was a bootleggers dream and a record company’s nightmare. Millions of songs were downloaded on CDs for free causing artist of all genre’s to run panic. Jimmy Iovine being head of Interscope feared it so much that he took a personal flight to meet Apple founder Steve Jobs to find a solution. Artists were complaining that it was theft but fat chance of getting sympathy from a broke college student who just witnessed his favorite rapper slide a credit card down a stripper’s ass crack and now needed to have that song on his iPod.

 

 

 

The only thing longer than waiting on a Dr. Dre project is black folks waiting to achieve equality.

Whoever said the phrase “Genius takes time” must have been thinking of Dr. Dre. The only thing more legendary than Dre’s work is the amount of time he takes to release a project. There were women who first announced their pregnancies back when Dr.Dre promised “Detox,” now those same women are getting their kid’s ready for senior prom.

 

 

 

Be yourself…

It may sound corny but being yourself always pays off. Dr. Dre was originally approached by his lawyer for a sneaker deal. Dre being aware that nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to dress like him took advice from Jimmy that folks would rather buy headphones hence the name BEATS was born. Fast forward and every rapper, actor, rock star, athlete started wearing Beats By Dre in commercials and in real life making them a hot enough commodity that made Apple take notice.

 

 

-Overall the Defiant Ones is a doc that showcases the crazy ones who believe that they can actually make a creative difference. It is also true that alliances can come from anywhere. From Alonzo to Eazy-E to Suge Knight, Dr.Dre is clearly someone who operates best when he has a central big brother/father figure in his life. Jimmy Iovine needs that muse that he can be sure will always be in play. Not only did Dre and Jimmy change culture together but through their contributions, they changed business by proving that when art is allowed to have freedom, it can truly be a force.

 

J.Hall

@jhallradio

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