The Defiant Ones

Watch The Defiant Ones

  • TV-MA
  • 2017
  • 1 Season
  • 8.5  (15,674)

The Defiant Ones is a four-part documentary series that aired on HBO in 2017. Directed by Allen Hughes, the show tells the story of the unlikely partnership between two music industry titans, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and how their collaboration forever changed the face of contemporary music.

The series explores the personal and professional journeys of Iovine and Dre, beginning with their origin stories and tracing their rise through the music industry. Iovine got started as a record producer in the 1970s, working with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon, before eventually moving into the executive ranks of major record labels like Interscope and Geffen. Dre, on the other hand, was originally a member of the legendary rap group N.W.A., before leaving to found Death Row Records and later launching his own independent label, Aftermath Entertainment.

Throughout the series, viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at how Iovine and Dre's partnership came to be. The two first met in the early 1990s, when Dre was looking for a new label to distribute his music after leaving Death Row. Iovine was impressed by Dre's talents and was convinced that they could work together to create something truly groundbreaking. They started collaborating in earnest in the mid-1990s, with Iovine helping to oversee the release of Dre's seminal album "The Chronic" and later co-founding the hugely successful Beats by Dre headphone brand with him.

The Defiant Ones features plenty of interviews with Iovine and Dre themselves, as well as with their friends, colleagues, and contemporaries in the music industry. But the series also delves deep into the archives to unearth rare footage and audio recordings of their early days, providing a rich and colorful portrait of the cultural and musical history that they helped create.

The series isn't just a celebration of Iovine and Dre's accomplishments, however. It's also a sobering reminder of the structural inequalities and ingrained biases that continue to plague the music industry. Throughout their careers, Iovine and Dre faced numerous obstacles and hurdles, not just because of their race or ethnicity (both are Italian-American), but also because of their industry status as outsiders and underdogs. In one particularly powerful scene, Bono of U2 talks about how Iovine used to send him mixtapes of unreleased rap tracks, and how excited he was to learn about a world of music that was so different from the rock and roll he was used to. But Bono also admits that he was initially skeptical of Iovine and Dre's talents, and that it took him a while to appreciate their music on its own terms.

The Defiant Ones is also notable for its fantastic soundtrack, which features some of the most iconic and influential hip-hop, rock, and pop songs of the past few decades. From N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," the show's music choices help to underscore the power and influence of Iovine and Dre's work, while also reflecting the broader cultural moment that their music helped to shape.

Overall, The Defiant Ones is an engaging and insightful look at two of the most important figures in the history of hip-hop and popular music. It's a fascinating portrait of friendship and collaboration, as well as an incisive critique of the music industry as a whole. Even viewers who aren't familiar with Iovine and Dre's work will find plenty to enjoy and learn from in this compelling and entertaining series.

The Defiant Ones is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (4 episodes). The series first aired on July 9, 2017.

The Defiant Ones
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Part 4
4. Part 4
July 12, 2017
After some disappointing solo releases, Dre's fortunes turn when Jimmy turns him onto the music of unknown white rapper Eminem; an opportune sit-down between Jimmy and Dre leads to the idea of Beats Electronics, vaulting the partners to new heights.
Part 3
3. Part 3
July 11, 2017
Jimmy begins a new career as co-founder of Interscope Records, cutting a deal with Death Row Records for Interscope to become the label's distributor; Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur become embroiled in a violent feud with East Coast rap rivals.
Part 2
2. Part 2
July 10, 2017
N.W.A. evolves into a force to be reckoned with, but a series of calamities leaves Dr. Dre looking to make a fresh start; Jimmy continues to rise up the music ladder via successful collaborations with Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks.
Part 1
1. Part 1
July 9, 2017
Dr. Dre's story begins in Compton, Calif., where his fascination with dance music, DJ innovations and sound leads him to become part of N.W.A.; Jimmy Iovine works his way up in the recording industry, building a reputation as a talented producer.
Where to Watch The Defiant Ones
The Defiant Ones is available for streaming on the HBO website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Defiant Ones on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    July 9, 2017
  • IMDB Rating
    8.5  (15,674)