(There is also an unusually frequent use of reaction shots, whereby interviewees are seen sitting silently, apparently reacting to quotes or voiceovers.) The drama comes from the principals and their stories: their successes and failures; their creative brilliance, focus and ferocious drive; their odd-couple partnership (Eminem says, “Jimmy is the levitator, Dre is the innovator”); their willingness to walk away from lucrative enterprises they built from the ground up (Iovine’s record production and label, Interscope; Dre from N. A and Ruthless, and later Death Row Records); and in particular Dre’s tragic losses, including his brother, his son and his once-deep bond with N. Format-wise, the Dre/Iovine alternating storylines are generally effective, but it’s in allowing one of the subjects to have his own space that yield the most revealing moments.One such highlight is the humility exhibited by Dre in describing some of his angrier formative years as a rap upstart.Actually, it feels more like it down, because at four-and-a-half hours, this comprehensive series examines two indisputably forceful, fascinating, innovative and important characters (and the people and events around them) with a level of detail more suited to a completist study of the Great Depression, the Civil War or The Bible.
He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. His musical career began in 1991, as a featured artist on Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque".There’s a palpable sense of remorse in the mogul’s recounting of those days — particularly with regard to his drunken 1991 assault on TV host Dee Barnes, which was completely omitted (to considerable criticism) from the 2015 N. A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” and for which he apologizes at length here, although without mentioning her by name.Yet the most compelling segment of the series — Episode 3: The 1990s — requires no injection of drama.They find themselves drifting towards being more than friends, even as Dre is engaged, and Sidney starts being wooed by a handsome basketball player. Dre and Jimmy Iovine — both veteran music producers, executives and cofounders of Beats by Dre — never do anything by half, and “The Defiant Ones,” the four-part HBO documentary series on their lives, careers and partnership that airs nightly Sunday through Wednesday, arrives with all the subtlety of an Apple product launch and doubles down on this rock-doc format.