Jimmy Iovine Recalls Hearing Dr. Dre for the First Time

Jimmy Iovine
Jimmy Iovine with Pharrell and Scott Vener. (Photo source: Instagram)

Music mogul Jimmy Iovine has been making the rounds to promote his upcoming documentary on HBO, The Defiant Ones. The four-part series, which premieres July 9, tells his and Dr. Dre‘s stories and 20-year-plus partnership.

During a recent interview on Pharrell and Scott Vener’s show on Beats 1 Radio, Jimmy recalled hearing Dre’s music for the first time.

“When I met Dre, and I heard his music on my speakers, it was like when I first heard Phil Spector. … It just sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before. It sounded like it was gonna affect every record that ever came out, including rock music, and I knew nothing about hip-hop. But I just felt it at that moment and I said, ‘This guy will define Interscope.'”

Jimmy admitted he wasn’t a fan of hip-hop at the time, but Dre changed that.

“The bottom end [of hip-hop records] was a mess; I know they were trying to do it on purpose or something. There were 808s, and none of it was making any sense to me. Dre used all that stuff, but he made it sound like Pink Floyd was doing it. And I was like, ‘Okay, this is something special.’ It was different from everything else.”

It wasn’t just Dre’s sonic ability that impressed Jimmy, though. The executive said he saw similarities between the Compton producer and The Rolling Stones.

“I heard [The Chronic], and then I started to understand who these guys were and what they were doing and how much they reminded me of The Rolling Stones. Because the Rolling Stones, when I was a kid, they’d scare you, but they’d bring you in with their music. Their music was so cool that they’d lure you in but what they were doing was their form of anarchy in those days, you know. Snoop and Dre reminded me of Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards].”

Among other topics, Jimmy also criticized how the music industry has handled the digital revolution.

Watch him discuss Dre:

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Related: Jimmy Iovine Recounts His Early Days as an Engineer and Producer, Launching Interscope