As part of hip-hop branding executive Steve Stoute’s online series “The Tanning Effect,” the executive talks to hip-hop figure-heads about the culture.
Following an exclusive sit-down with Jay-z, his recent interview was is with Interscope head Jimmy Iovine, who talks his success with signing Eminem, and his success with Dre’s popular Beats By Dre headphones.
As far as Eminem, Iovine says: “At the time, Dre was on fire. He also came off a weak album, but he was just so in touch. A kid came into my office, I used to be an intern, so I always like to help interns, so the kid came into my office, and he said, ‘I heard this white guy last night rapping.’ Again, I’m not a pioneer of rap, I’m not some guy who discovered the genre, so I always heard that white rappers don’t work. I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, you did a really good job, if you give me a CD, I’ll play it for Dr. Dre.'”
Within minutes of hearing Eminem’s CD, Dre called Iovine up and instructed him to bring him the Detroit MC out to Los Angeles for a meeting, despite protests from his inner circle.
“The guys in Dre’s studio at the time were trying to talk him out of it, while Eminem was in town working,” Iovine continued. “Dre said ‘I don’t care what you think, this is gonna work.’ And they made ‘My Name Is.'”