Jimmy Iovine & Steve Stoute Discuss Signing Em, Dre & Snoop
Steve Stoute sat down with fellow music industry legend Jimmy Iovine last week, to film the second episode of Stoute’s ongoing video series with Huffington Post’s Black Voices. Titled ‘The Tanning Effect,’ the subject matter is based on Stoute’s new book, ‘The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy.’
“I’m not a pioneer of hip-hop, I just saw it and said ‘This thing is incredible, and these people are incredible. They should be exposed all over the world,” Iovine said, of breaking Dre and Snoop into the mainstream.
“At the time, Dre was on fire. He also came off a weak album, but he was just so in touch,” Iovine explained, of his introduction to Eminem. “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.’”