Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine recently sat down with Apple Music in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Dre’s seminal album, 2001. The Beats co-founders touched on the project’s creative process during the seven-minute clip, with Iovine kicking off the conversation by asking the super-producer, “What were you thinking when you made 2001?”
Dre answers, “I’m trying to put myself in the studio with a bunch of great artists, as far as the microphone work goes. I’m trying to just get on a song or two, here and there. My first album, The Chronic, and the 2001 album, I believe I might be on like four or five songs. It sounds and appears like I’m on more ’cause of the way I sequenced the song and structured it.” He continues, “I didn’t want to appear on the album at all, to be honest, I just wanted to find artists and produce them. The D.O.C. talked me into getting on the mic and doing this thing.”
Moving forward, they looked back at the influence of hip-hop’s environment in the ’90s, Dre’s history of separation from N.W.A. and Death Row Records, and the difference Iovine’s presence made in the sophomore effort. “In the ’90s, hip-hop was a contact sport. All of a sudden, I’m on my own again and I have to go find an artist and musicians to work with,” Dr. Dre recalls. “Fortunately for me, I had done it once before when I separated myself from Eazy and Jerry Heller doing Ruthless and what have you, so I know what the feeling of starting over feels like. But the second time, I had Jimmy.”
Dre opened up about Eminem‘s addition to the roster further in, explaining that they were equally hungry for the same passion. “We just clicked and that just brought everything and everybody together that was happening at that time,” he said. “We found out that what we were doing — it really works, and that’s all we needed. It’s like, ‘Okay, The Slim Shady LP — they like that. Now that we know it works, wait till they hear this,’ and we went in and started on my second solo album, 2001.”
The interview ends with the music industry veterans sharing advice for the younger generation. “Right now, [hip-hop] feels like it’s a little more quantity over quality. ‘Made a song last night, I need to put it out tomorrow.’ What are you gonna dedicate yourself to — the art or the money?” Dre begs the question. Iovine adds, “Give yourself the time — whether it’s two months, three months, a year — to make something that’s gonna last forever.”
Watch the full interview above.
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