The first ten minutes is the best advertisement for the music business this decade.
There’s been too much focus on the negative for this entire century. And it’s all about the decline in revenue of recorded music. There’s industry infighting, bitching about streaming, hosannas about vinyl, meanwhile the public doesn’t care.
It’s a struggle out there. You either make it or you fall behind. The people need hope. And “The Defiant Ones” gives them hope.
First there’s money. Jimmy and Dre made tons. And they’re not bitching (at least not yet, supposedly in Episode Four Jimmy goes off on YouTube and free). They won. Not by music business standards, but by AMERICAN STANDARDS! The line of demarcation is a billion, and they surpassed it, they’re in the league of the financiers and the techies, only they made their money through creativity.
Think of that. They didn’t pay their dues in school. Didn’t jump through hoops. They created their own path, when they didn’t know where they were going, knowing only that they wanted to get there.
I mean really, do you want to sit inside and code? Sure, Mark Zuckerberg is rich, but do you want his job?
YOU WANT JIMMY AND DRE’S JOB!
And that’s the essence. Sure, you want the fame, but there are twenty four hours in a day, your image is not enough to sustain you, you’ve got to work, and watching Jimmy and Dre in action you feel this is the work you want to do. One in which you make creative decisions, spend all your time and get rich.
Sure, not everybody can succeed, but if you don’t think “The Defiant Ones” is gonna inspire people, you didn’t see the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan.”
And sure, the footage of John Lennon is breathtaking. And Bruce Springsteen is loose and relaxed. But for far too long the establishment has focused on white at the expense of black. And if you don’t think black rules, you haven’t checked out the Spotify Top 50, we now live in a hip-hop world more than ever. And sure, the old farts, the baby boomers, want to see their heroes on screen, but even more exciting, especially for millennials and younger, is to see the Dr. Dre story. From Compton to Beverly Hills. Well, actually he lives in the Valley last I heard, but the truth is not important, it never is, it’s all about image, people at home want some of what he and Jimmy have got!
And to see Dre spin discs in that blue doctor’s outfit is like opening a time capsule with the cure for cancer. Wow, you can feel the heat.
And when he implores Eazy to rap…
You make it up on the fly, as you go along, but don’t believe watching “The Defiant Ones” you can walk in their footsteps, you’ve got to go on your own path, make your own way.
And this show won’t move the needle significantly on Apple Music. That meeting with Zane Low falls flat. He used to be famous, now he works for Apple and he’s a household word on the inside, but the outside just doesn’t care, they don’t believe in radio, it’s an on demand world.
And Jimmy works for Tim Cook and Eddy Cue, but they pale in comparison to him and Dre, they’ve got no charisma, they’re businessmen, whereas Jimmy and Dre are businesses, MAN!
That’s the American Dream. You come from nothing and you get to the top.
You’re supposed to be happy… So far the losses, the divorces and the deaths, are not portrayed in this show. It’s not so much that it’s sanitized, it’s just that certain stuff is left out, they’re building a myth.
And they’re doing an excellent job.
You remember myth-making, don’t you? The Boss and Dre, all the legendary acts, your greatest desire was to meet them, hang backstage, share a bite. And the truth is so many of them are incomplete people, far from normal, you can’t connect, they can do this one thing well, and that’s it. But this show flips the script. Which is how you do it today. You appear to give everything, boosting your image and credibility, you give the illusion of access, it’s not about holding back but pushing it out, on your terms.
Jimmy and Dre did it on their terms.
This is hagiography.
But so far you don’t wince, because you’re thrilled to have a peak inside.
So some people will believe college is unnecessary. Some will go to USC and believe they’ve got their golden ticket. And it’s good to start with a leg up.
But disruption always comes from the outside, from people who don’t fit in, who have to do it their own way.
Like jimmy and Dre.