They smashed the game with Beats By Dre headphones. Now it’s time to see if they can do it again with Beats Music.
Interview By: Vanessa Satten
Photos By: Tom Medvedich
THE THOM THOM CLUB is the perfect place for a photo shoot with music powerhouses Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Eminem. The hidden building sitting off a main drag in Santa Monica is owned by Universal Music Group and regularly serves as both a photo and recording studio for artists under the Interscope subsidiary. On this sunny day in late January, Em,Jimmy and Dre have joined forces to pose for their fi rst magazine cover together, ever. Over the past decade-plus the three music vets have garnered an immense amount of success with each other. Jimmy, the chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records, linked with hip-hop superstar producer Dr. Dre over 20 years ago, and the two have been pushing the music industry forward ever since. Dre houses his label Aftermath Entertainment under Interscope, so all of Dre’s artists are also a part of the Interscope roster. This includes rap titan Eminem, who’s been signed to Dre’s label since 1998 and has sold 96 million records as an Aftermath/Interscope artist. And his label Shady Records sits under the Interscope umbrella.
Six years ago Dre and Jimmy, both former studio engineers, launched a line of headphones called Beats By Dre. The brand immediately took off , and over the past six years the headphones have become an integral part of hip-hop and music culture. This year parent company Beats Electronics—which was co-founded by Dre and Jimmy, who is the current acting CEO— began their newest endeavor, Beats Music, a music streaming service that focuses on the curation of playlists created by the most credible names per music genre. Beats Music is a huge step for Beats Electronics, which kicked off the service with a commercial spot made by Eminem and featured his hit single “Berzerk.” Although Em isn’t a co-founder of Beats, he regularly lends his megastar support to Dre, Jimmy and many Beats Electronics endeavors. XXL spoke with the hip-hop heavyweights about their continuing domination.