‘The Defiant Ones’ director Allen Hughes: ‘Life is harder for new artists now than it was for Dr Dre’

The Defiant Ones director Allen Hughes has said that it is much harder for newer artists to succeed today than it was for the likes of Dr Dre and NWA. Watch our video interview with Hughes above.

Hughes was speaking to NME on the red carpet at the premiere of The Defiant Ones – the new Netflix Original series will charts the rise and success of Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine from their early days until forming Beats 1 together.

Asked about what the overall ‘meaning’ of the series was, Hughes replied: “Focus, don’t let anybody knock you off your dreams, stay inspired, and know that it’s going to be very difficult to do something great – whether it’s a record, writing a book, doing a movie. It’s not going to all be ecstasy, it’s going to be agony as well.”


However, Hughes added that the pitfalls of modern technology have only made it harder for new artists to be heard.

“It’s a lot more challenging for artists today than when Dre started in music,” Hughes told NME. “[Back then] there was a system in place, now there’s not even a system in place to listen to a full album. Longevity just isn’t there any more.”

“The bottom fell out, my man. The internet!”

Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Allen Hughes
Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Allen Hughes

Echoing Jimmy Iovine’s comments that modern rap needs more ‘anarchy‘ and with a voice aimed towards social commentary, Hughes added: “Right now, not only are we missing an NWA but we’d do well with a Public Enemy right now. [We need] a great hip-hop group that are really political and bucking the system, and challenging us to think. That would be great right now but we just don’t have it – I mean, Kendrick Lamar is doing some things, though.”

The Defiant Ones is out on Netflix UK from Friday March 23.


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