Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine discuss their new academy at USC, and Dre talks about being inspired to get back in the studio
A few days ago it was announced that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine would once again team up for a new venture, donating $70 million to USC for a new academy, the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The academy will educate students who want to break in to the music industry, offering them an undergraduate degree.
A press conference was held on May 15th to make the announcement, following which L.A. Weekly caught a rare interview with both Dre and Iovine. They discuss how their initiative with USC began, and Dre talks about being inspired to get back in the studio, among other things.
Check out excerpts from the interview below. Head here to read the full interview.
Where did the idea for this program originate?
Jimmy Iovine: Everything we do together comes out of my and Dre's many conversations we have multiple times a week, probably every day, like, "Jimmy don't you hate the way kids are listening to music on the radio?" [In this case] we decided we wanted to give back and do something because we've been very fortunate over the last 20 years and Dre has always wanted to give back. So I said to Dre, "Ok why don't we do it together?" And we go to Beats and see that all these kids are so...so good at understanding technology and have a feel for the art, or the other way around. Then we look at Beats and say "Geez we need kids like that here!"
Dre, how do you feel about ushering in a whole new phase of your career, and how does it compare to earlier phases?
Dr. Dre: This is absolutely the biggest thing I've been a part of in my entire career. I am just excited to be a part of something that is going to be there forever. How many people can say that? This is huge.
Then again, you did help usher in gangster rap, and that was pretty big culturally too, as it affected the whole world.
Dr. Dre: Yeah, that was great but I felt like this is, this is much more important. It's because of the potential it has: A kid can come through here, and go on to potentially change the world.
And, does this program mean that "Detox" will be further delayed?
Dr. Dre: No, I'm more inspired to go back into the studio now. Beats is rolling, this thing is happening, and it's incredible. Now I'm ready to go back to my first love.
Jimmy Iovine: You know he was always making music. You know just look at Kendrick Lamar. If not for Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar wouldn't be what he is today. I think Kendrick Lamar is arguably the most important rapper to come in a long time. In my opinion, as far as Dre's business is concerned, I think he is doing a lot for hip-hop, with Kendrick Lamar.
Dr. Dre: I'm going back to the studio. Not for any specific reason, but just to record because I love to record music. I'm going back in and hopefully the next Kendrick Lamar or the next Eminem walks in the door and I can work with that artist. I'm going to record forever.