Eminem and Dr. Dre are an incredible team, however, they didn’t always know each other. In fact, Dre only wanted to meet Eminem because of an encounter he had with a famous producer at the gym. Here’s the story of how the two icons came to work with each other.

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Eminem and Dr. Dre | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

How an an intern introduced a major producer to Eminem’s music

Firstly, a little background. This all starts with Jimmy Iovine. Iovine is a producer and executive known for his work with a wide array of musicians. He’s had production credits on albums by everyone from John Lennon to Bruce Springsteen to Lady Gaga. In addition, he was critical to getting Eminem’s career off the ground.

During an interview with Rolling Stone, he explained how he was first exposed to Eminem’s music. “I heard something in the kid who gave it to me. He was 19, an intern. He said, ‘I heard a tape on the street, at this rap­athon.’ I said, ‘Tell you what – people helped me a lot when I was your age. I’m gonna do something for you. Bring me the CD, and I’ll play it to Dre. I trust you enough.’ It was a combination of the kid and what I heard. And it all came together. But that’s producing.” Iovine found Eminem’s guts and lyrical prowess similar to that of Bob Dylan.


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Elsewhere in the interview, Iovine revealed what happened when he introduced Dre to Eminem’s music. ‘I put him with Dre. I listen to music in my gym. Dre came by. I said, ‘Before you leave, take this. It’s a white rapper who sounds like his pants are on fire. He’s one pissed-off white guy.’ He says, ‘OK, I’ll check it out.’ Dre says about six words a day. He calls me when he gets home: ‘Have this kid out here on Monday.’”

What happened when Dre. Dre met Eminem for the first time

According to NME, Eminem was starstruck upon meeting Dre for the first time. He told Dre he saw him as a major influence. Afterward, they worked together to write the song “My Name Is,” which would become one of the defining songs of Eminem’s early career.

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“My Name Is”

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A look at some of their major collaborations

“My Name Is” reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first top 40 single. It introduced Eminem as a humorous, provocative rapper. The song’s refrain of “My name is (Chika-chicka) Slim Shady” became one of the most well-known lyrics of 1990s rap. Afterward, Dre would work on a number of Eminem’s albums, including The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, and The Marhsall Mathers LP 2. In addition, the two artists appeared together on hits like “Crack a Bottle” and “I Need a Doctor.” The rappers would become a legendary team – all because of one encounter at the gym.