Interscope head Jimmy Iovine has come forward to explain the delay of Dr. Dre‘s highly anticipated, upcoming album.
According to Billboard, the music mogul claimed the super producer’s follow-up release to 1999’s multi-platinum selling album The Chronic 2001 was originally prepped to drop in late 2008. However, the return of Eminem prompted Dre to alter his schedule.
“We only tried to put [Em] out this year to replace Dr. Dre, but we got into a quagmire,” Iovine told Billboard. “Eminem was always coming next year. But what happened was, I lost Dr. Dre to Eminem.”
Assuring there were no personal issues involved, the music exec said Em’s surprising work ethic forced Dre to move his solo project into 2009.
“Dre had to stop making his album to finish Eminem’s album,” Iovine added. “Eminem hit a streak, and when a guy like Eminem gets on fire, you stop everything. That’s how we lost Dre.”
While not offering an exact date, Jimmy promised the producer would be on hand to finish Em’s new release and complete his own at the start of next year.
“Dre’s going back in in January,” Iovine continued. “He’ll be finished with Eminem by then, and he’ll finish his album.”
In related news, Em’s forthcoming solo project, Relapse, was recently pushed back to next year due to the rapper’s diligent work ethic.
“Eminem has been through a lot,” an insider told the New York Post. “He is being a perfectionist and is completely obsessive-compulsive about this album.”
Reps for the Shady Records label head later confirmed the album’s delay and are estimating a release date in early 2009.