*Eminem flew into New York City Wednesday night as a surprise presenter for WSJ Magazine’s fourth annual Innovator Awards at New York’s MoMA.
The honorees were two very important people in his life: Dr. Dre (Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine.
“Dre and Jimmy are like a force of nature,” Em said in his introduction, reading from note cards. “As an example of how powerful they are, they got me to fly here all the way from Detroit to speak publicly. And I really hate public speaking.” (Watch below)
Iovine and Dre were honored at the celeb-packed event for their years of entrepreneurship, having founded Beats — which was purchased by Apple for $3 billion — and recently launching the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, a program devoted to arts, technology and innovation at the University of Southern California.
“When Jimmy and Dre put their minds to something, get on board or get the f**k out of the way,” Eminem said, according to WSJ reporter Elizabeth Holmes.
In 1997, staffers at Interscope records sent Eminem’s “Slim Shady” EP to Iovine, the label’s CEO, who then played it for Dre. Eminem said of that moment, “They saw my potential.”
The event also featured appearances by Jennifer Connelly, who presented a fashion award to Nicolas Ghesquiere, and Madonna, who showed up to honor dancer Charles “Lil Buck” Riley in the performing arts category.