Hittin' the Street with 50 Cent

You may have been shaking your head when SMS Audio announced at the end of 2011 that they were partnering with The Street King himself to release a line of 50 Cent branded headphones. We know we were. Dre already had his huge Beats by Dre line and Luda had SOUL by Ludacris. Did the music world need another pair of celebrity cans? Probably not, but we’re here to tell you that, despite the market being pretty flooded with celebri-phones, the third time is definitely the charm. SMS Audio by 50 Cent hits the sweet spot in more ways than any of his competitors with headphones that provide great design, hardcore durability, and sweet sound. 50’s headphones come in three flavors (each with several color options): The $399.95 SYNC by 50 (Over-Ear Wireless Headphones), the $249.95 STREET by 50 (Over-Ear Wired Headphones), and the $119.95 STREET by 50 (In-Ear Wired Headphones). We were sent over a pair of the black STREET by 50 Over-Ear Wired Headphones for review so those are the ones we’ll be evaluating here. Powered by “professionally tuned” 40mm drivers, these cans produce some loud beats. And we’re not kidding when we mean loud. The STREET by 50 headphones are some of the loudest headphones we’ve ever tried. So loud, in fact, that it leads to one of the headphones’ few downfalls. They’re so loud that when you turn them up all the way, anyone in the room is going to hear your tunes. And we’re not talking about some reverberation or the low thump of bass. They’re going to hear everything – all the way down to the lyrics themselves. This might not be an issue for some users, but one of the reasons we wear headphones is to prevent annoying everyone around us. That said, the sound produced by 50 Cent’s headphones is top notch. 50 claims he wanted “studio sound” from these headpieces and he’s not far off. The sound isn’t perfect – it could use a little boost in the mid to mid-lows – but it is fantastic. The spec sheet says they provide “enhanced bass” and I’d say that’s accurate. The bass is solid and accurate without being over the top. Fidelity is nice and the soundstage is surprisingly large (especially in comparison to its SOUL and Beats competitors) with great handling of acoustic instruments like guitars as well. This all makes for a really well-rounded pair of headphones. The STREET by 50 design is sleek and comfortable. The memory foam ear cushions are a bit more rounded than you’ll find on its competitors, but they’re very kind on the ear (even during marathon listening sessions). And if you’re looking for a pair of cans that you can beat the hell out of and they’ll still keep working, these are the pair for you. Durability is off the charts. You can literally bend these things in ways you wouldn’t even imagine trying with other headphones and they still snap right back into place. The one major downfall of the STREET by 50 Over-Ear Wired Headphones is the lack of active noise cancellation. Instead, they use what SMS Audio calls “Passive Noise Cancellation,” which might as well be called not much noise cancellation. There’s quite a bit of outside noise leaking in as you listen (and the previously mentioned noise leaking out). It’s not overly distracting – and the fact that the headphones pump music so loud somewhat offsets this – but if you’re looking for a headphone that can completely drown out the outside world, these just aren’t going to cut it. If you’re at home or in the studio, they’ll be fine. But if you’re listening on a crowded plane or in the subway, you’re be pretty annoyed. The STREET by 50 headphones, regardless, are a damn fine entry into the headphone game. 50 Cent reportedly had a hand in every aspect of the creation of his line and it shows with his attention to detail. They’re a great all-around headphone with some highlight features (bangin’ sound and durability) and very few missteps (lack of active noise cancellation). If you’re in the market for a new pair of cans, and have a couple hundred bucks to spend you could do a lot worse than 50’s new line. We haven’t put our Beats by Dre back on our ears since these came in and we’re totally fine with that. Written by @scottneumyer

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Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Nicki Minaj is moving forward after the two reportedly failed to reach an agreement during a recent court-ordered mediation.

Chapman is accusing Minaj of unlawfully sampling her song “Baby Can I Hold You” for the track “Sorry.” Minaj reportedly confirmed in court documents that the song never made it to her album because Chapman didn't approve the sample, The Blast reports.

According to the website, the battling sides “couldn’t reach a settlement,” and an agreement is not “imminent.”

Chapman sued Minaj in the fall of 2018. Months earlier, Minaj revealed that Queen's release date hinged on Chapman. “So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time,” she tweeted at the time. “Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman - do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date?” Minaj also pleaded for Chapman to get in contact with her.

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Iggy Azalea Calls T.I. A “Misogynist” For Saying She Tarnished His Legacy

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Earlier in the week, T.I. told The Root  that he was “actively looking for another female rapper who can undo the blunder of Iggy Azalea.”

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Wale Says Record Deals Should Include Mental Health Assistance

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“People live their life for this, and lose their life because of it,” Wale said while discussing the perils of fame. “All of your failures are magnified by 100 because everybody’s watching you.”

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