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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LeBron James: “The Most Disrespected Person On Earth Is The Black Woman”

LeBron James shared a powerful statement in reaction to the lack of justice in the murder of Breonna Taylor, and promised to do his part to bring about change.

“The most DISRESPECTED person on Earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!!! Love to you Queens all over this country and beyond,” James tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23) along with a shout out to some of the women in his family.

The most DISRESPECTED person on earth is THE BLACK WOMAN! I promise you I’ll do my best to change this as much as I can and even more!! LOVE to you QUEENS all over this country and beyond! 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Grandma Freda, Gloria Marie, Savannah Rachael, Zhuri Ann Marie Nova I LOVE YOU MY BLACK QUEENS more than life itself!! 👸🏾🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

Mema Brinson, Deidra Norris, Pam Walker, Tanesha Walker, Chanelle Walker, Brenda Weems, Caddie Powers I LOVE YOU Queens!!! 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤

— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 24, 2020

As previously reported, a grand jury decided not to charge officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove for killing Taylor during a police raid. Hankinson, a former officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department, faces three counts of wanton endangerment, but the charges were not related to Taylor being killed.

Collin Kaepernick also took to Twitter with a few thoughts: “The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people.”

Read more reactions below.

 

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I am just at a loss for words.... 💔

A post shared by Kelly Rowland (@kellyrowland) on Sep 23, 2020 at 5:23pm PDT

Dear Breonna,

I’m so sorry the people in power have failed to get this right. You deserve so much more. Your life mattered. You deserved the bright future that was ahead of you. We will continue to say your name. We will continue to fight in your name. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/31M3ndOloK

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 24, 2020

They never get it right and that doesn't make it hurt any less. Breonna Taylor should still be with us and her family deserved justice today. Tired of this shit.

— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) September 23, 2020

Bulls--- decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times. https://t.co/HOrDQzHJ0d

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) September 23, 2020

Amen 🙏🏽 shit is sooo sad and discouraging. https://t.co/2ex3OImFpv

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) September 23, 2020

Another innocent black life gone with no consequences!! Breonna Taylor was 26, a daughter, a cousin, a friend, a girlfriend, an ER technician, an AMERICAN. 💔

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 24, 2020

Understand what that truly means because Accountability needs to occur in a new way. Word is Bond to the Father. Let’s not be sorry, Let’s correct this fucking Error. Rest Easy Queen #BREONNATAYLOR pic.twitter.com/dzWTtV90Zl

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) September 24, 2020

#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor#JusticeForBreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/eURn5iMQrl

— COMMON (@common) September 23, 2020

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Kanye West Says He’s Giving G.O.O.D. Music Artists Back What He Owns Of Their Masters

After nearly two weeks of speaking out against Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV, Kanye West has promised to do his part to help artists on his G.O.O.D. Music label imprint.

“I’m giving all Good music artist[s] back the 50% share I have of their masters,” West tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 23). Big Sean, who signed with West’s label more than a decade ago, thanked West for the gesture.

Thank you!!! This would help so much 🙏🏾 https://t.co/6yR3fAKlwB

— Sean Don (@BigSean) September 23, 2020

The move comes as West spoke with Billboard to further discuss his plans to “free artists” from oppressive record deals.

“The desired effect will only be achieved when every artist owns their masters,” said West. “I’m Team ‘Free Artists.’ I’m committed to doing whatever is necessary so artists own their own copyrights. The response is awesome because everyone knows this is a broken system that needs to be fixed. Currently, artists take advances to make records and yet when they repay those advances the record company still owns the records.”

West said that he is in talks with Universal, and their parent company Vivendi, but reiterated that he wants to fix “everyone’s situation,” along with his own. “My brand and influence goes way beyond just music and that of course is meaningful to Vivendi, as it is to Adidas and many other conglomerates. If that helps me be able to help free all artists, of course I’m going to use it,” West explained.

“You only need to look back to the early days of the record companies and see how predatory they were,” he continued. “Old execs admit it. The contracts are almost the same now. The shape, the terminology... And yet, in that time we moved to a completely digital age. Has the attitude of the labels and the structure in which our music moves on our side changed to that degree? No, it has not. You’re locked in; once you’re locked in you can ask no questions.”

Despite his feelings on UMG and Sony/ATV, West hasn’t closed the door on working with the label giants in the future. “I will work with anyone who treats artists fairly and righteous. They do that , I will partner with them in bringing music to life. I will redesign the whole process.”

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Former Louisville Cop Brett Hankison Charged, But Not For Killing Breonna Taylor

Former and current officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department, Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove, were facing potential indictments for killing Breonna Taylor, but only one was charged in connection with the case, Louisville Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Wednesday (Sept. 23).

The grand jury opted to indict Hankison, who was fired from the department in June, on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing recklessly and endangering neighbors on the night of Taylor’s murder. Hankison was not charged for her death. If convicted on all three charges, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Cameron stated that he spoke with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer ahead of the announcement. He called the 26-year-old emergency room tech’s death a “tragedy,” before revealing “facts” in the case, which concluded that all of the officers acted lawfully.

“There was no video or body camera footage of the officers’ attempted execution of a search warrant at Ms. Taylor’s residence. Video footage begins at the point that area patrol officers arrive at the location. And therefore, the sequence of events from March 13th had to be pieced together through ballistics evidence, 911 calls, police radio traffic, and interviews,” said Cameron, who denied that police were executing a no-knock warrant in the early morning hours of March 13. Louisville moved to ban no-nock warrant’s after Taylor’s death.

Mattingly, Cosgrove and Hankison were called on as “extra personnel” during the raid on Taylor’s home, and only had information that was “conveyed” during a prior briefing, according to Cameron. Another unnamed officer filed the warrant.

“Evidence shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment. The officer’s statement about their announcement are corroborated by an independent witness who was near in proximity to [Taylor’s apartment],” continued Cameron. “In other words, the warrant was no served as a ‘no-knock warrant.’ When officers were unable to get anyone to answer or open the door the decision was made to breach the door.”

Mattingly was the “first and only officer” to enter the residence, where he saw two people (Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker), Cameron said. Both Taylor and Walker were unaware that police were raiding the residence and were sleeping prior to being woken up by the commotion. Mattingly observed Walker in a “shooting stance” and was shot in the upper thigh, Cameron said.

“Seargent Mattingly returned fire down the hallway. Mattingly fired six shots. Almost simultaneously, Detective Cosgrove also in the doorway, shot 16 times. This all took place in a matter of seconds,” Cameron said. “In total, six bullets struck Ms. Taylor. Medical evidence obtained by our team indicates that only one shot was fatal.” Cameron added that Crossgrove fired the fatal shot and that Taylor died within seconds. However, Walker told authorities that Taylor struggled to breathe for at least five minutes. She went untreated for more than 20 minutes.

“I think it is worth repeating again our investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron reiterated.

Cameron does not plan to release the grand jury indictment. When asked about the racial breakdown of his team he replied, “Well I’m Black. And I speak for the entire department.”

Benjamin Crump, one of the attorney’s representing Taylor’s family called the charges “outrageous and offensive to her memory.” Read his full statement below.

Today’s indictment is outrageous and offensive to Breonna Taylor’s memory, yet another example of no accountability for police. Full statement: (1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/pmurOrV5My

— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 23, 2020

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