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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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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Megan Thee Stallion Mourns Loss Of Her Mother

According to a recent post on Megan Thee Stallion's Instagram account, her mother, Holly Thomas, has passed away.

The rapper revealed the news of her mother's death in an Instagram post on Friday (March 22), publishing a photo of herself with "the strongest woman on the planet."

"The best mom in the whole world," she wrote. "...I can't even put complete sentences together rn RIP mama."

The best mom in the whole world. The strongest woman on the planet. I can’t even put complete sentences together rn RIP mama

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Mar 22, 2019 at 10:49am PDT

Just like the Tina Snow artist, Thomas was a rapper who went by the name of Holly-Wood. With no doubt that her lyrical abilities rubbed off on her daughter, Thomas refused to let the "Tina Montana" emcee rap professionally until she turned 21. Beyond their bond, Megan Thee Stallion's mother doubled as her first assistant and manager.

In VIBE's NEXT feature, the 24-year-old artist revisited the moments her mother listened to her music. “Sometimes when we’re in the studio, I get her so hyped that she’s like, ‘Megan, I’m about to get in the booth and come out with another mixtape,’” she said.

There are currently no reports stating the cause of death.

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