50 Cent is out of the audio business. The Queens, New York rapper has canceled his “Sleek by 50” line of pricey headphones after Sleek Audio announced that it has ended its contractual agreement with 50’s licensing company G-Unit Brands. While no reason was given, Sleek explained that they will be “re-evaluating our Wireless Hybrid over-the-ear headphones at a later date.”
The G-Unit henchman unveiled his wireless headphone line back in January, when he debuted the hardware at 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show.
“I know music and I’ve tried everything on the market as far as headphones go, but I wanted something different, something better, that really pushed the envelope and gave all music fans a new way to listen to their favorite artists,” he said at the time. “I was fortunate to find Sleek, the technology they employ and their knowledge of how we hear music truly blew me away. It was a perfect match, I didn’t want to create another pair of loud headphones, I wanted to create headphones that offer top-level performance, style and new technology.”
He later hinted at a beef with Interscope head Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, who were apparently angry with Fif for competing with the popular Beats By Dre headphones.
UPDATE: Sleek Audio has clarified its split with 50 Cent for their “Sleek by 50” headphone line. According to reports, Fif’s G-Unit LLC entered a tri-party contract with Sleek and TV Goods before signing a Brand Licensing Agreement with Sleek. By nullifying the BLA with Sleek last week, G-Unit LLC effectively canceled the prior tri-party contract and allowed 50 to continue without the audio company.
Now, 50’s affiliate company SMS Audio, LLC teamed with TV Goods in a Term Sheet for the two companies to produce a new over-the-ear headphone line endorsed by 50. Sleek is no longer associated with the product.