With a consumer electronics company of his own, Queens rapper 50 Cent was critical of Interscope Records during his recent Sirius XM Town Hall interview as he addressed the label’s placement of Beats Electronics products in artists’ visuals. The G-Unit founder even referred to his former label home as “Beats Records.”
As founder of SMS Audio, 50 Cent says there were times when his clothing would be blurred in a music video if the words “SMS Audio” were featured on them.
“When you see Interscope turn into Beats Records, where everyone that you see is actually marketing Beats headphones,” 50 Cent said. “You don’t need me to tell you. You don't even see a music video without Beats headphones in it that they’re marketing. So, when the only task from the actual video department is to make sure that I don't put my headsets in the actual video. And then when we do see a rough cut, I see ‘SMS Audio’ that I had on my hat is blurred out of the music video, period…I’ve never had a record company that at any point [seen it in the] system decide to alter an artists’ clothing.”
50 Cent also addressed Interscope Records and Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine. He says there was a fear factor present at Interscope due to the amount of respect Iovine commanded.
“See I been here before. I been here before with Columbia Records,” he said. “Before I actually had the success I had with Interscope. It’s just when you see that there’s not like a whole lot of—Not that there wasn't a whole lot of support, but just an actual fear factor created from the aura of respect that Jimmy [Iovine] has within the Interscope system.”
Former Death Row Records head Suge Knight recently offered his own critique on Iovine during an interview with TMZ last year as he compared the music entrepreneur to a Klansman.
"I'ma be Jimmy Iovine [for Halloween]," Suge said. "You're not gonna actually see my face. I'm just gonna have a white sheet on my head with the eyes cut out. Like the Klan."
50 Cent’s Sirius XM Town Hall interview comes weeks after the rapper announced that he was leaving Interscope Records and had instead entered into an exclusive worldwide distribution and services agreement with Caroline/Capitol/UMG.
"I have had great success to date with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope and I'd like to thank Eminem and Dr. Dre for giving me an incredible opportunity," 50 Cent said, according to the Associated Press. "I've learned so much from them through the years. I am excited to enter this new era where I can carry out my creative vision."