by Monica Blaze
From Jay Z sitting courtside giving Knicks and Nets high fives, to Biggie chilling up in the spot with one of the 6-5 Knicks, to Shaq and the Fu-Schnickens, hip hop and the NBA have had an inexplicable connection. Whether David Stern likes it or not.
So it’s no surprise that when hip-hop royalty Dr. Dre comes out with his own brand of headphones they become every NBA player’s new favorite toy. Each night players disembark the team bus looking like a Beats By Dre army with the oversized, sleek musical earmuffs around their dome. You can even catch Krypo-Nate Robinson entering TD Garden with a customized glow in the dark Kryptonite green pair (which conveniently match his uniform color now). Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks purchased pairs of the Studio Beats By Dre for the entire team in Hawks’ colors inscribed with the phrase “Gracias, El Jefe” meaning “Thank You, The Boss” to celebrate his first All-Star appearance. It’s safe to say that, NBA Players have a love affair with the Beats By Dre experience.
“My agent contacted me about doing it for the guys and I thought it would be a great idea,” Horford said.
“I wanted a pair since I was just using the white Apple ear buds before,” said Horford’s teammate Zaza Pachulia, “So when I saw the gift box I knew they were headphones and I was happy. But when I saw the Hawks colors and the message he left I had to call him and thank him again.”
Pachuila likes to listen to House and Georgian rap music on his Beats. Perhaps he jams to his own track where he spits a hot eight bars?
But Beats aren’t the newest toy of the NBA just because The Doctor is behind them. They are actually pretty functional.
“They really are just that much better,” Jamal Crawford said. “I had other pairs of headphones but there is no comparison to these. Lil Wayne’s A Milli is the best to listen to. You can hear every little beat.”
“I like to wear them when we just get into a city,” said Josh Smith. “And they help me go to sleep on the plane when we are arriving somewhere like one in the morning”
Caron Butler of the Dallas Mavericks likes to rock his Beats in his Man Den in the basement at home and bump The Chronic (he is still waiting for that Detox). You can catch his teammate Jason Terry wearing them while stretching before games just to block out the noise and focus.
Studio Beats By Dre are made to cancel outside sound while amplifying the rich bass and treble that exists in hip hop music. For you non hip-hopers, that is the BOOM that makes your booty go thump, keeps the party going and most importantly gets the world’s best ballers ready to hit the hardwood. Dr. Dre has worked with this sound his entire career and knew the boom is what other noise canceling headphones on the market were missing. Still can’t imagine the awesomeness that is Beats By Dre? Imagine Radio Rahiem’s boom box then holding two of them up to your ears. That is the bombastic-ness that is Beats By Dre. For a mere $300, you too can block out the entire world with a pair of these subwoofers on your ear.
The NBA, Beats by Dre connection began with the 2008 USA Olympic basketball team. Monster Cable, the company that produces Beats, thought it would be great for players to try the headphones out on their travels. Word of the Beats By Dre experience spread like Nicki Minaj’s thighs, and in a few seasons players across the league were wearing them. Monster Cable does solicit their products to players, but most purchase their own pair. Monster has connections with the NFL and NHL but their real bread and butter lies in hoops. Currently, they are working on projects that will further connect the NBA brand and Beats By Dre. When talking to a product-marketing specialist at Monster Cable she was extremely secretive about the next step between Monster and the league. Maybe team logos on headphones? Player endorsements? Beats By ‘Bron? Hey, anything is possible.
Beats come in a standard black and white and are sold at Best Buy, Apple stores and those crazy, little kiosks in the airport. Want a cool purple and gold pair like Kobe? Or maybe you want your Beats to match your newest Coogi sweater? First bury yourself for still wearing Coogi, but if you want to spice up your beats, ColorWare is the group to go with. You can send your pair in to be customized or they can just get a brand new pair for you. From cotton candy pink, to the color way of your favorite NBA team ColorWare has got you covered.
I own a pair of Studio Beats by Dre and had a pair of BOSE headphones before that. I quickly tossed the BOSE headphones to my mom and began to rock my Beats. I may rock them a little too much. Sometimes I prefer to wear them around the house instead of listening to my stereo. With Beats you hear sounds you’ve never experienced. I listened to the Blueprint 3 and heard reverbs and beats I never knew existed. I was so caught off guard by the sounds; I actually thought someone was sneaking up behind me.
So if you want to look like your favorite NBA player, don’t drop cash on an authentic jersey (if you’re over the age of 25 you shouldn’t be wearing jerseys anyway.) Save your cash and decorate your ears with a pair of Beats by Dre. Ya heard!