When 50 Cent Is Your Boss

Rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson performs during the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. Photograph by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Brian Nohe, a former executive at Gillette and a self-described garage band musician, was running a small company in Delray Beach, Fla., that made headphones and earbuds for kids when he got a call from 50 Cent. The rapper and businessman (also known as Curtis Jackson) had—like just about everyone else—noticed the success of Beats by Dr. Dre and had decided he wanted to get into the business. He ended up buying a majority stake of Nohe’s company in September, renamed it SMS Audio, and made himself chief executive. The company sells headphones for all ages now: Sync by 50 wireless headphones go for about $400 and the Street by 50 wired sets cost about $250. The company has 25 employees and sells headphones in 30 countries. Nohe spoke with me over the phone about what it’s like when 50 is the boss.

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