I thought it was great move when I heard that Dr. Dre was going to be entering the electronics market with Monster’s “Beats By Dre” headphones, which he announced last weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The headphones will retail for $400. Some folks are saying that’s too much bread for a pair of headphones. Music Industry figure Bob Lefsetz wrote on his blog yesterday,
“I hope Monster is writing him a fat check, because they’re certainly not going to sell many. Can you say PRICE POINT? You have to spend $400 to get bass? Shit, most people’s STEREOS don’t cost $400. Never mind their iPods, which they use to listen to music. The only people who can afford these are the boomers, who hate rap.”
I disagree. The people who can afford, will afford, or trick themselves into thinking they can afford these headphones are the new producers coming up, the ones who are making tracks in their parents’ basement, who need to keep the noise down at night, but also need to hear their shit knock. Granted, some Sony MDR700‘s will usually do the trick, but I know everything Monster does is some like next level top quality shit. Point is, nobody’s buying these joints to listen to music casually. So I don’t think they can be looked at like an ordinary consumer electronic product. But headphones are just the start for Dre.
The article in the LA Times says,
“The headphones are more than a lark: Dre and [Jimmy] Iovine have plans for an entire line of home and car audio electronics based on both Dre’s celebrity and his perfectionist reputation, a branding plan that would make him a sort of Martha Stewart of the subwoofer set. ‘In 10 years, I want to look back and remember this moment, when it was just headphones, because it’s going to include speakers and surround-sound systems, car systems, everything,’ said Dre, 42.”
Getting into the electronics market is a good move for Dre. Hard to imagine that a guy with his level of celebrity never had Dre Wear or some stupid shit like that, but that’s besides the point. I mean, even though the die hard fans are waiting for Detox, there’s a whole slew of new fans in hip-hop who aren’t really even familiar with him. Detox, which is now due in June, almost seems like a vanity project, like something to remind people that Dre’s still an artist, even though that life seems behind him now. People who think of Dre at this point, think of him as a great producer and sound man first and foremost, so why not cash in on that?
Just make sure to send me a free pair of those headphones.