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From Dr. Dre to Diddy and Meek Mill: How Hip-Hop Music Has Transformed Monster


Hip-Hop was fully represented last week when Monster Ceo Noel Lee was inducted into the Consumer Electronics (CE) Hall of Fame.

It’s a pretty big deal. And the “Head Monster” as Lee refers to himself, was in good company. Executives like Kevin Liles, Kevin “Sincere” Mucthison (former director of marketing of Monster/Beats by Dre) and Kevin Black (Interscope, Atlantic, UcanFly), and others were on hand to watch Noel Lee get inducted at Gotham Hall in Manhattan.

But the most impressive part of the evening was who was inducted with Lee during the CE Hall of Fame ceremony. The guy who modernized the remote control (George Feldstein) and the father of Wi-Fi (Vic Hayes) were amongst the pioneers recognized during the ceremony.

“For all those folks who don’t know what that word is, this is the organization that puts CES and Consumer Electronics Show is the biggest tradeshow in the world,” Noel Lee told AllHipHop.com. “All electronics, car manufacturers, software, drums, you name it. Most people don’t know what it is because it’s a trade group. People in the industry, everyone knows what it is.”

“The honor is being recognized by my fellow manufacturers, leaders in the industry and we’re very humbled by it, because I started out in my garage making Monster Cable,” Lee told AllHipHop.com. “Then [came] Monster Power, the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. We turned the headphone world upside down and now we’re doing our own thing.”

Lee brought some swag to the event by accepting an award on his signature golden Segway scooter. However, he’s way more than flash even though his company rakes in over $100 million a year. Noel Lee has always been in the business of music. He quit his job in 1974, to tour with a country rock band named Asian Wood. He later founded Monster Cable Products in 1979, when he created audio cables to improve sound quality for studios, musicians and consumers.

“From a garage to a vision to just being an entrepreneur, I’m very humbled by the recognition,” Noel Lee said.

Lee’s desire to deliver consumers a world-class audio experience helped him decide to from form a partnership with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine to create the Beats By Dre studio headphones. And he thanks Hip-Hop music and culture for his company’s progress.

“I really got and indoctrination [into Hip-Hop] when I hooked up with Jimmy and Dr. Dre. It’s just an amazing world, and I read everything and did a study on the music, the culture and now with the success of “Straight Outta Compton,” there’s a huge awareness of it. But I got a respect the music for how it influences pop culture.”

Even though Monster is hugely successful, Noel Lee is still looking for new companies to partner with to develop new technologies. And the company will continue its custom of partnering with rap artists like Dr. Dre, Meek Mill, and Swizz Beatz, who is a shareholder of the company.

“It [Hip-Hop] influences every white kid is suburbia. The rapper in Korea. The rapper in Japan. It gets into the vernacular. You’ve got the Urban Dictionary, it’s got it’s own ‘let me look it up if I don’t know what it means,’ and now with ‘Empire’ being the #1 TV show, urban culture affects every piece of culture around the world and transcends languages. It’s just amazing…I am a huge, huge fan,” Noel Lee told AllHipHop.com.

Noel Lee
Noel Lee at CE Hall of Fame Awards