2 Chainz’s trendy Dabbin Santa sweaters were on smash this Holiday season. The Atlanta native sat down with Forbes for an interview discussing the idea and what he has done with the 2 Milly he has earned. Check it out below.
Shawn Setaro: How did the whole 2 Chainz ugly Christmas sweater thing come about?
2 Chainz: Me and my team were trying to come up with some successful designs to get our merch moving. We took the dab, which is a trend, and we just turned it into a business. We played around with a few designs. We realized what my fanbase wants to see.
I don’t want people to think this was an overnight success. We’ve been trying with a bunch of designs for a couple years now. This is just timing meets opportunity. There’s the whole dab thing, and Atlanta’s always been somewhere that actually moves the culture a little bit. We have been the backbone of hip-hop for the past couple years. So with dabbing coming out of Atlanta, it just began to grow legs and start moving on its own.
S: You also have a Dabbin Santa app to go along with it.
2C: Yeah. A lot of ideas were coming at the end of the year. We thought why not take it to the next level and jump into the tech world? My team thought of numerous ways of creating apps, and we came up with this Dabbin Santa app.
Apple definitely worked with us–it’s the fastest-cleared app in Apple history. It’s only 99 cents, and some of the proceeds go to charity. It’s a continuation of maximizing a trend.
S: Of all the designs, which one is your favorite?
2C: I like all of them, but the one that’s selling the most is the black shirt. Most of them are the same design, it’s just different colors. So it would probably be the black one.
S: Can you tell me a little bit about the charitable side of this? Is it all through your T.R.U. Foundation?
2C: Yeah. I’ve had a foundation for some time. My girl and I, we’ve been trying to figure out a way to be active within the community. This was a great way to do it.
We made close to $2 million in revenue. I had a numerous amount of celebrities helping with the shirt. It was on the NFL, it was on TNT, it was on Good Morning America, it’s on ESPN . So I could not continue receiving those blessings without giving back at the end of the day.
For us, it’s about putting it together independently, with nobody really being the boss. We’re creating our own way to give back, to do something for people. We’ll trickle down to the kids and lead by example. Like I say, actions speak louder than words. We could have spent this money on possessions, but giving a family that needs it will actually go further for them and for me.
S: I saw that one of the biggest charitable things you did recently was to help out a veteran who’d been having medical issues and some problems finding work. Have you always been interested in veterans’ charities?
2C: My dad was a veteran. He passed a couple of years ago. He was in the Army. He jumped out of airplanes for a living. So it’s just charity, period, for me.
This was a case that needed a little help from the outside. It was a veteran household. I came from that, so I understand it. They had no furniture, they were living month-to-month. I just wanted to relieve some of that stress. I just felt like, if I gave them a year’s cushion, which no one ever offered me, it would be a good opportunity.
S: You also purchased a minivan for a family in need.
2C: It’s all part of the Dabbin’ Santa craze. We had another family with four kids. One of them was the same age as my daughter Heaven, which is seven years old. They were caught up in a house fire, and they actually had burglar bars and they couldn’t get out. By the time they got out, the seven year old was in a wheelchair [due to brain damage from smoke inhalation]. He had to get physical therapy. So we bought them a minivan.