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Rapper 2 Chainz sold $2 million worth of ugly Christmas sweaters this year

2 Chainz's Dabbing Santa and Mrs. Claus sweaters
Screenshot of 2 Chainz's online store
Santa brought 2 Chainz some big sales this Christmas.
  • Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Even if you don’t know it, you may already be familiar with the “dab,” a dance move that started in Atlanta and has since taken off across the internet and in the realm of US professional sports. Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, performed it at length after scoring a late touchdown against the Tennessee Titans earlier this year.

It is also the dance Santa is doing on much of the $2 million in Christmas-themed merchandise that Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has reportedly sold via his online shop this holiday season. (According to an interview in Forbes, those sales have allowed him to do some great things for his hometown.)

The amount of revenue the merchandise brought in may be a bit surprising when you consider that the products consist mostly of self-proclaimed “ugly Chistmas sweaters,” priced at $34.99 or less, depicting Santa or Mrs. Claus dabbing. There are also dabbing Santa onesies for babies, and sweaters with two gold chains dangling over a field of different holiday-centric designs (or mostly holiday-centric, anyway—in addition to sweaters with snowflakes and the Star of David, there is also one with marijuana leaves).

2 Chainz also put out a Dabbing Santa app; he said Apple worked with him to make it the “fastest-cleared app in Apple history.” (Quartz has reached out to Apple for a response and will update this post as warranted.)

Either way, the success was no accident. 2 Chainz and the 70-person team he assembled to create the merchandise had recognized an opening.

“We took the dab, which is a trend, and we just turned it into a business,” he told Forbes. “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.”

The holiday spirit is about more than just sales, though. Part of the proceeds go to charity, including the nonprofit T.R.U. Foundation he heads, which focuses on Atlanta’s Southside. With money from the Dabbing Santa sales, 2 Chainz helped a disabled veteran and single mother by buying her new furniture and offering to pay her rent for a year, and he bought a minivan for a family to help them transport their son to and from the hospital after he suffered brain damage in a fire that destroyed their home.

On his own Instagram account, 2 Chainz recalled when his own family lacked even hot water and he would turn on the oven to get some warmth in the house. Now with a successful music career, he’s giving back to the city he grew up in—with a little extra help from Santa and the dab.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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