Last year, in the wake of the “dab” dance craze, rapper 2 Chainz unveiled a line of “Dabbin’ Santa” Christmas sweaters that went on to make nearly $2 million in revenue over the course of the holiday season.
2 Chainz gave a large portion of the proceeds to various charitable causes, including homeless veterans, disabled children, and arts education programs. The success of the venture also inspired him to create his own clothing line, CEO Millionaires.
This year, 2 Chainz has brought his “ugly Christmas sweater” line back with a few new looks and a renewed focus on charity work through his T.R.U. Foundation. His online shop currently features a form that lets people submit stories for those in need of assistance this holiday season.
2 Chainz talked to Business Insider about the inspiration behind the sweaters, his foundation, and his music, including what we can expect from his upcoming album.
John Lynch: The sweater campaign last year was so successful. What made you decide to bring it back this year?
2 Chainz: I think it’s something we’re gonna have to do annually because it had such a big impact last year, on me, on my stepping into the apparel business, and on me impacting other people’s lives. So I had to bring it back another year.
Lynch: You’ve helped veterans a lot in the past, and a number of other causes, but who are you looking to help through it this year?
2 Chainz: Anybody who really needs help, not that wants help – I’m talking about needs help. I have my website, 2chainzshop.com, where we’ll be accepting people’s stories, where you can actually view their stories. We will actually vet through the stories, so it ain’t like you can make one up and we won’t actually follow up and do the research on it. And then, it will most likely have something to do with kids because anything I do, I want it to trickle down to the kids, so they can have in their memory banks that somebody successful, someone they looked up to, someone they never imagined, a rapper or whatever, came and did something for them. So it’s important for me to consider that. It’s important for me to be innovative and creative when doing charitable work as well.
Lynch: What does the cause of helping veterans specifically mean to you?
2 Chainz: My daddy was a veteran, and it’s something dear to my heart. I helped him, he stayed with me until he passed away, and I’m not sure what kind of life he would have had if I wasn’t there for him. So it’s important for me to highlight my views for veterans who’ve fought for our country and at the same time don’t have anything to show for it. It’s kind of dear to me.
Lynch: Is this sweater campaign now a part of your CEO Millionaires clothing line?
2 Chainz: CEO is different from the ugly Santa sweaters. It’s just another clothing line that I have. It’s ceomillionaries.com, and that’s meant to create every opportunity toward a clothing line with a substance. With that, I use my platform to try and encourage and spark the next entrepreneur, or spark the next female millionaire. That whole clothing line is about not only being fresh, but wanting to boss up at the same time.
Lynch: What can you tell me about this year’s new designs for the sweaters? I saw you got a Juju dance Santa. That’s the one I’m about to buy.
2 Chainz: Yeah, we got Juju on Santa, man. We got another Dabbin’ Santa, obviously. My favorite one, though, is the Tour Santa shirt, where he actually goes on tour December 25, and he goes to Australia, Japan, Chicago, College Park, Russia, Florida. He has a really big schedule on the 25th.
Lynch: That’s the same as… that’s your tour, right?
2 Chainz: No, it’s Santa Clause tour on December 25. He’ll be in Australia, Japan, Russia, Chicago, L.A., College Park. You get where I’m going? He’ll be in Dubai. He’ll also be in Abu Dhabi. He’ll be in… You dig what I’m saying? He’ll be everywhere on December 25.
Lynch: Oh, okay. Well, last year, you had a Dabbin’ Santa app to accompany the sweaters. Are there any plans for apps or media like that for this campaign?
2 Chainz: You never know, man. We put that app together in a week. That’s unheard of with Apple, you know what I’m saying? It’s still an active working app, the Dabbin’ Santa app. We may come up with something creative, dealing with this tour or something like that. You never know with me. You gotta stay tuned. Keep it locked. That’s the fun part – you never know what you might wake up and read.
Lynch: If we could talk quickly about the music, you’ve released four projects this year. Which one of these albums and mixtapes are you most proud of?
2 Chainz: I mean, all of them are getting good responses. It’s always good to drop one and exceed the previous project, so it’s not that I have a favorite one. Of course, I love the “Collegrove” project that I did with Lil Wayne because he’s my favorite rapper. But, you know, as far as my projects that I have out here, “Daniel Son…” and “Hibachi 4 Lunch” and things like that, I just think it was creative, innovative in re-branding, and also keeping it fun at the same time. This stuff is supposed to be fun. I really like all the music that I’m putting out lately. Feels like I’m in some type of a zone or something. I’m recording three songs a night, and we’re just having decisions on how we want to release these archives.
Lynch: Are you working on your next LP too? How’s that coming along?
2 Chainz: Yes, I’m about to drop another album in the next couple months as well. So, “Hibachi” was more like a lunch break before my project drops – something to keep you full until dinner’s ready.
Lynch: How are you feeling about that new project conceptually? Is it in line with your past two solo albums, or how are you thinking about it?
2 Chainz: Yeah, it’s gonna be thematic. It’s gonna be conceptual. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be entertaining. It’s gonna be smart. Yeah, it’s gonna be creative.
Lynch: One last thing: For you T.R.U. Foundation going forward, what are your plans for it, in general, past the sweater campaign?
2 Chainz: T.R.U. Foundation has always been there to help the needy, to help people, and involved with communities, even domestic, inside and outside the household. We’ve just covered so many bases throughout the years, so it’s important to continue growing, continue helping, and sharing the blessings that I get. The T.R.U. Foundation will be something that people will remember. It will be impactful in helping individuals’ lives in the near future.
Lynch: That’s beautiful, man. I can’t wait to get that Juju Santa sweater. I’m about to order it.
2 Chainz: [laughs]Thank you, bruh. I appreciate you for real.
Lynch: Thanks for your time.
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