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2 Chainz has caused headlines during the Christmas holidays, with Dabbin’ Santa sweaters. Fusing the ugly Christmas sweater tradition with Atlanta’s dabbing dance hype, 2 Chainz has earned a whopping $2 million thanks to numerous celebrities and athlete wearing the item. The Atlanta native sat down with Forbes to speak about the proceeds going back into his T.R.U. Foundation to help those in need. Read the conversation below and watch 2 Chainz help a disabled veteran from eviction in the video above.
Forbes: 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.
Forbes: Can you tell me a little bit about the charitable side of this? Is it all through your T.R.U. Foundation?
2 Chainz: 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.