Do you have a family member who’s an aspiring rapper or know someone who’s a hip hop enthusiast? Are you planning to buy them a Christmas or holiday gift this year? It may be difficult to shop for a hip hop head, especially if rap isn’t your genre of choice or you are unsure of the gift receivers’ favorite rapper.
In this article we’ll give you some gift ideas for those hip hop aficionados in your family, at your job, or school. It might seem practical to buy the top of the charts CD rap album(s) but this is a mistake, because it’s likely the gift receiver already has top charted albums. Fans tend to get most artists’ music on the same day it’s released and sometimes before the official release date.
With that said, if you know the gift receivers’ favorite rapper then buying the Greatest Hits album for that artist is a good idea. The gift recipient likely does not have the Greatest Hits album, as these are commonly not effectively promoted. It should go noted, that all artists do not have a Greatest Hits album, so this may be tricky, but if they do have one then snag it, because it’s a great gift.
It’s best if you know the gift receivers’ favorite rapper. This way you can be more personal with your gift. However, if not that’s fine you’ll still be able to make a connection with choosing a gift that represents the hip hop spectrum.
Here are some gift ideas for the rap enthusiast,
- Apparel: If you know the clothing size of the gift receiver then hip hop apparel may be the perfect gift. Depending on your budget there is a wide range of apparel to choose from. Clothing can get very expensive, to reasonably priced, or inexpensive depending on the specific item you choose to purchase. Hip hop is hugely influenced by brands. The more expensive the brand the better. However, not every brand is popular in the rap community so even an expensive brand doesn’t hold weight if it’s not popularized.There are dozens of brands which appeal to the hip hop community, many go in and out of style quickly. There are a few brands that have never gone out of style and always been a safe bet. These include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Brands designed by rappers themselves are usually welcoming gifts as well such Rocawear, Sean John, Apple Bottoms, or Akoo.
You might think a t-shirt or clothing with a rappers’ face on it might be a good gift purchase, but in the hip hop community it can be considered being an overzealous groupie if wearing the face of your favorite rapper (especially if the rapper is still alive). I’d stay clear of buying clothing with the rappers face on it, because some hip hoppers don’t like to represent in that fashion.
The branded apparel gift you decide to purchase does not necessarily have to be clothes. It can be a stylish or fashionable accessory such as a belt, a wallet, a pair of shades, shoes, sneakers or boots.
The most important thing to remember when buying apparel for a hip hopper is to stick to a popular brand. Your gift will likely get 80% more use or wear if it’s a brand that gets nods from the hip hop world.
- Headphones: These are always good gifts for a person who has a musical interest. The BeatsByDre (Beats Studio Over-the-Ear) branded headphones are the most fashionable in today’s rap community.It should be noted that these headphones are usually pricey starting at $299 and up. Though, the gift receiver will likely be impressed and well appreciative of the gift.
Alternate more inexpensive headphones for hip hoppers include Soul by Ludacris or SMS Audio by 50 Cent.
- MP3 Player: Most people have more than one favorite artist or song, therefore they need a device to store all their favorites and that’s exactly what an MP3 Player does. It’s a device for storing thousands of songs and albums from various artists. It’s an organized library or catalogue of one’s favorite music.To be more creative you can preload the MP3 Player with the gift receiver’s favorite rappers’ music, making the gift even more personal and special. The Apple iPod is considered the best MP3 Player device. However, over the years there have been many more players developed by different manufacturers, therefore MP3 Players of any brand is ideal and are competitively priced ranging from $30-$200.
- Mobile Devices: If you want to go one step above an MP3 Player then mobile devices might be the right gift. Hip hop is hugely influenced by smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Today’s technology allows things to happen instantly and the rap world thrives off of immediate gratification.Mobile devices are equipped with MP3 players, cameras, Internet, and so much more. Not many people (let alone a hip hop fan) will say “no” to a new top of the line mobile phone. It’s one of the better gifts for most.
Make sure the gift receiver can easily transfer their current service and provider to the new phone. To make the gift even more personal you can preload the phone with ringtones and music from the gift recipients’ favorite rap artist.
- Digital Media: A simple ringtone, screensaver, wallpaper, or other digitally downloaded media can make a cool gift. Most people in the hip hop community are connected to the world digitally either through phone, tablet, or computer. Gathering a collection of one’s favorite artist digital media would prove to be a cheap inexpensive gift that speaks volumes.Another great gift option is to purchase an iTunes gift card. It will allow the gift recipient to download music which they favor. For someone who frequents iTunes or is very picky about the music they listen to, this would be a great gift.
- Concert or Event Tickets: Maybe there is a rap event or concert coming to town in the coming weeks or months, if you know the gift recipient listens to the artist music then it might be worthwhile to splurge on some concert tickets for a cool gift. If it’s an event like the BET Hip Hop Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, or a rap music festival then it’s almost a given that the gift recipient would like to attend.To make the gift more amazing you may want to purchase V.I.P. or backstage tickets (passes) so the gift recipient can have an up close and personal experience. Concert or event tickets would be probably one of the most appreciative gifts, especially if this is their first concert or rap event.
Being considerate you should purchase two tickets so the gift recipient can be accompanied by someone of their choice. You’ll rarely see anyone go to a concert or event alone. If you really want to show appreciation then you’ll purchase the extra ticket. Maybe, they’ll ask you to tag along for the fun and it all works in your favor.
- Rap Posters & Artwork: Posters are generally cheap gifts, but well liked gifts if the receiver already collects posters or hip hop artwork. This gift idea only works if the gift receiver has an interest in posters and artwork. You can usually identify if a person like rap posters and artwork if they already have them pinned to the wall or framed in their home or bedroom. Also if the screensaver or wallpaper on their computer, phone, or tablet has hip hop related artwork then it’s likely they’ll enjoy a poster as a gift.A limited edition poster or personally autographed poster would be most appealing, but it’ll be more costly as well. Knowing the gift receiver favorite rapper is ideal and would make it easier to find the perfect poster as a gift.
- Hip Hop Magazine Subscriptions: This is the gift that keeps on giving. A one or two year subscription to a popular hip hop magazine is a great gift idea.There are many hip hop publications to choose from including The Source, Vibe, XXL, Rap-Up, Hip Hop Weekly, and plenty more. The gift recipient would well appreciate having one or more of these magazines arriving at their doorstep week after week or month after month.
- Tattoos/Piercings: Hip hop is the driving force behind 80% of society’s inked bodies. Tattoos and piercings are perfect gifts for someone who gets enjoyment from such activities. If the gift receiver already has tattoos or piercings then they’ll likely enjoy a gift of this magnitude.This is a more personal gift idea. You may want to find out which tattoo shop the gift receiver frequents or has used in the past and get a gift card from there, because some people are picky about whom they’ll let ink their body or give them a piercing.
For a hip hop head that loves tattoos and piercings this would be the perfect gift. Just be sure you can deal with the body alteration the gift recipient decides, because you’ll be forced to see it everyday if they get tatted in a noticeable area of their body.
- Write a Rap: Hone in on your rap skills and buss a rhyme for your gift recipient. That’s right! Write a personalized rap song for your gift recipient and send or recite it to your friend, co-worker, family member, etc.To get extra brownie points record the song in MP3 format and recite the lyrics with a hip hop beat in the background. Or go the extra mile and record the song in video format with a beat in the background and your visual swagger.
You don’t have to be a professional rapper, but make it creative and personal for your gift recipient. If nothing else, you’ll likely get a smile (or chuckle) out of the gift receiver. Your effort to impress will not go unnoticed.
Those are some great gift ideas for the hip hop fans in your family or circle. Music plays a huge part in many people lives and it’s a great way to connect with someone on a different level. You can’t go wrong by choosing any of the gift ideas listed above.
Do you have other great gift ideas for a hip hop enthusiast? Let’s hear it! Leave a comment with your gift idea. Have a wonderful holiday season this year and wish you all the best in your gift shopping!!
Shem Anthony is chief-editor at Street Dose, a popular hip hop blogging website with its own style and grace. It publishes music, videos, and news from inside the rap industry and mainstream hip hop. It’s the perfect place to stay up to date with the latest rap events.