Music merchandise has been a bit of a hot button topic lately, due to a couple Kardashians that got chewed out by the late rapper Biggie’s mom for using his image without their permission.
I have always loved a good band tee. As an awkward middle and high schooler, Hot Topic was my sanctuary. When I entered the store at my local mall I was amazed by all the artists displayed on the walls of the store, and I jumped at the chance to rep my favorite artist at school.
The first band tee that I remember buying for myself was a Kanye West Graduation themed t-shirt from ’08. I bought it with one of my best friends at the time and I could still remember that sense of pride that I felt when I wore the shirt to school the next day.
I still love the shirt just as much as I did almost a decade ago. It symbolizes my everlasting adoration for Kanye’s Graduation album, a part of the beloved Kanye era that I’d like to call BK.
Ever since then I’ve amassed a collection of about 20 band tees from various hip-hop, rock, and pop artists. One of my fave band tees out of that collection is this Goldlink shirt.
It’s the cover art of one of my favorite (and certainly most sentimental) albums: And After That, We Didn’t Talk. Inside the art on the shirt, there’s secretly hidden lyrics to one of my favorite tunes off of that album: See I Miss.
I got this shirt during the Black Friday sale last year for Goldlink’s online site and ended up spending a whopping twenty bucks on the shirt after shipping. Issa deal.
But, I’m always on the hunt for new merch. I usually wait until it goes on some type of sale, but when I peeped Kendrick Lamar’s new DAMN. merchandise it had me wanting to break my own rules.
When I listened to DAMN. the first time I was engrossed with the repeated line “What happens on Earth stays on Earth” It sounds like something a slightly shady fortune teller would tell you. The fact that’s it’s integrated into some of the merch definitely caught my eye.
In a recent interview, Kendrick said that “What Happens on Earth Stays on Earth” was the album’s original title. But, he didn’t think that it rolled off the tongue. Even though it may not be as punchy as “DAMN.” I still think it’s a line that’s worth its weight in gold.
Maybe I’ll be able to cop one of these shirts during Black Friday next year. I’ll be more than happy to slide these to my growing collection.
What are some of your favorite band tees? Are you holding onto some incredible vintage gem from your Mom’s closet? I’d love to read about it in the comment section below.