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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

Every few months, a famous musical artist will release what many may think is the most horrendous merch the public has ever seen. Regardless of their status, every artist has had their time of tacky or cheaply made merch lines. For every bad piece of merch, there’s a beautifully crafted piece. Let’s look at the best and the worst of the merch of the music industry. 

The Best: 

  1. Tyler the Creator 

Famous rapper, Tyler the Creator has consistently put out some of the best merchandise in the industry. His pieces are artistic and can stand alone as fashion statements, unlike typical fan clothing. He even started his own clothing line called “Golf” which has reached immense success. 

  1. Japanese Breakfast

Just like Tyler the Creator, this indie-pop band has merch that goes beyond your typical album cover merch pieces. Shirts feature designs from lesser-known graphic artists and perfectly display the dreamy nature of the band’s music. 

  1. Ken Carson 

Ken Carson proves that less is more with merch. With simple yet distinguishable designs repeating throughout his clothing, fans are able to recognize each other while not appearing overdone. 

  1. Rico Nasty

Rapper Rico Nasty’s music style is evident in her merch line – whether it be the thermal vision photos or the barbed wire accents in the designs. Her selection can appeal to many, with a wide range of colors and clothing pieces. 

The Worst: 

  1. Olivia Rodrigo

In all fairness, Olivia Rodrigo had one merch drop that was cheap and unappealing, and has since then improved greatly. However, it was spoken of so much on the internet that it must be included. Shirts were made poorly, words were spelled wrong, and crop tops were the length of a dress. Her team was quick to resend merch and send out an apology, but not before the internet could share their opinions on the disappointing line. 

  1. Ariana Grande

It is possible that Ariana Grande’s disappointing merch drops are due to the fact that too many designs are produced without care to the details. Many pieces are simply album covers printed onto shirts or small words displayed across the chest. While none of it is necessarily ugly, her pieces are just not the best for an artist of such notability. 

  1. Playboi Carti

Despite being a talented artist, Playboi Carti’s merch is somewhere in the middle of being tacky in a bad way and tacky in a good way. The designs certainly describe the “organized chaos” nature of his music, though. The attractiveness of the clothing is definitely up for interpretation. 

All in all, the attractiveness of artist merch is subjective. Every artist has had their time of questionable merchandise, but all that matters is that you enjoy the pieces and music in the end. 

Grace Notarstefano

St. John's '26

Grace is currently a freshman at St. John’s University in Queens NY. She is double majoring in History and Italian, with hopes to someday become a professor and enter the world of research. She can be found painting and sculpting, reading, trying new recipes, or writing up a post for her blog on the literature of the world.