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The Best Gifts for Every Music Lover, From Metalheads to Rap Moguls

Looking for wildly cool music tech, crazy-sick merch, or the most hyped LPs of the year? Get a hand stamp and step inside.
November 5, 2021, 1:00pm

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you're picking out gifts for your loved ones, crushes, frenemies, and polycule members, you should probably try to cater to their interests. And music lovers, mercifully for us as gift-givers, tend to be pretty vocal about what they like, whether it's through their parade of band shirts or endless chatter about what festival they're blowing all their bones on next. 

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Some of the best gifts we've ever received have been thoughtfully curated albums, the headphones we end up using every day, and that long-coveted vintage tour sweatshirt. So with this gift guide, we wanna pay it forward and make the hip hop heads, metalheads, Deadheads, punx, jiggly jazz-heads, freakazoids, indie goons, and audiophiles of the world very merry indeed. Here you go: the best gifts for music lovers, from the super-practical to the hard-to-find memorabilia they'll treasure forever. 

The best music tech gifts

Sonos One

Sonos One is the best bang for your buck you're going to get for a Wi-Fi speaker. Don't be deceived by its modest size; you can easily move it from shelf to desk to bedside, but it packs big sound and has a tuning system that tailors its audio to sound the best in your space. There are versions with and without voice command capability, so the Alexa-fond and anti-passive-listening alike have options. 

Loop Earplugs

Hearing protection is essential for anyone spending a lot of time at loud live shows—and upgrading from the $1 foam earplugs they sell at the bar is definitely the right move. Our editor tested Loop's earplugs, which are designed for noise reduction without muffling audio, and loved how they both prevent tinnitus and look like Klingon jewelry. The gold ones make a perfect stocking stuffer. 

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Loop

Loop Experience Noise Reduction Ear Plugs

AirPods Pro

If you haven't heard about why the AirPods Pro are considered the gold standard for ear buds—from their wireless charging case and immersive sound to their stellar noise cancellation and transparency mode—you haven't been listening. Any recipient of a pair is guaranteed to use them all the dang time.

A MicroKorg, the best beginner's synth 

Thinking about starting a synthwave project? You're gonna need gear, and the MicroKorg is the perfect place to start. Beloved by both n00bs and seasoned musicians, it's a lightweight, portable keyboard and MIDI controller that makes it super easy to experiment with making electronic music. It's packed with cool sounds and effects, and perhaps most importantly, it's stupid-fun to mess around with.

Korg

microKorg Analog Synthesizer with Vocoder

A levitating speaker

This is definitely one of those WTF, that exists?!?!-type gifts, which we're, as a category, big fans of. It uses magnets (we think???) to suspend a speaker "orb" in midair, cranking your tune of choice, all with crazy color-changing LED lights and enhanced bass. Reviewers love it. Your recipient of choice will be dazzled, especially if they're under the influence of something psychotropic. 

Kabaddi

Kabaddi Floating Bluetooth Speaker

The best gifts for metalheads

A Slayer necklace

All the most highly coveted Slayer tour shirts are like $500 now because the LA streetwear peeps got to 'em, but you can still get this Show No Mercy pentagram necklace for under $30.

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Slayer

Slayer Pentagram Logo Pendant Necklace

The coolest vintage Ozzy Osbourne jacket 

…But speaking of crazy vintage flexes, there might be no greater one than this Bark at the Moon-era satin starter jacket that we're bloody drooling over. Headless bat not included. 

Vintage

Vintage 1984 Ozzy Osbourne Bark at the Moon Satin Jacket

This bonkers studded soap dispenser

Is it expensive? Yes. Do we spend more time than ever before thinking about washing our hands? Also yes. Come on. This is the conversation piece of your bathroom. 

A Behemoth candle

We all love the ambiance a beautiful candle provides, whether the vibe is "bathing in rose petals at a spa" or "performing an occult ritual whilst blasting extreme metal."

Behemoth

Behemoth The Unholy Trinity Candle

For the witches

Speaking of the occult, for the friend who loves spooky imagery, black metal mythology, and The VVitch, this blanket will be the ideal statement piece for their living room. 

Printagrams

Witches Sabbath Black Phillip Woven Throw Blanket

The best gifts for hip hop fans

Shoes from the Vans x A$AP collection

When A$AP Rocky became a creative director for PacSun, we knew cool stuff was in store—and this Vans collab was the first thing to come out of the gates that we truly coveted. Grab your (or your friend's) size before they're totes sold out. 

Vans

Vans x A$AP Worldwide Classic Slip-On Shoes

Vans

Vans x A$AP Worldwide Silver Reflective Old Skool Shoes

A hat just like Megan Thee Stallion's

Fun fact: Hot Girl Summer is actually a year-round event. The Houston hottie's parade of glimmering cowboy hats is one of many reasons why she's an icon, so give a Meg fan a dupe that they can take from the club to a dinner party to their well-deserved 2022 beach vacation. (Also a solid pick for Dolly Parton and Kacey Musgraves fans.)

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LACowgirlbyHK

Rhinestone Cowboy Hat

This Tyler the Creator embroidered crewneck

Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. One of the most unique rappers of our generation, and a lowkey fashion mogul to boot—but we like this embroidered boot(leg) homage to the Odd Future king. 

SELFFIXATED

Tyler Inspired Embroidered Green Crewneck

A Gucci Mane ice cream pin

Gucci Mane is a living legend, and there's so much to unpack about him that it's hard to know where to start—well, actually start at his excellent autobiography—and then stuff a stocking with a pin commemorating his infamous ice cream face tattoo. 

Coolinn.tv

Gucci Mane Ice Cream Pin, Brrrr

The best gifts for people who love punk

Turnstile - Glow On LP

Not sure where you were this year if you missed the buzz about Turnstile's critically acclaimed and generally sick AF mosh-crossover album Glow On, but ICYMI, it's the record we all desperately needed after a year away from mosh pits, one combining equal parts Bad Brains, early 311, Dev Hynes, and nü metal. (As a vinyl LP, it flies off shelves and auction sites fast; keep a close eye on listings.)

Dan Ozzi's Sellout

Once upon a time, rock writer Dan Ozzi was an editor at VICE's own Noisey, but then he peaced out to go write this exceptionally interesting and much-needed book about the major label punk rock gold rush of the 90s and early 2000s. The book is hella good, so we forgive him for leaving—and also, we couldn't put it down. Grab it for all the friends in your life who liked [fill in the band] "before they got huge."

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Dan Ozzi

Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore

A Discharge woven blanket

We just love that it exists. The woven blanket scene is really poppin' these days. 

NightmareContinues

Discharge Woven Blanket

A vintage Suburbia shirt

Penelope Spheeris's 1984 coming-of-age flick Suburbia is a cult-fave classic (if you've never checked it out, don't miss the killer soundtrack and appearance by a young Flea), and this vintage Mosquitohead shirt promoting the movie is ridiculously rad, but we should warn might lead to a bunch of old punk dudes wanting to talk your ear off at the bar. 

Vintage

Suburbia Vintage T-shirt

The best gifts for other vibey music weirdos

The stellar new collaborative record from Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders

If you haven't yet checked out the drop-dead gorgeous project from electronic artist Floating Points (whose record Crush was named one of Noisey's best of the year in 2019) and exalted psychedelic jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, get thee to a hi-fi stereo system immediately. Better yet, grab Promises on vinyl, close your eyes, and float away into its magical universe. 

Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders with the London Symphony Orchestra

Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders - Promises LP

A vintage Elvis bust lamp

Sometimes, you wanna give a gift that you're 100 percent sure your loved one doesn't already own—and no matter who your friend, family member, or lover is, we can assure you that they don't already have a gigantic vintage lamp of Elvis's bust (numerous equally weird styles available). Who wouldn't want the king of rock 'n' roll illuminating their side table?

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Vintage

Vintage Elvis Presley Handmade Bust Lamp

Make a Deadhead happy

There's so much weirdly hot Grateful Dead merch out there these days, it's hard to know where to start—but may we suggest some skater socks or a dancing-bears-emblazoned Hedley & Bennett apron?

Ripple Junction

Grateful Dead Steal Your Face Toss Adult Crew Socks

Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead Bears Light Set

Hedley & Bennett

Grateful Dead X H&B Tie Dye Bears

Whisk them away to Margaritaville

Know someone who needs to relax (or actually relaxes plenty, bottle of tequila usually found close by)? A vintage Jimmy Buffett shirt is the perfect gift for those drooling over the thought of a cheeseburger in paradise.  

Vintage

Vintage Jimmy Buffett Shirt

A Cameo from Lil Xan

Sadly, Insane Clown Posse is no longer on Cameo. (You don't need to be a juggalo to enjoy a personalized video message from Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, but you do need to respect juggalos.) However, there are still plenty of random AF musicians left on the platform to entertain your loved ones, including fellow horrorcore rappers Twiztid, several members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Josh Todd of Buckcherry, Lisa Loeb, Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz, Marky Ramone, and Stitches (IYK, YK). We say get a Cameo from Lil Xan for your 13-year-old niece. She’ll lose her mind.

Lil Xan

Personalized Greeting from Lil Xan

Now if you'll excuse us, we've gotta go stomp around our apartments yelling to "HOLIDAY" again. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.