Christmas is the wonderful time of year where rappers turn their yo yo yos into ho ho hos. They twist jingle bells into boom-bap beats that produce an amazing amount of heat to keep you warm during these cold winter nights. But, some of them take the jolly road a little bit too far down and get into cornball territory. That’s when the remixed carol goes from a possible classic, to tragic. Let’s take a look at some of the dopest (and corniest) Hip-Hop holiday tracks to ever hit the airwaves.
“Christmas in Harlem” – Kanye West F/ Cyhi The Prynce & Teyana Taylor
This song is the perfect matrimony between a dope Hip-Hop beat and those classic Christmas sounds. The title is obviously inspired by the classic Run D.M.C tune, “Christmas In Hollis.” Everyone featured in this song does their part to deliver a quality song that doesn’t lose sight of it’s Hip-Hop roots. Kanye West paints a picturesque winter wonderland in the city while he spends Christmas with his lady, getting some one-on-one time away from the crazy crowds of the holidays.
“Yeah, though it’s forty below the wind chill
And we wipin’ snow up off the windshield
It’s still, a wonderful night to be alive, baby
And I’m, so happy I’m with my baby”
– Kanye West
Teyana Taylor sleighs the chorus as she usually does with every other project she’s a part of, and Cyhi The Prynce comes through on the second verse with simplistic, but hard-hitting lyrics. The song’s very sing-alongable, and you might even get away with playing it at your annual Christmas gathering. “Christmas In Harlem” is a carol that might even outlive its predecessor, it’s only a matter of time to see how the snow falls.
“Deck Da Club” – Ying Yang Twins
There’s something so infectiously bad about Ying Yang Twins’ attempt at a Christmas song, “Deck Da Club.” The song’s almost ten years old, but you might have rediscovered this song from the 2016 movie Office Christmas Party.
This is not your Grandma’s “Deck The Halls.” Make sure that this doesn’t accidentally end up on your family Christmas playlist because they’ll be raised eyebrows and scowls all throughout your overly decorated living room. This song is more suited for a Christmas themed club night (hence the title) or, as the movie suggests, an office Christmas party. But, still, make sure your boss is cool with a dash of Ying Yang Twins in their life.
There are many incredibly hilarious lines throughout this song, but here’s my personal favorite:
“Santa busted through the door with Bush and Cheney
I ducked behind the couch because those hoes tried to spray me
We’re all up in this mission with our 9mm’s and shit
But who knew Santa was packing a banana clip?!…”
The lyrics paint an amazing picture in your head and brings forth the question: Why in fact was Santa packing a banana clip? These are questions that need answers people.
There’s nothing surprising about this song when you look at Ying Yang Twins’ previous musical repertoire, but the fact that it exists is like getting a gift and a piece of coal at the same time on Christmas morning.
“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” – DMX
This remix of a Christmas classic is a long time coming. In 2012, DMX got called on to do his own impromptu interpretation of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” on the set of 105.1FM’s radio show, “The Breakfast Club.” This incredible video turned into a viral meme that gets recycled every year during the holiday season. But, in 2017, this meme became an actual holiday banger.
The song is a full remake, with no added lyrics or verses. But, just the addition of DMX’s classic ad-libs and infectious energy is enough to revamp the song completely. This remix is a staple on any Hip-Hop holiday playlist. This is one for the kids, co-workers, and even Granny too.
“Ballin’ On X-Mas” – Jim Jones F/ J.R. Writer & Stack Bundles
In theory, A Dipset Christmas sounds absolutely spectacular. But the execution, not so much. The chorus is an awkward combination of a strange rip of the “Christmas In Hollis” beat along with Jim Jones’ laughable singing.
Some of the lyrics aren’t that bad at all and paint a fun picture of Christmas. But, the cornball lyrics weigh out the not-so-bad ones.
“The holidays remind me of the game
The reindeers remind me of the Range
Icicles remind me of the ring
She seen the videos, she like the fadeaway dance
I want to kiss her like I got a mistletoe in my pants.”
– Stack Bundles
Like, come on B. Wack. Unless you’re friends with a bunch of diehard Dipset fans, this song probably isn’t the one that’ll make your Christmas party lit like your neighbors Christmas lights. I wouldn’t come back to this track, even on Christmas day itself.
…Okay, I might come back for a giggle or two.
Ever since Hip-Hop has skyrocketed in popularity in the 80s, there has been a calling for Hip-Hop Christmas music. There have been hundreds of Hip-Hop Christmas songs, but here is my gift to you: some of the best and worst of the subgenre. Do with this information as you may.
Did I miss any classics or tragics of Hip-Hop Christmas tunes? Make sure to hit me up in the comments’ section below. -Nia Simone