Top 10 Hip-Hop Holiday Songs
Christmas is almost here! One of the best things about the holidays are the traditional songs that play endlessly no matter where you go. To help boost your holiday spirit, we offer you this list of the Top 10 Hip-Hop Holiday Songs. Some are probably familiar to you and we added a couple of rare gems in the mix that you should add to your seasonal playlists. So sit back and enjoy these holiday jams. Merry Christmas!
Run-DMC recorded several different Christmas songs for the holiday compilation series 'A Very Special Christmas.' For the third installment, released in 1997, the legendary rap trio gathered some of hip-hop's biggest stars at that time for some yuletide merriment. Everyone seemed to be in the Christmas spirit except for Snoop Dogg who calls Santa the "enemy" sliding down the chimney. What a Scrooge!
'Ballin' on X-Mas'
Jim Jones flips Run-DMC's classic holiday song 'Christmas in Hollis' into a seasonal jam about spending crazy loot during the holidays. "They say Santa know when you good or you bad / Gotta make an exception -- we in the 'hood, livin' fast / The cash that we get, I admit it's kind of fast / But we gotta pay the rent, put some clothes on our a---," raps Jones. The song also featured Jones' late friend Stack Bundles and J.R. Writer.
'Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto'
From the 1996 'Christmas on Death Row' album, Snoop Dogg offers this gangsta twist to the holidays with his G-Funk Christmas ode 'Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto.' Rappers Daz Dillinger, Bad Azz and Tray Dee rap about what Santa Claus means to them. For most of them it ain't all good in the 'hood especially during the holidays. Can you imagine Snoop Dogg as Santa Claus? Instead of "Ho-Ho-Ho," he would say, "Bow-Wow-Wow yippy-yo Yippee Yay."
The Treacherous Three's mean-spirited Christmas song was featured in the cult hip-hop flick 'Beat Street.' The group -- rappers Kool Moe Dee, L.A. Sunshine, Special K and DJ Easy Lee -- added up-and-coming beatboxer Doug E. Fresh to the mix for a beat interlude. The rap ditty is quite a downer as the group disses Santa and accuses him of stealing money from the poor. "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle for the po' / And once he gets your welfare check / You can kiss my mistletoe / Ho Ho Ho." Geez, guys, where's your Christmas spirit?
'Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa'
This is not your typical holiday song. De La Soul's track is a despairing tale about a fictional girl whose father sexually abuses her. The odd twist is that the young lady's dad plays Santa Claus at a local department store. This is where she gives her father his comeuppance after years of abuse. It's not the most cheerful tune to play during the holidays, but Posdunos and Trugoy's unassuming delivery makes it an interesting hip-hop holiday song.
What is Justin Bieber doing on this list?! Chill, y'all. The Biebs got more rhymes than Santa has gifts. On this yuletide ditty, he brings out the big drums for his remake of the holiday stable 'The Little Drummer Boy.' On the song, the pop crooner is encouraging everyone to give back during the holidays, while Busta Rhymes sends out seasons greetings to everyone on the social-media networks. Let's keep it real, Bieber is marching to a different drummer with this holiday banger.
Kurtis Blow's 1979 ditty 'Christmas Rappin' is considered the first-ever holiday rap song and sold over 400,000 copies during its initial release. There are many things happening in the song, but one of the most interesting part is when Blow catches Santa on his roof and invites him to his holiday party. "So he went downstairs and forgot his cares and he rocked the spot," he raps. "He danced like a pro and every young girl tried to rock his world / But he boogie oogie oogied till he had to go." Who knew that St. Nick can boogie oogie?
'Dana Dane Is Coming to Town'
Rapper Dana Dane is arguably one of the greatest storytellers in hip-hop. On his hip-hop holiday joint, he tells the story of the Three Wise Men who bring him three presents to help him become a better emcee -- Bally shoes for his feet, a Kangol hat and a microphone. He then travels to a club and boots a wack rapper offstage and proceeds to give the audience a special holiday gift of his lyrical wizardry. At the end, carolers offer this warning: "Sucker emcees, you better watch out / All emcees, you gotta watch out / Dana Dane is coming, to town."
'Christmas In Harlem'
Although Kanye West is from Chicago, he decided to celebrate 'Christmas in Harlem.' The super producer brought a few friends along for the festivities including his G.O.O.D. Music artists Big Sean and CyHi da Prynce. Fellow Harlemites Cam'ron, Jim Jones and Vado are also on the track as they spread holiday cheer. Kanye raps, "Merry Christmas to all, and all a good night / Huh, now we all livin’ the good life." The song was produced by Hit-Boy, who blessed Jay-Z and Kanye with a special gift this year, a chart-topping anthem called 'N----s in Paris.'
'Christmas in Hollis'
At No. 1 on our hip-hop holiday songs list is the ultimate yuletide jam, 'Christmas in Hollis.' Run-DMC's indelible classic was released in 1987 on the holiday compilation album 'A Very Special Christmas.' The song samples blues legend Clarence Carter's 1968 song 'Back Door Santa,' which is about Santa sneaking around with another man's girl. The rap trio's version is more upbeat as they talk about Christmas in their New York hometown of Hollis, Queens. "So open your eyes, lend us an ear / We want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"