Yeah, had to be done right?
End of year lists will be done closer to NYE, but for now we’ll get our awful knitted jumpers on and celebrate the songs that Santa would be bumpin’ in the North Pole, sleigh hydraulics and ghetto reindeers aplenty (in no particular order):
- De La Soul – Simply
Flipping former Beatle Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time”, rap legends De La Soul get festive in their own unique way, in this sparkly, warm-by-the-fireplace-roasting-marshmellows type ditty (I know we could and probably should have done “Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa” instead, but man, that one is… go check it and read the lyrics basically).
So, leave your trouble at home, relax, and party till the sky swallows the sun and spits out the moon and stars, according to Plugs One, Two and Three.
2. 50 Cent – Be A Gentleman
Mr. Jackson in his early years here, turning the old Xmas classic “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” into a gritty tale spent in the ghetto dealing on corners, bailing out his friends and running from the cops… (actually it was holidays-style diss aimed at Jay-Z, but, y’know, beat is fiyah.)
3. Kanye West – Christmas In Harlem (feat. Big Sean, Cam’ron, Jim Jones, CyHi Da Prynce, Pusha T, Teyana Taylo and Musiq Soulchild)
Lord and Saviour Yeezus himself decided to get his Christmas cheer on back in 2010, with an all-star cast of musicians to welcome S. Claus down the chimney.
In this sprightly number, Kanye promises presents abound whilst sharing special holiday moments with loved ones the way only Kanye can (“I’m like Bad Santa, ya’ll have to come sit on my lap”). Great verses from Pusha T and CyHi Da Prynce in particular, but Teyana Taylor steals this one with a hook so warm you’ll want to come in from the cold and grab some egg-nog.
4. Outkast – Player’s Ball
From the classic “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik”, this song is about as close to “Christmassy” as Andre 3000 and Big Boi have ever gotten, discussing what is was like growing up in the South during the yuletide season.
Sleigh bells, pimps trying to find snow in Atlanta, and Andre’s infamous opening line “It’s beginning to look a lot like what?!” sets the stage for a magical *cough* Xmas day.
5. Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin’
Ah the 80s. Disco samples, break-dancing and shell-suits a.k.a. Hip-Hop’s first golden era.
And one of it’s alumni, famous for his call-and-response anthems “The Breaks” and “Basketball”, Kurtis Blow was also full of festive cheer, writing this little Xmas jam in tribute to his favourite time of year.
Expect tales of turkey, wine and Santa gettin’ down.
6. Eazy-E – Merry Muthafucking’ Xmas
Bet the adorable little girl at the beginning of the song who innocently wanted a classic Christmas tale of Santa and his Elves was not expecting this…
As we drift, dream-like, into Compton, with the shopping malls filled with merry present-buyers and carollers singing, N.W.A.’s own Eazy-E decides to mow them all down with a machine-gun and screech off into the night in search of some, ahem, ‘festive cheer’.
We’ll leave it at that.
7. Snoop Dogg – Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto (feat. Dat Nigga Daz, Bad Azz, Tray Dee & Nate Dogg)
Off the infamous Death Row Records compilation “Christmas On Death Row”, it’s so kind of Snoop and the rest of the gang to accept that Christmas is a time for family and friends, so they should all take a day off from hustlin’ to enjoy this merry time of year.
“On the first day of Christmas my homie gave to me, a sack of the krazy glue and told me to smoke it up slowly…”
Don’t mess with the presents under the tree is all i’m saying.
8. Run The Jewels – A Christmas F*cking Miracle
Killer Mike and El-P went all out in 2013 to show us they were champions of the holiday season with a brilliantly festive video…. yeah.
A Run The Jewels Christmas is not your usual Christmas, let’s put it that way, cringworthy jumpers and secret handshakes aside.
9. Ludacris – Ludacrismas
Here comes Santa Claus indeed.
From the Fred Claus movie soundtrack back in 2007, ATL’s Ludacris wants very simple things for Christmas: Jewels, chicken, beer and a $10,000,000 cheque.
Don’t we all Luda. Jingle Mr. Cringle… Jingle.
10. Run-DMC – Christmas In Hollis
This has to be the most famous Hip-Hop Christmas song in existence, from it’s appearance in “Die Hard” to soundtracking countless adverts throughout December, Run-DMC’s holiday classic “Christmas In Hollis” recalls of a tale of Christmas Eve, where Mom is cooking chicken and collard greens.
Sampling Clarence Carter’s naughty Christmas funk classic “Backdoor Santa” (tasteful as ever), Jam Master Jay and the boys help us get into the spirit of things by describing how they found Santa dead on a park bench on Hollis Avenue with a sh*tload of cash on him, that ended up actually being for them… yeah.
Happy Holidays ya’ll.