There’s something inherently uncool about Christmas. Maybe it’s the mid-afternoon naps off your face on gravy or the garish jumper your nan knitted out of barbed wire but it’s hard to imagine 50 Cent settling down to watch a bit of Downton Abbey and a bit of a snuggle with his posse. But lest we forget, rappers love Santa too and it turns out there’s a whole genre of music dedicated to their festive cheer- the rap Christmas song. Here’s a selection box of the best:
Yep, that’s Run DMC with LL Cool J dressed as Santa.
5Dirty Boyz – ‘All I Want For Christmas’ (2006)
More malt liquor than malted milks, the Dirty Boyz are bound to be crossed off Jay-Z’s Christmas list for what they want to do with his missus. These guys aren’t asking for much in life though, just “to get crunk” and for “them 2 felonies on my record disappear.” I bet they’d be content with a nice pair of socks from Marks & Sparks though. Contains worse language than when your dad drops the turkey on the cat.
Christmas Cracker: “Sippin’ Hennessey thinkin’ bout my Christmas needs / Bendin’ corners while I’m smokin’ on them Christmas trees.”
Consider yourself lucky, not everyone gets a day off for Christmas. For the following occupations, it’s just another day of work: the police, fire brigade and of course, ballers. Shamelessly pilfering the ‘Christmas in Hollis’ beat further down this list, it turns out Jim Jones is so into Christmas that he recorded a whole mixtape of festive songs called ‘A Dipset Christmas’. Ideal background music for your younger siblings opening their presents at the crack of dawn. Or, y’know, not really.
Christmas Cracker: “Me and Santa alike – know why? I’m getting cake here / I grab a ho ho ho, and make it rain, dear”
When your average day involves chilling with sea lions and appearing on The Price Is Right (“WHO GOT BIRDS?”) every day is Christmas for the name-changing artist. But he knows everyone isn’t as lucky as him, so consider this jingle to be Band Aid for rap music, just swap Bono for a magic-powered flying lowrider (and who wouldn’t make that trade?). All in all, it makes as much sense as your Aunt Muriel after a double brandy, but is infinitely more enjoyable.
Christmas Cracker: “And we passin’ out gifts, blazin’ up spliffs / Christmas on the row, can you dig it?”
Turns out Christmas in the DMC household is just like yours, they “drink eggnog” and “bust Christmas carols” too. 2:09 into the video features perhaps the only appearance of someone’s mum holding a tray of mac and cheese in a rap video (prove me wrong, commenters). The grandfather of Yuletide rap songs, but less likely to fall asleep in front of the fire or say something racist at the telly.
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Christmas Cracker: “He left his driver’s wallet smack dead on the lawn / I picked the wallet up, then I took a pause / Took out the license and it cold said “Santa Claus””
The classier variety of Christmas tune, consider it a proper posh mince pie from Waitrose to Dirty Boyz’s value range version from the skip behind Aldi. A collaboration with more G.O.O.D. Music guests than you can shake a candycane at, it’s also a more religiously diverse affair – Big Sean likes nothing more than “rocking dashikis with a yarmulke”. Mazel tov. Not sure what his rabbi would say about that. All in all, a surprisingly good tune and one that’d make Cliff Richard weep into his sprouts, which can only be an excellent thing. The best in the box.
Christmas Cracker: “Okay, my white girl Veronica, black girl Monica / Got me celebrating ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah”