Like the sights and sounds of hip-hop, Christmas is around the corner and probably on everyone’s playlist too. For most people, “Deck the Halls” and pop variations of “Jingle Bells” are usually the holiday carols of choice. For rap fans, it might be more “Christmas in Harlem” than “Silent Night.”
Christmas rap songs are one of the most unique traditions in America because the street life from which they were carved couldn’t be more at odds with the hot cocoa-drenched, all-American archetypes many of us have been white-fenced into. Christmas rap often subverts popular holiday customs and mythologies. In the popular Christmas canon, St. Nick lands in the South Pacific before he goes anywhere else, but as Snoop Dogg tells it, “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto.” A typical American will ring in Dec. 25 by eating pumpkin pie and pretending to laugh at jokes grandparents tell. For OutKast, it might mean traveling to the annual baller’s reunion at the “Player’s Ball.”
Over the years, some of the rap game’s biggest names have made Christmas songs to tell their stories, which exist pretty far outside of the mainstream’s imagination. Today, we take a look at the 25 of the best. Peep our list for yourself below.
Author: Peter A. Berry