Let’s be real, Christmas themed hip-hop music is usually gimmicky garbage. Mainstream rappers are known for trying to capitalize on the holiday season with carol sampled nonsense, corny lyricism, and elaborate music videos. However, if you sift through the nonsense, you can find some tracks that will elevate your Holiday hip hop playlists.
We have taken the guess work out of the matter, highlighting some of our favorite seasonal jams, and including a playlist that features these tracks, among others, and is sure to be a hit at your next holiday party. You can find the Spotify Playlist alongside our premier blog playlist. With no pomp and circumstance required, here are our top five holiday hip hop songs.
Kanye’s production, thoughtful verse, and Teyana Taylor’s sparkling hook, all work together to make this 2010 record a warm Christmas favorite. It is well worth your while to check out the extended version, which offers features from Cam’ron, Pusha T, and Big Sean. Honestly, Ye’s production is glorious, and functions in a manner where each stem sounds like an element from the holiday season. All of the elements of this song come together, in a way that is much more thoughtful than your general holiday track.
The visuals of Luda’ as an elf in 2007 film Fred Claus still make us laugh to this day, but there is no doubt about it, Ludacris is one of the only rappers who can make a classic Christmas anthem go this hard. Packed tight with punchlines, and vintage Atlanta swagger, Ludacrismas still takes a listener on a wild, gangsta sled ride with bars such as, (“Yeah, chestnuts roasting on the fire in the hill/Down below we firing up the barbecue grills/Ice skating in the drive way, I’ma do it my way/Eggnogs got daddy swerving on the highway.”) This one’s an unparalleled Christmas classic.
Chance and Jeremiah’s 2016 mixtape Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama was a smashing success. Chance’s faith is well documented, and the authenticity of his lyricism comes through, especially paired with Jeremiah’s delicate and warm vocals. While the album features a plethora of hits and is truly one of the only front-to-back Christmas albums I’ve ever heard, Stranger at the Table takes the cake. Jeremiah’s ode to Michael Jackson on the hook, and Chance’s steady cadence, and attentive song writing create gorgeous ambiance. Be sure to check out the piano version for a more intimate take.
Just like holiday songs, mashups can be very hit or miss, but Grammy Award winning producer and DJ Cookin’ Soul skipped the miss in Christmas, with his 2018 album Doom Xmas. With skillful sampling of some of the most emotive carols, and pairing them with MF DOOM’s most potent verses, this album is a classic, front to back. Due to copyright issues, the vocal versions of these songs, including Let it Snowwwww are not available on streaming services, but we included several instrumental tracks from the project on our playlist, and encourage you to search for the mashup. In addition to his offering with MF DOOM, Cookin’ Soul has a second excellent holiday mashup album with Biggie.