Christmas-themed Hip-Hop songs have been around since the late ’70’s when Kurtis Blow dropped his “Christmas Rappin’” single in 1979. That paved the way for other songs of the same ilk, including Run-D.M.C.’s classic “Christmas In Hollis” track.
Blow released his holiday single ahead of getting signed to Mercury Records. The Harlem rapper was the first such act to be signed to a major label. The single was a hit, selling 400,000 copies which was huge for its time. In 1984 the Treacherous Three, which featured Kool Moe Dee, dropped the comical “Christmas Rap” alongside Doug E. Fresh in the celebrated Hip-Hop film, Beat Street.
Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas In Hollis” was released in 1987 as part of a series of albums, A Very Special Christmas and Christmas Rap. The Queens, New York trio rapped about a neighborhood visit from Santa Claus, borrowing from the familiar themes of the holidays in their signature style. The hard-driving, horn-laced track is considered by lots of fans to be the best song of its kind.
Not every song of this sort is fit for the family gathering, and one of the prime examples of this was Kanye West’s star-studded “Christmas In Harlem” track. The title of the song was an obvious nod to Run-D.M.C.’s version. The song featured West rapping as a Bad Santa of sorts and was part of a 2010 series of free songs he gave away to the public.
Rapper and actor Ludacris also got into the holiday spirit with his “Ludacrismas” song.
Little Known Black History Fact: Hip-Hop Holiday Songs was originally published on blackamericaweb.com