Around the holidays is when shit gets really weird, music-wise. In the music bins of history, there are all kinds of cat-offs and bloopers from artists who are just tryin’ a make spirits bright, lyrically, but failing spectacularly in one way or another. One of the most recent categories of these would-be holiday hits is the novelty hip-hop song. Odd things emerge at the intersection of rap and Christmas cheer, which is why we’re presenting a round-up of the best and worst novelty rap holiday songs.
“Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC
This song is actually really, really good. In fact it’s pretty much a Christmas classic at this point, plus it’s prominently featured in the best Christmas movie ever, Die Hard
“Ludacrismas” by Ludacris
This song is by far the best thing that we got out of the movie Fred Claus, and not just because it inspired a 30 Rock tradition. If you listen closely, Ludacris even asks for “a couple pairs of dress socks.” Awwwwww.
“Santa’s Rap” by Treacherous Three
I mean, come on. This is pretty tight. Definitely the best rap Christmas song about class disparity.
“Sleigh Ride” by TLC
More a hip-hop jam than a straight-up rap novelty, but TLC totally kill it here. And their outfits are equally excellent.
So Bad It’s Actually Kind of…Good?
“Christmas” by Froggy Fresh
The rapper formerly known as Krispy Kreme (until, inevitably, his namesake sued) made this sort of mesmerizingly bad song about his Christmas list and/or obsession with wrestler John Cena. I maybe know all the words to this song.
“Deck da Club” by the Ying Yang Twins
I mean if a Christmas carol was ever going to turn into a crunk club jam, the Ying Yang Twins are a pretty good candidate to do it. “Deck the Halls with boughs of money” seems like a pretty accurate reflection of their lifestyle, actually.
“Deck the Halls” by Craig Ferguson and the RZA
Maybe the most ill-conceived musical pairing of all time, this song is less one you’ll want to play on your party soundtrack than a warning to all talk show hosts ever. At least Ferguson’s sweater game is on point.
“Grinch 2000” by Busta Rhymes ft. Jim Carrey
Oh wait, did I say that the last one was the worst musical pairing? Because scratch that, this little number is certainly the worst. And yes, Jim Carrey does attempt to rap. And yes, it is in the Grinch voice. Plus there’s a children’s chorus.
“Christmas Song” by Juelz Santana ft. Skull Gang
If you’re pretty into holiday-themed metaphors about smoking weed and getting laid, then boy, Dipset has got you covered my friend. This is from their Bad Santa mixtape which is not good but does feature pretty amazing artwork.