For all the great things about the festive season, we can probably agree that Christmas carols are the worst thing to happen at this time of year. The soul of your playlist is benched, and suddenly you’re staring down the barrel of nothing but Michael Buble or Mariah for a whole month. Well, never fear, help is here in the form of the 10 Best Christmas Rap songs of all time.
Hip-hop has a long and proud history of Christmas-themed tunes, with some of your favourite artists dropping merry joints. From Kanye to Eazy E, here are the 10 Best Christmas Rap Songs to get you through the silly season in style.
Kanye West, Christmas In Harlem
Featuring trademark Yeezy beats and an unforgettable hook, Christmas In Harlem is the carol that might just save Christmas. It’s impossible not to get into the festive spirit while listening to this track, and it seriously makes you wonder what a Kanye Does Khristmas album might look like.
Best line: She got a gift for me that ain’t for the kids to see.
Tyler The Creator, I Am The Grinch
A solid pick for those who don’t like the festive season, I Am The Grinch sees the former Odd Future frontman in full snark mode. Bump this Christmas rap track at the office after a full day of Buble.
Best line: Tell your homeboy in a red suit to chill. Before I ban him from Who-ville.
Rev Run and the Christmas All-Stars, Santa Baby
Christmas is about spending time with your nearest and dearest, which is why this track featuring Snoop Dogg, Diddi, Ma$e and Run DMC, feels like the perfect choice for your merry playlist. Rev Run kicks it off with the first verse, but things get serious when Diddy comes in.
Best line: I hear your jingle Mr Kringle peep the single, my man
Snoop Dogg feat. Nate Dogg, Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto
A remake of the James Brown original, Snoop Dogg tackled this number for the 1996 hip hop compilation album, Christmas On Death Row.
Best line: And we passin’ out gifts, blazin’ up spliffs, Christmas on the Row, can you dig it?
“Christmas on Death Row” was released today 1996. The album featured DR artist Danny Boy, #SnoopDogg, #TheDoggPound, #NateDogg and Michel’le. They classic Christmas hood joint “Santa Claus is coming to the Ghetto” was the one. The record raised money for the community. pic.twitter.com/HyKVR0wsYU
— GetOffMyLawn (@Uncle805) December 3, 2020
Yo Gotti, Fabolous & DJ Khaled, 3 Kings
Proof that there is more to DJ Khaled then simply yelling his own name, 3 Kings is a Christmas rap track that forces the listener to think about the people who can’t afford to put presents under the tree.
Best line: I’m wrapping gifts like it’s Christmas. Every hood hoping Mr Santa don’t miss us.
Chance The Rapper, Stranger At The Table
Part of Chance’s 2017 Christmas rap mixtape, Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama, Stranger At The Table is typical Chance; a smooth-as-silk joint about heartbreak in the holidays.
Best line: You could pick the phone up. We should be some grown-ups.
This should be a festive staple purely for the fantastic pun work in the title. Originally released as part of the soundtrack for the film, Fred Claus, Ludacrismas is just as fun as it sounds.
Best Line: Because I’m poor they callin’ me a faker. Because my Christmas tree’s decorated in toilet paper.
TLC, Sleigh Ride
In 1993 TLC worked their magic on a Christmas classic, turning Sleigh Ride into a soulful RnB track that doesn’t sound anything like a carol. Sleigh Ride was a hit for TLC, thanks mostly to a spot on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack.
Best line: I want Left Eye to make me a, uh, make me a fly dress.
Kurtis Blow, Christmas Rappin’
Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. Not only is Kurtis Blow’s Christmas Rappin’ one of the first Christmas rap songs to do the rounds, but it was also the first-ever rap song released on a major label. Following the success of Christmas Rappin (and Blow’s follow up single, The Breaks), Kurtis landed an album deal and became the first rapper signed to a major label.
Best line: ‘Bout a red-suited dude, with a friendly attitude. And a sleigh full of goodies for the people on the block.
— Jeffrey Meursing (@JeffreyMeursing) November 28, 2020
Fetty Wap, Merry Xmas
If you’ve been worrying that Christmas carols don’t feature enough autotune, then this classic from Fetty Wap will bring instant relief. It’s basically three and a half minutes of Fetty Wap warbling about Christmas presents.
Best line: What you want for Christmas? I handle my business.
Lil Nas X, Holiday
From the Old Town Road to the North Pole, Lil Nas X has jumped on the Christmas carol bandwagon with Holiday, his first single in more than a year. The video sees Lil Nas X dressed up as an iced out Santa while drawling about the holiday season.
Best line: Man, I snuck into the game, came in on a horse.