It's Christmas, so you know you're going to need some background music. You know the drill: this ain't really going to be anything that changes Christmas as you know it, but these are rap Christmas classics. You have to queue this playlist up. We got you.
"Santa Claus Goes Straight To the Ghetto" - Snoop Doggy Dogg
Who says Gs can't get festive? This was a G-Funk rider from Death Row at the height of the label's powers. A gangsta's take on the classic from James Brown with a sample from Isaac Hayes.
"Cold Chillin' Christmas" - The Juice Crew
Big Daddy Kane! Roxanne Shante! MC Shan! The whole Juice Crew doesn't show up to spread Christmas cheer, but the vibe is actually sincerely warm. Marley plays maestro and Juice Crew manager Fly Ty actually rhymes, too-- over this dope flip of Booker T. & The MGs.
"Ghostface X-mas" - Ghostface Killah
Ghostdeini's slang is perfect for yuletide cheer, nah' mean? The Wu's most accomplished rhymer gives us a lyrical showcase for the season. Nothing says Christmas like bars.
"Christmas In Da Ghetto" - Master P feat. C-Murder
An early No Limit classic that flips "Deck The Halls" and "Funkin' For Jamaica." It's a Christmas song that basically is just about slangin' dope and trying to get outta the hood. It might be Christmas but fiends gon' be fiends, bruh. The struggle takes no holidays.
"Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa" - De La Soul
Okay, so no-- this is not a song you prolly wanna have bumping during eggnog with the family. But it's still a classic! You can't knock De La's decidedly dark take on the holidays that ends with violence at a shopping mall.
"Christmas In Hollis" - Run-D.M.C.
It's a Hip-Hop Christmas standard, fam. There's a law that says you can't make a Christmas playlist without this song. We checked.
"Sleigh Ride" - TLC
We know what you're thinking; and no, TLC is not a rap group. But Left Eye is so prominent on this track (like she is on a lot of TLC hits) that we felt like we had to feature it. It's just so cheery and still very Hip-Hop.
"What You Want For Christmas" - Quad City DJs, 69 Boyz, K-Noc
If you like your Christmas songs of the booty-poppin' variety, you can't forget this classic from Quad City DJs. Along with the 69 Boys and K-Noc, the crew gave us a bass Christmas classic.
"Santa's Rap" - The Treacherous Three
One time for Beat Street! Kool Moe Dee, Special K and L.A. Sunshine riffing on the holidays in the hood. A classic moment in a classic movie.
"Player's Ball" - OutKast
Everybody knows by now that this is a Christmas song, right? References to decking halls and Santa not coming down no chimneys might get lost in the haze of southernplaya-ism, but it's still an anti-holiday classic.
"Merry Muthafuckin' Christmas" - Eazy E
It's Eazy E doing what Eazy E does best. Not only is this the foul-mouthed Godfather of Gangsta Rap at his most cheerily offensive, it also boasts a Dolemite guest appearance.
"Santa Baby" - Rev. Run
How can anyone hate this song!? It's such a cool flip of a Christmas classic that features a helluva lineup: Run, Snoop, Ma$e, Puff, Salt-N-Pepa all team up to give you some Hip-Hop holiday cheer.
"Christmas Rappin'" - Kurtis Blow
You have to have it. You have to. It's an uber-classic. That catchy groove. Kurtis snapping about the bass in ya face and "a little bit of wine." It's Hip-Hop's "Silent Night." Don't fight it.