10 best Christmas rap songs

This collection of tracks is first and foremost dedicated to DMX, the legend that first inspired me to dive into the world of holiday hip-hop.

It was an otherwise average working day when a friend sent me his version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, and I thought … it can’t be fair. And then I thought, It is totally true. The turn the rapper gave to the holiday staple was beyond anything I could have expected. What a blessing it is to have in the canon. But enter this behind on a song and genre is a humbling reminder that there are years and years of Christmas rap excellence to catch up on. You see, Christmas Rap ™ (not to be confused with Christmas Wrap) is a genre of holiday music that orbits its own sun. It combines the whimsy of bells with the power of bars.

So let’s revisit a few pieces that promise to contrast with the soft sweetness of piano and guitar and the sweet sweetness you’ll find elsewhere this season. Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a starter pack. These are songs that dare to go where Michael Bublé doesn’t want, offering a touch of humor, a pinch of harsh reality, and of course, bells. Even the toughest rappers know that a good holiday anthem is nothing without a little bit of a bell.


“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” – DMX

Not an original song, but an important release nonetheless. The origins date back to 2012, when DMX created this new take on the classic on the fly. But the rapper worked with Spotify in 2017 to release the viral video as a single. This should be mandatory on any holiday playlist.


“Christmas in Hollis” – RUN DMC

Check it out! An absolutely chaotic video, featuring Santa Claus using a Bop It to sort out the good and bad kids. (Effective!) As someone in the comments so eloquently stated, there’s zero percent curse, zero percent twerk, and zero percent flex, leaving only talent behind.


“Christmas in Harlem” – Kanye West

I mean, listen to him. You’ll love it.


“Deck Da Club” – Ying Yang Twins

With these adorable words:

Deck da club with piles of money
Falalalala, lala, la, la
he does, you think she is darling
Falalalala, lala, la, la


“All I Want For Christmas” – DeJ Loaf ft. Kodak Black

Underestimated in a way that some of the previous’ 90s cuts weren’t, “All I Want For Christmas” is particularly heartfelt. Does Kodak Black offer sincere wishes and prayers? It’s the best gift of the season.


“Christmas in the ghetto” – Master P

Master P cuts through the sparkling BS of the holiday season and gets straight to the point. Beginning with the lines “Christmas in the ghetto is not worth it / Tell Santa he better watch his back,” it paints a picture you won’t find in Bing Crosby’s songbook.


“Santa Claus goes straight to the ghetto” – Snoop Dog

This list really begs the question: Did Christmas raping reach its peak in the 90s? May be. This Snoop offering was discontinued in 1996 and has since become a staple classic.


“Ludacrismas” – Ludacris

Where to start here. There’s the fact that Ludacris recorded a song for the Fred claus soundtrack. This is the big thing that you have to take care of. But once you get past that, the song itself hits pretty hard, even with the sample from the 1947 version of “Here Comes Santa Claus”.


“The Return” – Chance the Rapper

With just over two minutes, Chance the Rapper doesn’t waste a single second of “The Return,” filling every moment with the perfect blend of pun, cadence, and holiday spirit.


“Big Bag” – Tyler the Creator

Again, the big problem is that this track comes out of Music inspired by Illumination and The Grinch by Dr Seuss. And Tyler the Creator has a special way of adapting three minutes of lyrics to 90 seconds of song.

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