The Ultimate Christmas Rap Playlist

Hip hop has been celebrating Dec. 25 for over 30 years. Here's the best of the best
December 4, 2013

Derek B., “Chillin' With Santa”

1 / 20

The British rapper had a few hits in the 80s, but remains a fairly obscure act stateside.Still, he let the world know Jesus' zodiac sign.
Key Lyric: "A celebration of the time when Jesus was born/December 25/He's a Capricorn!"

Spyder-D, "Ghetto Santa"

2 / 20

At his peak, the '80s Queens rapper was managed by Russell Simmons and would later own the professional ABA team Charlotte Krunk.
Key Lyric: "So you say you're broke/You know i know that ain't no joke/But don't fret long/because with Santa there's hope"

Dirty Boyz, "All I Want For Christmas Is to Get It Crunk"

3 / 20

Anyone who flips "The Nutcracker Suite" into a Christmas crunk anthem has to make the list.
Key lyric: "Mister mister Santa Claus can I get a Ho-Ho-Ho/With a body like Serena Williams under my Mistle Toe"

Ying Yang Twins, "Deck da Club"

4 / 20

The "Wait (The Whisper Song)" rappers get into the holiday spirit.
Key lyric: "Deck the club/With boughs of money/Fa la la la la/La la la la/She make you think that she yo honey/Fa la la la la/La la la la"

Sweet Tee, "Let The Jingle Bells Rock"

5 / 20

Sweet Tee had four singles on her 1989 debut album It's Tee Time, but is best known for this yuletide track. 
Key lyric:"What, you didn't know Christmas went hip-hop?/Check the clock/And let the jingle bells rock"

Mr. Lif, “Santa’s Got A Muthaf-ckin’ Uzi”

6 / 20

The underground Boston rapper released this tale of a Santa fight in 2006. 
Key lyric: "Gettin' high when I heard the sleigh bells ring/It was Santa in the living room stealin my things/Hey fat f-cker, put my TV down/He turned around, took a look at me and said I'm a clown"

Juice Crew All-Stars, "Cold Chillin’ Christmas"

7 / 20

Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan and Roxanna Shante headline the legendary late-'80s crew's ode to Christmas.
Key lyric: "To my surprise, when I awoke on Christmas dawn/I couldn't find my tapes and my lyrics were gone/But underneath the tree in a red and blue pack/Was a Cold Chillin' Warner Brothers contract"

Jim Jones, “Ballin' on Xmas"

8 / 20

The Dipset crew loved the holidays so much, they released A Dipset X-Mas, an entire album of Christmas songs, in 2006. Here, Jim Jones and crew mix Run-D.M.C.'s "Christmas in Hollis" with "Jingle Balls."
Key lyric: "Seen the video/She like the fade-away dance/Wanna kiss her like a got a mistletoe in my pants"

David Banner, "The Christmas Song"

9 / 20

The Mississippi rapper uses the holidays as a platform to both highlight social inequality and go hard over "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". 
Key lyric: "It's wintertime and we still cannot find a job/We fill out applications but you treat us like we're slobs/So we rob and we steal/We're just trying to get a meal/'Cause its Christmastime and we're broke again"

Ghostface Killah, “Ghostface X-Mas”

10 / 20

In 2008, Iron Man himself released this Christmas-themed track, rhyming about St. Nick over "Carol of the Bells."  
Key lyric: "Ghost knows when you be sleeping/And Ghost knows when you are awake/And I know if you been bad or good/So be good for old Ghostface"

Treacherous 3, "Christmas Rap"

11 / 20

One of the most classic scenes from pioneering hip-hop film Beat Street was this "Christmas Rap" from influential group Treacherous Three.
Key lyric: "That's why the presents keep getting mixed up/'Cause year after year you keep f-ckin' up/And now I know why/'Cause you're always drunk/Instead of G.I. Joe, you send me this junk?"

Kurtis Blow, "Christmas Rappin"

12 / 20

"The Breaks" is legendary rapper Kurtis Blow's best-known single, but it was preceded by "Christmas Rappin'," the first hip-hop song released on a major label (Mercury released the track in 1979). Listen for the "Hold it now" sample from Beastie Boys' "Hold It Now, Hit It" at the beginning of the track.
Key lyric: "The dude in red's back at the Pole/Up north where everything is cold/But if he were right here tonight/He'd say, Merry Christmas and to all a good night"

Snoop Dogg, "Santa Goes Straight To The Ghetto"

13 / 20

Yes Virginia, there was a Christmas on Death Row album. Not to be confused with James Brown's song of the same name.
Key lyric: "Santa Claus on the ceiling/Jack Frost chillin'/Pinch the Grinch for being a holiday villain/Season's greetings/All the proceedings/Are brought to you by the church house where we'll be eatin'"

Rev Run, Salt-N-Pepa, Onyx, Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Keith Murray and Mase, "Santa Baby"

14 / 20

This 1997 track from the benefit album A Very Special Christmas 3 featured the "Christmas All-Stars" and flipped the Fugees' "Fu-Gee-La" remix.
Key lyric: "Santa Baby, are you really real?/Kris Kringle/Let me see you make my pockets jingle"

Ludacris, "Ludacrismas"

15 / 20

If the critical disaster Fred Claus gave us anything, it was this Ludacris banger (and its subsequent play-on-words title).
Key lyric: "Yeah, I tell 'em all I want for Christmas is two gold front teeth/And 10-carat diamonds on a fat gold wreath/That I could wear around my neck, get money in respect/Tell Santa Claus to bring a $10 million dollar check"

RZA w/Craig Ferguson, “Deck the Halls”

16 / 20

RZA. Craig Ferguson. Nuff said.

OutKast, “Player’s Ball”

17 / 20

Before it was a hit on OutKast's debut album, "Player's Ball" was a Christmas-themed track on the LaFace Family Christmas album (hence the sleigh bells throughout the song). Most of the lyrics stayed the same, but the original has a few more Christmas references throughout the track.
Key lyric: "Now i'm here to tell you there's a better day/When the Player's Ball is happenin' on Christmas Day"

Kanye West w/Cam'Ron, Jim Jones, Pusha T, Vado, Big Sean, CyHi Da Prynce and Teyana Taylor, "Christmas in Harlem"

18 / 20

This Hit-Boy-produced track originally appeared on Kanye's GOOD Fridays, a series of free tracks released each week.
Key lyric: "The streets lit up, it feel like Christmas officially/Told her that 'You the star at the top of my Christmas tree'/My only question is, 'Where my presents?'/She said, 'Shhh,' she got a gift for me that ain’t for the kids to see"

Run-D.M.C., “Christmas in Hollis”

19 / 20

The legendary Queens crew's yuletide track first appeared as the only rap song on 1987's A Very Special Christmas. It's now an annual holiday classic.
Key lyric: "It's Christmastime in Hollis, Queens/Mom's cooking chicken and collard greens/Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese/And Santa put gifts under Christmas trees"

Eazy-E, "Merry Muthaf-ckin' Christmas"

20 / 20

This track wins for a number reasons:

A. It's filthy and disgusting, going against all conventional aspects of a traditional Christmas

B. Eazy-E gets in about 164 Christmas-themed play-on-words

C. The track features the very first appearance by the group Atban Klann, whose members, (known then as Will 1X) and, would become Black Eyed Peas five years later.

Key lyric: "Merry muthaf-ckin' Christmas and a ho, ho, ho"

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