In defense of holiday-season rap
I’m going to have to issue a respectful but firm “Hell no!” to my man Dave Greenwald’s recent call for a “Moratorium on Hip-Hop Christmas Songs.” Sure, the Gap ad that inspired his post is pretty wack on the merits. I don’t think anyone needed to hear Flo Rida, Trey Songz, and least of all Rainn Wilson yammering about jingle bells. But does that mean happy-holidays rap is “always a bad idea,” as Dave argues? Surely not. Sometimes it can be an idea so wrong, it’s right — so incongruous, so unnecessary, that it’s a miracle of sorts unto itself.
Just look at the contributions Harlem hustler Jim Jones has made to the form. He dropped the wonderfully WTF-worthy A Dipset Xmas in ’06. And this season he’s following it up with a project titled Jim Jones & Skull Gang Present A Tribute to Bad Santa Starring Mike Epps. Now, Bad Santa, while an excellent film on all counts, came out five years ago. And Mike Epps wasn’t even in that movie! Meanwhile, are the song samples Jones is streaming online actually “good”? Absolutely not. (Sample lyric: “How can I be without money on Christmas Eve?/Cause I’m thinkin’ of robbin’ you…”) All of which makes this a kitsch masterwork in the making. Someone actually went to the trouble of following through on this strange, strange concept. Just let that sink in for a minute. It’s like the Star Wars Holiday Special of rap mixtapes! Seriously, Jim Jones might have just stumbled upon the ideal Chanukah present for someone like me.
In closing: Dude, “Christmas in Hollis”! Any genre that includes that stone-cold classic (after the jump) can’t be all bad. Can it?