You can have your Mariah Careys and Frank Sinatras — I’ll take Fetty Wap and the Ying Yang Twins.
There are plenty of lists out there compiling the best Christmas songs of all time, but they’re filled with the same classics. Unfortunately, there’s one genre of holiday music that’s been ignored for too long: ridiculously catchy Christmas rap.
Now, I’m not talking about legitimately great releases like Kanye West’s “Christmas in Harlem,” Run D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis,” or Chance the Rapper and Jeremih’s annual Christmas mixtapes. No, I’m talking about those tracks that sounded ridiculous on paper and were even more ridiculous in execution.
Have you ever wanted to hear DMX rap about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or Jim Carrey guesting on a Busta Rhymes joint? Well, you’re in luck, because here is EW’s ultimate ridiculous Christmas rap playlist.
Lil Jon featuring Kool-Aid Man, “All I Really Want for Christmas”
Hot off the presses is your new favorite ridiculous Christmas rap song. Lil Jon gives us what we really wanted for Christmas with a banger featuring the one and only Kool-Aid Man.
Fetty Wap, “Merry Xmas”
Behold, my personal favorite. I actually feel like I wished this one into existence, as I distinctively remember listening to “Trap Queen” for the 987th time and thinking, “Man, I’d love a Fetty Wap Christmas song.” Guess what I got wrapped up in my stocking that year?
DMX, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
An instant classic I don’t even have the words for. Watch and enjoy.
He kind of had to, right? The song title was sitting right there for the rapper/actor — and he had the perfect opportunity to capitalize on his scene-stealing turn in Fred Claus as an elf DJ.
Quad City DJs, “What You Want For Christmas”
Imagine “Space Jam”, but Christmas.
Ghostface Killah, “X-Mas”
Ghostface killed this “Carol of the Bells”-sampling track. Speaking of killing, this hook sounds very scary and makes me think about sleeping with one eye open: “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.”
Gucci Mane, “St. Brick Intro”
The true rap Santa Claus. After two Christmas-themed mixtapes, Gucci Mane celebrated the 2016 holiday season by trapping through the snow and releasing The Return of East Atlanta Santa, which featured the perfect opening track.
Ying Yang Twins, “Deck Da Club” and “Ho Ho Ho — Dirty Christmas”
The titles say it all. We wouldn’t expect anything else from the guys behind “Salt Shaker” and “The Whisper Song.”
Westside Connection, “It’s the Holidaze”
What’s better than an Ice Cube Christmas song? An Ice Cube Christmas theme song! The rapper-turned-actor’s Friday After Next takes place on Christmas Eve, so it gets an appropriate accompanying track from Cube’s squad.
Kurtis Blow, “Christmas Rappin’”
The Christmas rap song that started it all. That’s no exaggeration; “Christmas Rappin” was essentially the first track of its kind and it was the smash hit that jumpstarted the career of Blow, who was the first rapper to sign to a major label. But it makes sense that it all began here since he is the guy named Kurtis Blow and Christmas is one thing he knows.
Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes, “Drummer Boy”
Catchy, but somehow still not Busta Rhymes’ best collab on this list.
Jim Jones, “Ballin’ on Xmas” and “Bad Santa Intro”
Fresh off the No. 1 hit “We Fly High (Ballin’),” Jim Jones did the sensible thing and released A Dipset X-Mas, which thankfully continued the ballin’ trend he become so famous for. Then, a few years later, he showed Billy Bob Thornton who the real Bad Santa was with probably the best Christmas rap video ever.
David Banner, “The Christmas Song”
Actually, I’m starting to think this might not the ideal song for the holidays considering how depressing it is. Beginning with Banner’s child asking why they don’t have presents like the other kids and saying they’re hungry, it only gets sadder with the chorus line of “Cuz it’s Christmas time and we’re broke again, broke again.” At least fifteen years after releasing the track, things seem to be looking up as Banner has essentially become Santa Claus.
Snoop Dogg in Pitch Perfect 2
This technically doesn’t exist, but I could totally go for a Snoop Dogg-Anna Kendrick Christmas collab.
Busta Rhymes and Jim Carrey, “Grinch 2000”
I would bet my life savings that Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t hold his own on a Busta Rhymes track.
- 25 of TV’s best Christmas episodes
- The ultimate pop diva Christmas playlist
- The definitive ranking of holiday movie couples