If the sugar plum fairies dancing in your head this week have started to stop, drop, shut 'em down and open up shop, that's likely because they're still beaming from DMX's absolutely spellbinding cover of the children's Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” We at the Weekly consider the clip to be one of the best things we've seen this Holiday season and, in the fine tradition of quickly spreading hip-hop trends, really hope more rap artists give us their take on the great seasonal standards. It is with that in mind we present our choices for five more hip-hop holiday renditions we would love to hear!
“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” performed by Rick Ross
As Nat King Cole masterfully sings in the above clip, there's “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” as well as “Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” “The Christmas Song” has become a holiday standard because its vivid imagery conjures up those memories that warm our hearts every December, and who better to give us his take than the boss himself, Rick Ross? For a man who once bragged he wakes up every morning to lobster bisque, one can only imagine what's roasting over his fire and nipping at his nose. Let's hope he fills us in.
“Frosty the Snowman” performed by Kendrick Lamar
This year, Kendrick Lamar's rightfully heralded album good kid, m.A.A.d city captured the attention of the hip-hop universe by telling an intriguing narrative with a multi-faceted complex but subtle exploration of peer pressure. A great storyteller, we would love to see him apply these same talents to “Frosty the Snowman.” While, yes, Young Jeezy does have the snowman game largely on lock, we would like Lamar to convey the inner-conflict between knowing whether or not magic can come from a hat and the responsibility of bringing delight just once a year.
“Good King Wenceslas” performed by E-40
“Good King Wenceslas” is the “Come On Eileen” of the Christmas canon. Everybody knows the melody and thinks they know the words, but when it comes time for a sing-along, every thing after the first line becomes a half-mumbled mess. That's why we would like to enlist the master of slang E-40 to rechristen the melody with his trademark lingual innovations. While we still may not immediately know what the song is about, at least the wordplay will be much more memorable.
“Jolly Old St. Nicolas” performed by Immortal Technique
For over a decade, political rapper Immortal Technique has been all about spreading information he believes the government doesn't want you to know. From breaking down social complexes to exposing secret societies, his music has become the go-to source for between-the-lines theories on “what's really going on.” Of course, with “Jolly Old St. Nicolas” explicitly stating “Don't you tell a single soul what I'm going to say,” it seems ripe for the rapper to expose the truth behind what's really going on up at the North Pole. Of course, the song wouldn't need to mention the urban legend that the modern image of Santa came from the Coca-Cola company as that's already been widely disproved.
“I Have a Little Dreidel” performed by Shyne
But not everybody in the hip-hop community is of the Christmas persuasion. Case in point, former Bad Boy rapper Shyne who converted to Orthodox Judaism while in prison and is currently living in Jerusalem. With it always being an interesting listen to hear his perspective on things, we would enjoy hearing his take on a classic like “I Have a Little Dreidel.” Given that the song itself is the perfect avenue for creativity, we think the man who made “Bad Boys” and “That's Gangsta” would have plenty of new ways to make a dreidel we would have never imagined!