Christmas themed rap songs have been a part of hip hop culture since the early 80’s, and from The Treacherous Three and Kurtis Blow to Kanye West and Run the Jewels, there are actually some really good ones out there. To soundtrack your Christmas family get together we’ve gone through and counted down what we think are the greatest Xmas hip hop jingles of all time, plus a few surprises at the end.
20. Eazy E – Merry Muthafuckin’ Christmas
Eazy tried his damn hardest to offend all sensitivities on this anti-Christmas tune, and he pretty much succeeds. But did he really have to go as far as to wish us a “fucked up New Year”? Damn.
19. Busta Rhymes Feat Jim Carey – Grinch
We’re sorry to remind you that this movie exists, but at least Busta spit some nice lines here.
18. Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin’
Kurtis samples a classic funk cut to turn Christmas into one giant two-stepping groove.
17. TLC – Sleigh Bells
You could tell TLC were having fun recording this, playing around with each other while navigating this banging beat.
16. Snoop Dogg Featuring Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Bad Azz, and Tray Deee – Santa Goes Straight to the Ghetto
Flying cadillacs become a thing in Snoop’s imaginative festive world, hitting hard with Nate, Daz, Bad Azz, and Tray Deee right by his side.
15. Dana Dane – Dana Dane Is Coming To Town
Dana Dane jumped on the very first hip hop collaboration album way back when, giving the project one of it’s stand cuts over this frantic beat.
14. The Treacherous Three – Santa Rap
Way before Kool Moe Dee was chopping it up with Macklemore, he was part of this pioneering trio, giving us one of the very first Christmas rap tracks, and still one of the best. They also rapped this alongside Dough E Fresh in Beat Street.
13. Dirty Boyz – All I Want for Christmas (Is to Get it Crunk)
Dirty Boyz got their Christmas wish with this song, arguably the crunk-est holiday song ever made. Sorry Ying Yang Twins.
12. Sweet Tee – Let The Jingle Bells Rock
As above with Dana Dane, Sweet Tee helped make the first ever hip hop Christmas album a success, riding that hard-hitting riff with finesse.
11. Jim Jones – Ballin’ on Xmas
Jim Jones gave us an entire Christmas project, but this remains the best cut on the mixtape.
10. Ludacris – Ludacrismas
Ludacris was always one for a good, themed hip hop track on his various mixtapes throughout the years; he unsurprisingly excelled when he attempted to soundtrack his own version of Christmas.
9. Mr Lif – Santas Got a Muthafuckin’ Uzi
Mr Lif re-imagines Santa as a thieving gangster stealing televisions around the neighbourhood with some Slick Rick level storytelling.
8. Ghostface Killah – Ghostface X-Man
Ghostface can really rap about any topic. Just give him one and he’ll hand you back 32 bars of nothing but heat. Case in point: this gem right here.
7. Run-D.M.C Feat. Mase, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Salt-N-Pepa, Onyx and Keith Murray – Santa Baby
One of two excellent Christmas posse cuts; this one brought together New York, called on Snoop, and made sure the beat was thumping. That’s all that was needed to make this one of the best Christmas rap songs.
6. De La Soul – Millie Pulled on Santa
Instead of crafting it exclusively for Christmas, De La and producer Prince Paul gave us this classic cut to bump all year ’round.
5. Kanye West Featuring Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Cyhi Da Prynce, Pusha T, Musiq Soulchild, Big Sean, and Teyana Taylor – Christmas In Harlem
As part of Kanye’s now legendary Good Fridays series, he dropped this Christmas miracle, featuring a whole heap of rap and R&B heavy-hitters. This one was much more than just another themed hip hop track too, it’s just a really good tune to listen to any day of the year, anchored by Teyana Taylor’s soulful hook.
4. Run The Jewels – A Christmas F**king Miracle
Hip hop’s ‘it’ duo of the 2010’s have definitely managed to make the festive season sound tough-as-nails, just like everything else they do.
3. Juice Crew – Cold Chillin’ Christmas
One of the greatest and most influential rap collectives of all time put forth “Cold Chillin’ Christmas” way back, giving hip hop it’s most lyrically impressive Christmas track.
2. Run DMC – Christmas In Hollis
Classic. Run DMC really want to make you jealous of their feast, and they succeed in just that.
1. OutKast – Player’s Ball (Original)
That’s right, OutKast’s very first single was also meant to soundtrack Christmas. The original (and better) version still has the sleigh bells in there, and there are numerous references to the holiday throughout the track, which still stands as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time.
DMX – Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer (Acapella)
DMX is so proud of knowing these lyrics, but he still checks at the end whether or not he got all the reindeers names right. It’s hard not to love this man.
Ur Boy Bangz – Christmas Story Parts I, II, & III
Melbourne rapper Ur Boy Bangz completed his Christmas trilogy a few weeks ago when he released Christmas Story III at the start of December, though Part I will always have a special place in our hearts.
Local Business Comedy – Kreezus
In case you forgot, there is a whole mixtape re-imagining Yeezus as a Christmas album; consider yourself reminded.
Wale – Festivus
Wale has been dedicating material to Seinfeld for awhile now, so no one was surprised when he dropped a whole heap of tracks dedicated to the cathartic Festivus, airing all his grievances and proving that he could win any feat of strength thrown at him.