A few weeks ago I threatened to record an album of me performing Christmas carols as spoken word pieces. It seemed like a genius idea at the time until: 1. While trying it in the privacy of my own home I realized that although initially funny, it gets annoying really quickly, and 2. DMX performed a rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and somebody videotaped it:
Mr. Simmons’ performance is nothing short of epic. And, of course, it got me thinking: if I could make a mixtape of rappers covering Christmas carols, who would perform what? Thanks to that DMX-inspired thought, I present to you this year’s holiday special, a hip-hop mixtape. And no, this ain’t no Run-DMC “Christmas in Hollis.”
- “The Little Drummer Boy” — Eazy-E featuring Questlove. Why am I choosing a dead rapper to cover my favorite Christmas song? Because “The Little Drummer Boy” is gangster–like Eazy. Think about it. The LDB shows up to meet a king with what? Absolutely nothing. You have to be gangster and/or rude to show up at a party for a king with nothing but a drum to play, especially when everybody else is practically royalty and they brought things that are totally hard to spell, like frankincense and myrrh.
- “What Child is This?” — Lil Wayne. I’m pretty sure from about 2006 – 2009, you could google “How many kids does Lil Wayne have?” and yield at least 6 legitimate answers. Ergo, it makes total sense for Tunechi to cover this jam.
- “We Three Kings” — Rick Ross. I know. You were expecting another Kanye, Jay-Z, T.I. collabo. And that makes total sense. At the same (damn) time, though, you have to admit that this jam is perfect for Officer Ross. I can hear him doing that scary bark/ugh thingy he does at the end of his lines and in his backgrounds. Plus “We Three Kings” is a Christmas slow jam, so there will be plenty of moments to insert “Maybach music” into the track.
- “Baby It’s Cold Outside” — Nicki Minaj. It’s a duet, and thus a prime opportunity for Ms. Minaj to annoy us all with her dichotomy of a personality.
- “Carol of the Bells” Twista featuring any available B.O.N.E. Thug in (or out of) Harmony. This will, by far, be the best–and my favorite–song on the mixtape. It’s like a rapper/Christmas carol match made in Heaven. I can hear Twista’s staccato flow with B.O.N.E.’s harmony underneath. It’s like the Christmas version of “Notorious Thugs” or something!
- “Frosty the Snowman” — Young Jeezy. Clearly from the obvious files. Might as well gift the rapper who refers to himself as The Snowman with permission to cover the O.G. snowman, Frosty. Besides, I’m pretty sure Frosty sounds a lot like Jeezy. He’s had that corncob pipe in his mouth for eons, son!
- “Jingle Bells” — Juicy J. Of all the entries on this list, I think “Jingle Bells” is the one most likely to be turned into a song that will be played incessantly at a strip club. And who better to drag this beloved carol down that road than the Academy Award-winning Juicy J? That’s right. He has an Oscar. Never forget.
- “12 Days of Christmas” — Drake. Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, but I haven’t heard much from Wheelchair Jimmy lately. Thus, I’ve decided to take this as an opportunity to invite him to hashtag his way through the song almost no one can ever remember all the words to. I can hear it now: On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me/Seven swans a-swimming/#Uglyduckling awwwwww don’t do it…
Until this mixtape is more than an idea turned blog, we’ll just have to keep listening to the LaFace Family Christmas cd. (I know it’s not just me.) Happy holidays.