Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto

I’ve been listening to Christmas music since a week before Thanksgiving.  It hasn’t been too long, but I’m already jamming out to the usual classics while driving in my car. While at home, I start playing previously created Pandora stations for non-lyrical and jazzy Christmas music.

During the past few years, I’ve been playing and listening to the same types of Christmas music. The other day, when I was home at the intersection of procrastination and productivity for doing homework and studying for school, I decided to open Spotify to maybe find some good music for focusing.  Conveniently, Spotify has that category in their Genres & Moods. I was about to click on it when I noticed that Spotify added the Happy Holidays category! Obviously, I couldn’t resist.

In any of Spotify’s categories, you can find a lengthy list of genre-specific playlists and Happy Holiday’s is no exception. After clicking on it, I saw Snoop Dogg gracing the Hip Hop Christmas playlist.

Snoooooop

I totally clicked on it. Snoop Dogg’s inviting stare-behind-the-shades was more than enough. Or maybe I was just super curious what sorts of songs are in Hip Hop Christmas, and apparently such classics like “Christmas In Harlem”, “Merry Mutha******* Xmas”, “My Little Mama Tripping on Xmas”, and “Hustlaz Holiday” are ready for listening enjoyment with goblet and bling.

The first one I listened to was “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto” by Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg.  It is exactly what you would expect a classic Snoop Dogg song to be. But about Santa Claus and Christmas. In the ghetto.

I listened to this playlist for a while and poked around a little more to see what was out there. Spotify also has a Pop Punk Christmas playlist, and I listened to that for a while too.

After listening to these two playlists, I decided that both playlists are very much indicative of the sub-cultures these genres of music tend to be about. It just throws me off because of the explicit lyrics, mature content, and yet Christmas is intertwined and provides the setting for each song. I mean, I guess I listen to a lot of the real classics that gets played on the radio and Nat King Cole just doesn’t sing about pimps, the ‘hood, or stickin’ it to the man.

I’ve gained one better appreciation in allowing my ear buds to taste something a little different in regards to Christmas music:  Christmas is worth singing about.

Even in the brokenness often rapped about in hip hop or the angsty anger mood found in punk, Christmas time is still worth singing about.  That’s an interesting thing to pause and think about. Granted, a lot of modern Christmas music doesn’t tend to center around the real reason for the season, but at least most speak about the goods of Christmas time be it in the form of desiring the good of others, selflessness, gift-giving, family, etc.

As a sidenote… Thanksgiving just doesn’t carry the same significance, and I haven’t yet found decent Thanksgiving rap (okay, SNL did something a little decent (why am I searching for Thanksgiving rap…)).

Have you listened to non-traditional genres of Christmas music? Let me know!

-JD

Warning: contains explicit lyrics