With Thanksgiving officially in the rearview mirror, apartments and homes across the country are now being filled to the brim with holiday decorations and Christmas music. Sounds of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" and Boyz II Men's Christmas Interpretations can be heard from blocks away. While it would be irresponsible to ever take those Christmas classics out of rotation, it may be time to update your playlist with a few additions. Luckily, the Black Information Network has you covered.
Here are a few holiday songs that you may want to add to your playlist.
"Home For The Holidays" by J. Cole (2010)
It may be hard to remember, but there was a time when fans questioned if Jay-Z could spot rap talent. Prior to J. Cole's success on Roc Nation, Jay-Z's one claim to fame as an executive for the label was this artist you may have may have heard of named Rihanna. However, those thoughts quickly dissipated when J. Cole released the classic mixtape, Friday Night Lights. After building momentum with The Come Up and The Warm Up, the Roc Nation signee put himself on the mainstream map with records like "Before I'm Gone" and collaborations with Drake and Wale. Tucked in the back half of the project, the North Carolina native delivered a solid holiday tune suited for college students returning home for the holidays. In a very relatable fashion, he runs from catching up with old friends to rekindling an old flame. If you're heading home after taking your final exam of the final semester, this record is dedicated to you.
"I'm Your Santa" by Chance The Rapper & Jeremih (2017)
Hopefully, Jeremih will be home, healthy and able to celebrate the holidays with his family after a successful bout with COVID-19. It is important to note that he is one half of one of the better Christmas albums in recent memory. In 2017, he linked up with Chance The Rapper to release Merry Christmas Lil' Mama ten days before Christmas Eve. Together, they reimagined Sammy Cahn's "Let It Snow" and reworked The Jackson 5's "One More Chance" into a Christmas song. Along the way, Hannibal Burress offered some truly funny skits and comedic perspective on the holiday season.
One of the standout tracks from Merry Christmas Lil' Mama comes at the midpoint of the 32-minute project. "I'm Your Santa" is a smooth transition of unwrapping gifts with kids to sipping egg nog with your significant other. The duo also pays homage to the dance culture of Chicago with Chance's vocals. This is a perfect song when you're trying to get people on the dance floor at your [virtual] holiday gathering.
"Ghetto Christmas" by Summer Walker and 6LACK (2020)
This year, LVRN did something very special. The rising imprint brought together some of their best acts like Summer Walker, 6LACK and Shelley to make a Christmas album. From Summer Walker's rendition to "Santa Baby" to Eli Derby's "This Christmas," the label twisted Christmas classics into their own LVRN style. One of the many standouts on their holiday album was 6LACK and Summer Walker's interpretation of James Brown's "Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto." The two Atlanta native's slowed down the classic James Brown record and added their special sauce to it.
"Christmas In Harlem" by G.O.O.D Music (2010)
In 2010, G.O.O.D Music could do nothing wrong. With records like "Christian Dior Denim Flow" and "G.O.O.D Friday" out in the world, the supergroup was reaching its peak. Then, Teyana Taylor and company came together to release their own Christmas song. With a soulful hook from Teyana Taylor and a comical verse fromm CyHi, the song quickly cemented itself as one of the best holiday songs in rap history alongside Run DMC's "Christmas In Hollis" and "Player's Ball" by OutKast.
"Wrap Me Up In Your Love" by John Legend (2018)
While it is often unfair, it is not uncommon for fans to fans to ask artists to recreate their old sound or revisit their older content. For years, some John Legend fans have asked him to recreate the feeling he put out into the world with albums like Get Lifted and Once Again. However, Jay-Z put it best when he said, "If you want to hear my old s---, buy my old albums." Even so, talented artists may still revisit the old sound every now and again.
On John Legend's 2018 album, A Legendary Christmas, he tapped back in to that Get Lifted bag for a few minutes. "Wrap Me Up In Your Love" is both soulful and warm. Similar to "I'm Your Santa" from Chance The Rapper and Jeremih, this record is for the couples celebrating the holiday season together.