Some of us at this magazine grew up when hip hop was in its infancy. In a time when rap was something few knew about, the pioneering trio from New York known as Run DMC was a breath of fresh air. They might not seem revolutionary when you look at a rap group like Public Enemy, or fire when you hear modern hip hop; but at the time they were as “fresh” as it gets. With all of this, their track “Christmas In Hollis” came out over thirty years ago in 1987, but with all of the modern advances the genre takes in, the song still hits all of this time later.
Part of a compilation album titled A Very Special Christmas with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics, the song almost never was. Due to the fact that the group didn’t copy what others before them had done in hip hop, the Kurtis Blow track “Christmas Rappin'” was just too close of a move to make. However when the band heard the song “Back Door Santa,” by Clarence Carter, the 1968 track had enough to sample and help create the track. Unlike a lot of the songs from the original compilation, “Christmas In Hollis” is an instant classic that still bumps to this day.
“Christmas In Hollis” is available to stream on all platforms, it can also be purchased in all digital outlets. The song has also been memorialized on merch available directly from the Run DMC online store.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Legacy Recordings.