The Alternative Christmas Jukebox
1. Christmas in Harlem - Kanye West ft Cyhi Da Prynce & Teyana Taylor
To start with Mr. West is a given as there's rarely a song of his that isn't a hit so when he announced his return to music with a Friday giveaway in 2010 people went crazy for it, and rightly so. He finished them off in December with Christmas in Harlem. An uplifted track about living the good life back home in Chicago with last minute trips to the mall and gifts that the kids can't see.
2. 8 Days of Christmas - Destiny's Child
A classic whether you like it or not. There's something oddly nostalgic about Beyonce, Kelly & Michelle on vocals which could be seen by the Super Bowl performance a few years ago. Coming as part of their 2001 album, 8 Days of Christmas gave Christmas Carols the stereotypical Desinty's Child upbeat hip-hop tempo.
3. Merry Christmas, Baby - Otis Redding
Arguably one of the most influential artists to have lived, shown by the fact that pretty much every rapper has sampled his music - none more famous than Kanye West & Jay-Z. Redding's cover of Merry Christmas, Baby was on the B-side of his 1968 EP White Christmas and whilst it wasn't the headline track on the disk, it's a soulful rendition of a classic song and possibly the best.
4. Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto - Snoop Dogg
What could be better than Snoop Dogg floating above LA in some sprinkling Christmas cheer over those less fortunate? Literally nothing. The lyrics are stereotypically Snoop but that's why we love him. His Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto isn't one that you'll hear in shopping malls and it's definitely not for your grandparents, but it's a bit of lighthearted Christmas fun.
5. Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC
It's not the first, that title goes to Kurtis Blow's Christmas Rappin', but it's certainly the best. How Rev' Run & Co don't make it onto those annual 'Best Christmas Songs Ever' albums is beyond us. Rapping solely with the purpose of wishing everybody a Merry Christmas to get on Santa's 'nice' list, the boys from Queens don't disappoint.