Chance the Rapper, accompanied by Howard University Afro Blue Vocal Jazz Ensemble, performs at the 94th Annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House, in Washington on December 1, 2016.
Source: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Image

Jingle Bars: Level up Your Holiday Spirit With These Christmas Classics by New School Rappers

More than few contemporary rappers have dabbled in Christmas music. Here are some of the illest holiday tracks from the new school!


Dec. 20 2023, Published 6:21 p.m. ET

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Since the emergence of rap in the late 1970s, hip-hop artists have never shied away from dabbling in holiday music.

In 1987, Run-DMC released “Christmas in Hollis,” as a part of the Christmas compilation album A Very Special Christmas. The song peaked at No. 22 on Billboard’s Holiday 100 and has been featured in movies like The Grinch, Die Hard, and Holiday Rush.

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Several new school rappers have since followed in their footsteps and made holiday music a part of their catalogs, too. As these rappers continue to redefine holiday playlists, it's clear that hip-hop has found a forever home in the festive soundscape.

Here are some of the noteworthy contemporary rappers who have left a lasting mark on the Christmas music genre.

"Christmas in Harlem" – Kanye West (2010)

kanye christmas with kids
Source: Leon Bennett/WireImage

Kanye West smiles with kids at a Christmas party.

Kanye “Ye” West has seemingly dabbled in all genres of music, including holiday tunes.

In 2010, the Chicago-born rapper tapped Cyhi the Prynce and Teyana Taylor for “Christmas in Harlem.” Ye’s clever wordplay and the infectious holiday spirit make this song a modern Christmas classic.

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"I Am the Grinch” — Tyler The Creator (2018)

Tyler the Creator lent his voice to the 2018 animated film, The Grinch, and he also created an original song for the movie’s soundtrack. He combined his creativity with the outlandish themes in the film and the result was a holiday masterpiece.

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“St. Brick Intro” — Gucci Mane (2018)

gucci mane east atlanta santa
Source: YouTube/@guccimane

Gucci Mane raps in the "St. Bricks (Intro)" music video.

In 2016, Gucci Mane dropped a holiday banger that is still being played at Christmas parties today. The track fuses Gucci’s distinctive flow with festive references, creating a unique holiday anthem for those who prefer a bit of trap in their Christmas celebrations.

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“Snowed In” — Chance the Rapper and Jeremih (2016)

Chance the Rapper and Jeremih joined forces in 2016 for the collaborative holiday album Merry Christmas Lil' Mama.

“Snowed In” is featured on the two-disc album, and it is as suggestive as it is festive. “Won't be right, you next to me,” Jeremih sings. “Tell me you gon' ride on my sleigh.”

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“HOLIDAY” — Lil Nas X (2020)

lil nas x chritmas
Source: Getty Images

Lil Nas X celebrates his new single, "Holiday," with Christmas grocery shopping.

Lil Nas X may get a lot of flak for his online antics, but the rapper also makes really good music.

The rapper released his single 2020 “Holiday” and sent fans into a tizzy. The music video for the track has been viewed more than 240 million times, but Nas has yet to release a full-length Christmas album.

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“Wish List” — Yo Gotti (2020)

Yo Gotti also got into the Christmas spirit with the release of his song “Wish List.” Released in 2020, the song perfectly captures the essence of the holiday season while also speaking to the rapper’s troubled upbringing.

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“Nothing for Christmas” — Rae Sremmurd (2018)

If you were a fan of rap music in the 2010s, then you are likely familiar with the group known as Rae Sremmurd.

In addition to releasing smash hits like “Black Beatles” and “No Flex Zone,” the duo also dropped a couple of Christmas joints in 2020 — including “Nothing for Christmas” and “Christmas At Swae’s."

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

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