As we celebrate the festive season, we should take the time to look back on all the joy and Christmas spirit that has been spread in the name of hip hop. From ‘Christmas In Hollis’ by Run-DMC to ‘Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto’ by Snoop Dogg, hip hop and Christmas have always gone hand-in-hand. But you can’t talk about Christmas rap without its founder Kurtis Blow.
Although hip hop (of course) undoubtedly has its political side and often has to reflect people’s dire reality and anger. Since its inception in the late 1970s, hip hop has become a multi-faceted entity, and (as a result of this evolution) the genre is now used to talk about a range of things.
Whether it’s used in adverts to promote products or utilised for comedy, hip-hop is good for spreading messages, and one thing it is most definitely suitable for is spreading Christmas cheer. From adverts to simply celebrating the festive season, rap songs akin to carols and hymns are great for uplifting those who may need them.
Even though some may consider hip-hop Christmas songs “corny” or “not true to the culture”, for many, it is refreshing to hear these often traditional songs re-imagined and delivered in a way that is perhaps more relatable for them. Reflecting on the multitude of hip hop Christmas songs that have hit the airwaves, none beat the original, and that is ‘Christmas Rappin’ by the epic Kurtis Blow.
Kurtis Blow was ingenious in his use of hip hop as he took it from something that people were afraid of and tipped it on its head. Instead of using it to spread a political message or spread hate, Blow used it to spread love, cheer and the festive spirit. Due to his festive track, the rapper became the first-ever hip hop artist to receive an offer from a major record label and got the chance to go around the world promoting and performing his song.
In 1980, the rapper (real name Kurtis Walker) even got to perform his track on the renowned show Top Of The Pops in England. You can watch his amazing performance in the video below.