Christmas Rappin'

Album: The Best Of Kurtis Blow (1979)
Charted: 30

Songfacts®:

  • Released December 7, 1979, this was the first rap song issued on a major label. Kurtis Blow recorded it with the help of producers Robert Ford and J.B. Moore. They took it to Mercury Records, who signed Kurtis to a two-single deal, under the condition that if both singles were successful, he would get an album deal. "Christmas Rappin'" was the first single, and it did very well, selling about 400,000 copies and proving there was a viable market for the upstart genre. The second single was "The Breaks," which became the first rap song certified Gold for selling over 500,000 copies. Kurtis got the album deal and became the first rapper signed to a major label.
  • Like many early rap songs, this one doesn't have a chorus, which means it also doesn't have an obvious title. In many of these songs, the word "rap" was incorporated into the title (see: "Rapper's Delight"), and in this case, "Christmas Rappin'" made for a clever play on the phrase "Christmas Wrapping." Two years later The Waitresses released a song with that title as a play on Kurtis' song.
  • This was the first successful Christmas rap song. It tells the story of Santa dropping in at a house party and joining in the fun.

    In our interview with Kurtis Blow, he explained: "J.B. Moore wrote the first half of the song, the Christmas part. I did all of the party part, the second half of the song. I wrote all of that on a train ride down to the studio around Christmas time."
  • Unlike many rap songs, this one contains no samples. J.B. Moore and Robert Ford put the track together using live musicians. The music is very disco-influenced and similar to what group Chic was doing.
  • This song stays true to the spirit of Christmas in that while Santa drops off significant swag, Kurtis closes by explaining what's really important:

    Money could never ever buy the feeling
    The one that comes from not concealing
    The way you you feel about your friends
    And this is how the story ends
  • Every Christmas, this would sell more copies. After eight years, it went gold.
  • The R&B group Next interpolated a piece of this at the beginning of their song "Too Close," earning the "Christmas Rappin'" writers credits on the track. This turned out to be very lucrative, as "Too Close" became a huge hit in 1998, going to #1 in the US for five weeks.
  • The song starts with a reading of the 1822 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas ("The Night Before Christmas"), with Kurtis interrupting the tale to deliver his own story.
  • The 12" single runs 8:11, but the 7" single and radio edit are a more compact 3:58.
  • The part where Kurtis interrupts the poem by saying "Hold it now!" was sampled by the Beastie Boys on their 1986 song "Hold It Now, Hit It."

Comments: 6

  • Rr from CaActually Christmas Rappin (1979) came first as a single before Another one Bites the Dust (1980), so it would be Queen that sampled Kurtis Blow (Which was also "inspired by Good Times by Chic. Kurtis Blow even says that himself here: https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/12/06/kurtis-blow-says-queen-another-one-bites-dust-followed-lead-his-christmas-rap/1777467002/
  • Marcus from CtThey didn’t use samples, but used an interpolation of Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust.’
  • Roger from Atlanta, GaOkay, I just posted the ENTIRE lyric content for this song..it includes a bonus rap that was rarely heard on radio or even in the club..but because I like ya'll and love old school I wnated it to be right, so I posted them. Peace.
  • Jelly from Chicago, Il On your lyric on chritmas rappin the opening lyric are. don't you give me all that jive.
    not get. and he say yo ride it's cold to night.and you are missing the second version of this song. thank you very much keep up the good work. jelly from Chitown IL.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkGo up to the top of this page and click on the link called "View Lyrics". Make sure you don't have popups blocked.
  • Chris from Pensacola, Flcan i get the lyrics to kurtis blow christmas song?
see more comments

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