Run-DMC's Christmas Jam Made Rap American

Enmeshing the genre with America's one real tradition sealed the deal
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Dec 25, 2008 3:40 PM CST

(Newser) – If Christmas is one authentic American effort to create traditions in a nation that has mostly imported them, Christmas music is about as American as it gets, writes Morgan Meis on the Smart Set. “When you do the Christmas song you are solid, you are in the club,” Meis argues, and Run-DMC sealed rap’s status as solidly American with their 1987 hit Christmas in Hollis.

What makes you proud that America gave us hip-hop Meis continues, are lines like this: “It’s Christmas time in Hollis Queens, Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens.” Christmas music is about fantasy, and “Run-DMC showed that Hollis, Queens, has as much purchase on that fantasy as anywhere else,” Meis concludes.