10. Eazy-E, 'Merry Muthaf---in' Christmas'
In this hip-hop Xmas jingle, Eazy-E celebrates Christmas in Compton ... well, sort of celebrates. Like most of Eazy-E's music, you aren't really sure if you're being beaten in the head by the sounds or literally being beaten in the head. That's a compliment too, considering the late N.W.A. legend managed to make the hardest music possible. This song is for the gangstas lurking under the mistletoe. You've been warned.
9. Nina Sky, 'This Christmas'
Last year, the lovely twin duo Nina Sky dropped a mini-EP with some holiday classics. 'This Christmas' is our favorite, as Nicole and Natalie sing in unison about spending the holidays with the ones you love. They even break into a few lines of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' before bursting into laughter. It's a feel good, uplifting little ditty. Plus, it's always a pleasure to hear some new music from Nina Sky.
8. Eartha Kitt, 'Santa Baby'
Nothing beats Eartha's rendition of 'Santa Baby.' Miss Kitt purrs through this song in a way that only Eartha can. Where else can you find a song that sounds like Santa is literally being seduced? Nowhere, and that's what makes this song such a holiday staple ... and classic. It leaves even Mrs. Claus with her guard up, cause Eartha's on the prowl.
7. Lauryn Hill, 'Little Drummer Boy'
When Rosie O'Donnell began her 'Rosie Christmas' series, she tapped Ms. Hill for her rendition of Little Drummer Boy.' Lauryn took this traditionally drum-heavy carol and flipped it on its ear, its jazz ear in fact, transforming it into a soulful and laid back tune. If this version doesn't tickle your fancy, Grace Jones has her own version too.
6. Jim Jones, 'Dipset XMas Time'
Da Capo offers his own twist on the holidays with this tune of "living fast and ballin' at Christmastime". Jones brought Christmas to Harlem long before Kanye West did with his new track. From bringing cash to the hood to finishing off the holiday "squeazing" (must be the early slang for "smushing"), one thing is for certain, no matter the time of the year, Jim Jones always manages to rhyme about ho ho hos.
5. Run-D.M.C., feat. Ma$e, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Salt-N-Pepa, Keith Murray and Onyx, 'Santa Baby'
On this followup to Run-D.M.C.'s 'Christmas in Hollis', the good Reverend Run, DMC and Jam Master Jay brought along some friends. This is another one of those songs where hearing rappers rap about Santa and the holiday spirit can bring a few smiles to some faces. Of course, this song wouldn't have been complete without Onyx's Sticky Fingaz lamenting about being giftless rapping, "If I wasn't a boy, I wouldn't have had nothin' to play with."
4. TLC, 'Sleigh Ride'
Another gem off the 'LaFace Family Christmas Album,' TLC put together a warmhearted ode to the holidays with 'Sleigh Ride.' Set to the romantic backdrop of sleigh riding with the one you love, this track brings both the signature TLC style that we came to love from our favorite R&B trio, plus a holiday theme that we can enjoy at a family Christmas party. Another plus with this song is the video, where the girls visit everyone from senior citizens to single moms and deliver some holiday cheer.
3. Outkast, 'Player's Ball'
This one has got to be the most non-traditional holiday song in existence. The ATLiens Andre 3000 and Big Boi delivered one of their first songs ever via the 'LaFace Family Christmas Album' which dropped in 1993. Despite the fact that you can hear an occasional sleigh bell in the production -- and Big Boi makes half of a reference to Santa Claus -- 'Player's Ball' is barely a holiday song, but we'll take it. After all, the players only gather once a year and we want in on the action.
2. Mariah Carey, 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'
Truth be told, Mariah Carey's 'Merry Christmas' album could probably stand alone as the only soundtrack to the holidays with Carey's flawless vocals giving snow angels a run for their money. 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' is the chosen favorite. This song can put the Grinch in the holiday spirit with Mariah's undeniable cheer. This is a family-friendly tune for all ages too, so no one will be jumping to change the iPod once this song rolls around.
1. Run-D.M.C., 'Christmas in Hollis'
If this song right here didn't make the top of out list, there would be a major problem. One of the first rap songs to offer a spin on the holidays, Run-D.M.C. taught us what Christmastime was like in Hollis, Queens, including mama cooking chicken and collard greens. This track is a classic even outside of the holidays, and proves once again that Run-D.M.C. always managed to remain on the forefront of anything hip-hop related. Just don't rock your Adidas to the family party.