Five Things To Love About "Christmas In Hollis"


By THE ENTHUSIAST Rhymes So Loud And Proud You Hear It

Not having discovered Kurtis Blow’s "Christmas Rappin'" (1979) until years later, Run-DMC’s "Christmas In Hollis" (1987) was the first Christmas rap song The Enthusiast ever heard. Indeed, it was one of the first rap songs of any kind that The Enthusiast ever heard. At the time The Enthusiast believed that Blondie had essentially achieved everything possible in the genre with "Rapture" (1980). The Enthusiast was mistaken.

Chilling And Coolin’ Just Like A Snowman

The song was released as part of A Very Special Christmas, a collection of Christmas songs recorded by a Who’s Who of radio royalty – Sting, Whitney Houston, U2 - you name it, they warbled it, all in support of the Special Olympics. Run-DMC was the only act to contribute an original track.


What a Laugh It Would Have Been If Daddy Had Only Seen

Christmas in Hollis includes a sample of Clarence Carter’s "Back Door Santa." To give the proceedings a meta touch, "Back Door Santa" is also included on A Very Special Christmas, performed by Bon Jovi. "Back Door Santa" includes what is arguably the slyest line to slip past the censors each holiday season:

I ain't like the old Saint Nick - He don't come but once a year

Cheeky.

Not Bad

The music video was directed by Michael Holman, a former member of The Tubes who co-founded the band Gray with Jean-Michel Basquiat. The video, which looks for all the world as though it was shot on a budget of roughly twenty bucks, went on to win the 1987 Rolling Stone Video of the Year award, freezing out the video for Michael Jackson’s Bad directed by Martin Scorsese.

Now I Have A Machine Gun. Ho, Ho, Ho.

Argyle (De'voreaux White) puts on "Christmas in Hollis" as he drives John McClane (Bruce Willis) to Nakatomi Tower in Die Hard. “You got any Christmas music?” McClane asks. “This is Christmas music,” Argyle retorts.


Number thirteen in a series.

13 December 2020


The Enthusiast (offbroadway@outlook.com) is the pen name of critic Michael Collins. He reports back only on what’s good, never what’s bad. He is currently imbued with the holiday spirit.