The Best Christmas Rap Albums

Whether out of boredom or sheer ingenuity, some of the biggest names in hip-hop have released Christmas rap albums at some point.

Need a break from those cheesy, schmaltzy Christmas songs? Check out the wildly entertaining Christmas rap songs from these albums. Good tidings await.

"I wanted to make a Christmas album for kids in the hood and s*** like that" was how Jim Jones described A Dipset Xmas in a press release. It features Christmas favorites reworked by Jim Jones, as well as some original material. The album arrived on the heels of Jones' popular album Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), which spawned the hit single "We Fly High." Speaking of which, A Dipset Christmas also sports a "We Fly High" remix featuring T.I., Diddy, Lil Kim, Birdman and Young Dro. What better time to go "baalllinn'" than on Christmas?

1996 was the year of doom for Death Row Records. The label's flagship artist Tupac Shakur was killed that year. Gangsta rap came under intense scrutiny. In order to prove that Death Row was not exclusively synonymous with tragic events, Suge unveiled this Christmas compilation. It featured the likes of Tha Dogg Pound, Danny Boy, Nate Dogg, and others. Contrary to what you might expect from an album titled Christmas on Death Row, this is far from a gangsta rap take on holiday music. So, nope, Santa doesn't get jacked for his gold chain.

Gift Rap should have been titled Don't Judge This Christmas Album by Its Cover. Although the artwork looks cheesy, the music is surprisingly first-rate. The songs explore purpose, relationships and holiday delicacy. If you like your Christmas music garnished with a side of gospel, Cross Movement's Gift Rap is just right for you. In fact, this 11-song CD can be enjoyed throughout the year, not just on Christmas.

Christmas Rap was partially inspired by the success of Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis," arguably the greatest Christmas-themed rap song ever. This old school compilation is the closest thing to a consistent Christmas rap album you'll ever find. It features the aforementioned Run-DMC hit "Christmas in Hollis," Derek B's "Chillin' with Santa," Sweet Tee's "Let the Jingle Bells Rock," and the playful "Dana Dane is Coming to Town" by Dana Dane. It's not a traditional album, but it definitely makes a great stocking stuffer for fans of 80's hip-hop.

The holidays can sometimes accentuate the distinction between the haves and the have-nots.  That distinction is the main plot of High Fo Christmas, a relic of the No Limit Records assembly line. The themes revolve around paranoia ("Dec 25th, a ni--a couldn’t sleep. Cold sweat, next to my Desert Eagle"), poverty ("Kids in the ghetto never had Christmas trees"), and the coping mechanisms those things tend to attract. Think Geto Boys meets Bone Thugs.

One reason Cee Lo Green has been a remarkable force in music for years: he doesn't half-ass anything. Whether he's lamenting a gold-digging ex or singing about how "Crazy" we think he is, he always seems to immerse himself in his art. He brings that same level of commitment to his Christmas album, Cee Lo's Magic Moment. It's primarily a soulful take on holiday favorites, such as "Silent Night" and "This Christmas." Christina Aguilera, Rod Stewart and The Muppets stop by.

Stones Throw's own Peanut Butter Wolf curates this fantastic compilation of Christmas music. "My Christmas Bells" is a nostalgic gem, while "Santa's Party Rap" is a funky update on the Sugar Hill Gang classic. Not into the whole Xmas thing? You might like Georgia Anne Muldrow's "The Kwanzaa Song" or Cocoa Tea's reggae-tinged "Christmas Is Coming." The album also features James Brown, Free Design, Baron Zen and 69 Pants.