Christmas In Hollis Turns 32
Here’s something you may not have known: Christmas In Hollis was part of a campaign to raise money for the Special Olympics. ‘A Very Special Christmas’ was the first of a series of Christmas Themed compilation albums.
The album was released in mid October 1987 and by January 1998 it was certified quadruple platinum. So, it took 11 years but still… Quadruple platinum for Christmas compilation album? How is that possible?
An All Star Lineup
This album featured all of the heavy hitters in the music industry at that time. Artists like John Cougar Mellencamp, Whitney Houston, Eurythmics, the Pointer Sisters, and Madonna were all featured on the album.
But what made the album special for our generation was the single released by Run DMC. Christmas In Hollis was for us. And Run DMC was the only rap group of that time who could have pulled it off.
Run DMC Are Pioneers
The music industry wasn’t friendly to rap in the 80’s. Many people thought rap was a fad. But Run DMC was huge. They made the industry reconsider their stance on hip hop, and they were successful at crossing the line.
Run DMC was somehow able to make hard core rap commercially appealing. They earned the respect of the fans and the industry, and was the first rap group to land a major endorsement deal. Run DMC ‘s success revealed the possibilities. And 30 years later, the legacy lives on.
We didn’t care that Christmas In Hollis was a bubble gum rap. We were just happy to have rappers making Christmas songs. And they redeemed themselves with the hardcore fans by releasing Christmas In Hollis as a single and adding Peter Piper as a B-side.
It was December 24th on Hollis ave in the dark
When I see a man chilling with his dog in the park
I approached very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my god, an ill reindeer
But then I was illin because the man had a beard
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o’clock had neared
So I turned my head a second and the man had gone
But he left his driver’s wallet smack dead on the lawn
I picked the wallet up then I took a pause
Took out the license and it cold said “Santa Claus”
A million dollars in it, cold hundreds of g’s
Enough to buy a boat and matching car with ease
But I’d never steal from Santa, cause that ain’t right
So I’m going home to mail it back to him that night
But when I got home I bugged, cause under the tree
Was a letter from Santa and all the dough was for me
Looking back the rhyme was corny as fuck. But back then I loved it. And we give most people a pass for being corny during the holidays. You never know when or how the Christmas spirit will hit you.
So just enjoy this moment from 1987, and if you don’t celebrate Christmas I wish you and yours love and prosperity. Peace