Christmas Song Octagon: How Dipset can save your Christmas

SB Nation's Christmas Song Octagon continues... Today, an argument for Dipset as the most indispensable Christmas music of any holiday season.

"Whats the best Christmas song?" There are only two acceptable answers, either Carol of the Bells or Silent Night. I'm partial to Silent Night. But then, forget about traditional Christmas for a second, and let's take this opportunity to discuss Dipset. Because this is a series dedicated to Christmas music and Dipset has released MULTIPLE CHRISTMAS MIXTAPES. So we're going to talk about The Diplomats here for the same reason Jim Jones made Dipset Christmas music in the first place: The world needs it whether they know it or not.

For anyone who's confused: Dipset is shorthand for The Diplomats, a rap group from Harlem that includes Cam'ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Freaky Zeakey, Hell Rell, Max B, Stack Bundles, and in a perfect world, like 500 dudes from Harlem standing on stage at all times. They are wonderful. Kind of like Wu-Tang on angel dust. Which brings us to the Chistmas mixtapes.

They started with Dipset Xmas in 2006, and then continued the tradition with A Tribute to Bad Santa in 2008. Most of the songs on each album are every bit as awful and unlistenable as you'd expect from a Harlem rap collective remixing Jingles Bells, but then, there are two notable exceptions. First example: This song puts me in a good mood every single December.

BALLIN ON XMAS

LYRICS:

[JIM JONES] They say Santa know you good or you bad
Gotta make an exception -- we in the hood, living fast
The cash that we get, I admit it's kind of fast
But we gotta pay the rent, put some clothes on our ass
I'm thinking foreign, so Christmas morning
Cars with ribbons on them make the broads get up on him (Balllllllin!)
Niggas upstate, well, this one is for 'em
Until you come home, I'mma keep on balling
So you can tell Kris Kringle
When he in the party he can bump my single,
[CHORUS] Christmas cheers, Dipset's here, balllllllin every dayyyy

That's borrowing the beat from a classic Run-DMC Christmas song, so it's not like Dipset was the first group to rap about Christmas. Eazy-E also has his own version of "Jingle Bells", so this wasn't even the first gangsta rap Christmas song. But there's just something a little bit more awesome about Angel Dust Wu-Tang making Santa Claus mixtapes. Then after the '06 debut, Jimmy took it to the next level in 2008.

BAD SANTA INTRO/WHITE CHRISTMAS

LYRICS:

[JIM JONES] I remember when Mommy would let me open a gift at 12 o'clock ...
It's finna be the coldest winter ever, if we don't get it together,
Nothin to do with the climate or the brick ass weather,
Recession is here and the gifts cost cheddar,
What we gon' do to make it? Some of us choose to take it,
That's the risk to get your kids those wrapped up gifts,
We dreamin of a white Christmas,
Servin the fiends through the night shift bitch,
No jobs, heard they layin off,
Money in the streets the only thing payin off

LOOK AT THAT VIDEO. There are only three scenes and it's perfect. In the beginning I can't tell whether this is supposed Jimmy Claus or Jim Jones writing to Santa Claus, but I'm just glad we get to ask that question. Then they cut to Jimmy and another rapper in a Santa suit, on the streets pouring drug money into a Salvation Army-style bucket, because WHITE CHRISTMAS. Better not shout, better not pout, try to stay wet in the midst of a drought. And we finish with like 8 rappers in Santa hats making it rain on the snowy New York streets, making this officially the greatest Christmas rap video of all time.

To review: Jim Jones sampled "Carol of the Bells" and "Silent Night" to make a Christmas song called "White Christmas" about selling cocaine to buy Christmas presents, and then made a full-length official music video for it. Why? Because Dipset is the greatest, that's why.

They don't really make music anymore, but when they did:

  1. Their raps were equal parts clever, cool, and impossibly stupid.
  2. They wore pink fur coats and flooded the streets with mixtapes.
  3. They called themselves Dipset Taliban.
  4. They took the grimiest coke rap and set it to samples from Sting and Cyndi Lauper.
  5. They didn't care what you thought, ever.
  6. Cam'ron gave us the greatest Bill O'Reilly segment of all time.

Dipset's the group that hears Starship sing "We built this city on rock and roll" and says, "What if we take out the 'roll' part and make it a song about crack?"

Matter of fact, let's expand this beyond the Christmas mixtapes. Even if you just focus on the Dipset samples, it's wormhole that goes on forever. The one where a Billy Joel song becomes Cam rapping about Monica Lewinsky ... Where Juelz turns "Let's Get It On" into a song about gunfights ... The Salt N' Pepa remix with Lil Wayne ... The one where Jim Jones samples the Beverly Hills Cop theme ... Where J.R. Writer samples Jefferson Starship's "Miracles" ... Or "Let Me Know", where Cam'ron flips the old Monday Night Football theme.

Or here's Cam rapping over the SportsCenter theme:

LYRICS:

[CAM'RON] The don enters, the don's in her,
The don of don's, play the dugout like Don Zimmer,
But hang with Steinbrenner just to get my cash turned,
Call my car Jamal and get mashed, burned,
Crash burn, rest in peace Dale Earnhardt,

My cousin died the same way, hit that turn harrrrd,
So I stack from the gamblin, drop cash on the Phantom,
Play DIPSET, DIPSET, yeah the National Anthem...

None of this is Christmas music, you say? IT IS IF YOU PLAY IT ON CHRISTMAS.

And look: Christmas is great, but it can definitely get a little suffocating. The presents you have to buy with the money you don't really have, the family you see (or don't see), the traditions you pretend to be excited about, and most of all, that adorable music that bombards you literally everywhere you go. In small doses it's all fine and kinda great, but all together it's a lot to handle.

So all I'm saying is, sprinkle in a healthy dose of Dipset during the holidays and you'll have a constant reminder that life is great and ridiculous. Because for every stupid Lexus commercial that threatens your sanity, there's also Jim Jones rapping a much better Lexus commercial:

I'm thinking foreign, so Christmas morning
Cars with ribbons on them make the broads get up on him (Balllllllin!)

Then you cycle a little deeper into the catalog and:

The don enters, the don's in her,
The don of don's, play the dugout like Don Zimmer

Love actually IS all around us. God bless Dipset for the reminder.

And hey Merry Christmas! Get out there and push something.

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