Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan: A Cold Chillin’ Christmas
From Winter Warnerland (Warner Bros, 1988)

SS Exclusive: Christmas Medley
From (ssssshhhhh)

I’ve been laid up with grading 70+ papers so alas, I haven’t had time to do up a more extensive holiday post but I’ve been meaning to at least put these two songs out there.

The “Cold Chillin Christmas” originally (and only) came out on a holiday album (2xLP actually) put out by Warner Bros. who distributed Marley Marl’s Cold Chillin label. It’s not quite “The Symphony – Holiday Edition” but three out of the entire stable isn’t bad, especially with a double shot of verses from Kane when Kane was still the sickest rapper around. What I think is funny is that the sample here, Booker T and MG’s “Hip Hug Her” would also become the basis for a later posse cut by Heavy D, Q-Tip and others: “Don’t Curse.” In any case, a nice bonus cut from the Cold Chillin stables.

As for the mystery cut – I got this LP from Cool Chris at the Groove Merchant several years back and I’ve been waiting to put out a “kitchen sink” mixtape of just weird/wonderful tunes from wherever. This one definitely qualifies – an unexpectedly spacey/funky version of “O Tannenbaum” (better known to Americans as the melody for “O Christmas Tree”) off an album of Christmas music done by European artists. Still gonna keep this under the Santa hat for a while but I thought it was high time to finally share it with folks.

In terms of one of the all-time greatest Xmas songs though, no question, it’s this. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here” is basically a childhood’s worth of nostalgia distilled into 3 minutes. Even if you heard the song for the first time, it just sounds like something you would have grown up with. The veritable definition of timeless.

Soul Sides is going to be laid up with grading and holiday/family responsibilities for the next week or so. We may not get another post until the new year and if so, thanks to all for your support and encouragement. See you in 2007.