Tis the fucking season, and the creatively inclined members of the hip-hop community have been rolling out some enthused projects for your spinning pleasure during the festive winter season. Next on the roster of noteworthy holiday compilations is A Different Kind of Christmas, a multi-artists studio effort that features names like B. Stille of The Nappy Roots, Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey of Parliament Funkadelic, and former Prince and now Snoop Dogg collaborators Audio Stepchild among many, many others. Although Jonathan Hay has production all over the project, other instrumentals come from Andre Young, Terrance Simpkins, Josh Tifer, Grandmaster Roc Raida of the X-Ecutioners, and Vahaghi. Oh, and lets not forget featured mixing by the likes of Trakksounds. More after the jump.
Although truly rap-centered in theme, A Different Kind of Christmas also digs into some stellar R&B vocal displays, as can be heard on “Hey Santa” and “Snow Bunny” Also cleverly placed are the traditional samples from musicals like A Charlie Brown Christmas that are interjected into tracks to fill out the total seasonal sound. Even surprising electro-fused instrumentals back play on songs like “All I Want” with J. Kellz harmonizing over the beat fill out the tape. My personal favorite track is tellingly titled “Some Kentucky Bourbon On Christmas Eve,” and although it doesn’t necessarily fit the sonic signature typically associated with this time of year, the grooving bongo percussion is a perfect backdrop for Nottingham’s 1st Blood to spit bouncing bars. Beyond those, an easy standout track is the mandatory “Little Drummer Boy” featuring Michael Jackson’s niece Tanya on vocals.
The most interesting collaboration from the project, “Holiday Wavy,” features the legendary drummer Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey of Parliament Funkadelic on a truly funky love ballad that is cut up perfectly by Buffalo Stille. The cut produced by Bigfoot also leaves room for Renzo Charlez, Thulani Jeffries, and Oral Brennan of UFO to exercise their tongue licks on the beat. Catch the stacked gang performing the tune live below and be sure to cop the album.