Today we’re playing Christmas music. Now, we could spend time talking about the songs you’ve already heard a hundred times, or we could do something different. Don’t get me wrong I like the classics, but today we’re going to uncover some Christmas gems. And to do that I’ve brought in Town Square 49 regular Spencer Shroyer, aka DJ Spencer Lee.
“Boy I got to tell you, music isn’t a big part of why I enjoy Christmas. One of my favorite things has got to be eating,” Shroyer said.
And that’s because Shroyer says the same songs are continuously drilled into him every December.
“I mean I love Eartha Kitt, but I can only hear ‘Santa Baby’ so many times,” he said.
So Shroyer has brought a list of some of his favorite underplayed Christmas songs, but he says they come with a disclaimer.
“For the songs I like, they’re a little off color and they’re not classic. So I’d say you have to have a sense of humor,” Shroyer says.
Here’s the full line-up of DJ Spencer Lee’s non-traditional Christmas mix.
1. James Brown – Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto
2. Nate Dogg & Snoop Dogg – Santa Claus Goes To the Ghetto
3. Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin
4. Juice Crew All-Stars – Cold Chillin’ Christmas
5. Sweet Tee – Let The Jingle Bells Rock
6. 69 Boyz & Quad City DJs – What You Want for Christmas
7. Destiny’s Child – 8 Days of Christmas
8. TLC – Sleigh Ride
9. Dirty Boyz – All I Want for Christmas is to get it Crunk
10. Astronomar – Back to the Beat (Xmas version)
“You got to start with James Brown, because he had a couple Christmas albums and there are some great cuts on there,” he said. “I think ‘Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto’ is hilarious. It kind of takes another look at the Christmas season, but yeah, it’s a little different.”
Another one of Shroyer’s favorites, Snoop Dogg’s “Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto,” is actually a tribute to this same song, although it sounds nothing like the original.
“Of all the record labels you would expect to do a Christmas album, Death Row records, home of Tupac, Warren G, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Nate Dogg, is probably not one you would expect to do a Christmas album,” Shroyer said. “I mean the label is called Death Row for crying out loud, but they did do a Christmas album.”
Expanding on his list of unexpected Christmas musicians, Shroyer says Tom Waits made one back in 1990 called “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.”
“She’s writing Tom a Christmas card, she’s pregnant, and she’s kind of dealing with life around the holidays,” Shroyer said.
“One or two like Tom Waits where he goes kind of low, that’s probably enough for me. I’d rather stay upbeat,” he said. “We’re in Alaska; it’s already cold and dark outside so let’s have a laugh. That’s my underlying theme of these Christmas songs.”
“The 69 Boyz and Quad City DJs ‘What I Want for Christmas’ is just incredible. The dude goes ‘5 Gold Chaaaaaaains.’ It’s a Miami Bass style song,” Shroyer said.
So we’ve got our Christmas funk, our Christmas rap, and Christmas brooding.
What about our Christmas rock? Judas Priest’s “We Three Kings” comes to mind.
“I do like the band Judas Priest, and their lead singer Rob Halford has done some Christmas Songs,” Shroyer said.
Shroyer says that is the one time he does like classic Christmas songs; when they’re covered by a musician you wouldn’t expect. He doesn’t want to sound like a Grinch, but he thinks it’s OK to jingle outside of the box.
“I mean, it’s a pretty serious holiday to a lot of people. But I think there’s other people that want to have a little fun with it like ‘Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto,’ ” Shroyer said.