Liam Kerwin | Brown University
Have you heard the cover of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer that DMX just put out?
No, seriously, have you heard it? Take 2 minutes and go experience this masterpiece, I’ll wait.
Here’s a link:
Okay, welcome back, and let's dive into this transcendent work. When my friend told me “DMX did a version of Rudolph,” my initial response was “Oh my god, seriously?” The first image that came to mind was that scene in Pitch Perfect 2 where Snoop Dogg sings Winter Wonderland (but not after Anna Kendrick remixes it, the first version that drives Keegan Michael Key crazy). And that worried me. Was this gonna feature DMX singing? Was it going to be awful twist on the instrumental? Was he going to switch up the lyrics? Suddenly I was consumed by all the ways this could go wrong.
But then, I clicked on the Youtube video. Sometimes you never know how much you want something until it is unexpectedly bestowed upon you. From the tinkling bells that open the song to the the last “you’ll go down in history!” I discovered what I never knew I always wanted: A version of Rudolph with killer ad-libs.
I unironically love this song. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, running barely over a minute and thirty seconds. When the drums come in the song slaps like no Christmas song I’ve heard. It has a raw vibe that songs like the Kinks’ “Father Christmas” or Relient K’s “Angels We Have Heard on High” lack, yet remains an unmistakingly festive record. DMX brings his classic, my-throat-is-full-of-gravel delivery, and it’s perfect. He stays true to the lyrics, adding only his signature adlibs, and the production features an electric piano and organ that sit comfortably over the drums without making either element feel out of place.
Here, we have the makings of a holiday classic. While a video of DMX covering this song on a radio show has been floating around the internet since 2012, the fact that he took the time to give us a studio version of the Christmas song we didn’t deserve, but desperately needed opens up all kinds of possibilities for X. In fact, I am of the opinion that DMX should do covers of all the famous holiday songs so that we might properly update the catalogue to showcase each song’s true potential.
I would love to be further enlightened and blessed by DMX’s version of “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" next, but the possibilities are endless. Can we get DMX on a remix of “All I want for Christmas is You”? I think Mariah would be into that. What about Chance and Miguel’s Christmas album? I’m sure there’s room for a lil more X on there. Or maybe what we really need is DMX and Big Shaq to show us how amazing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” could really become.