Freshly leaked Christmas spirit! The Sleigher had to double up today:
HO HO WHO: The king of pop-cultural cachet finally cashes in on Christmas. His latest LP is already making rounds on critical year-end lists, and now Kanye West has managed to grab our collective attention one last time before 2011. There’s no denying the man can write a hook, and this gem jingles all the way home.
THE FAMILY’S ALL HERE: There’s some talk as to whether this is the final version of “Christmas in Harlem,” but either way, it’s a real snow-melter. Much like his new album, this track is jam-packed with guests. On his infamous Twitter feed today, Kanye announced, “Just got Dipset verses for Christmas in Harlem! Eeeeevrybody on it!!!! Cam, Vado, Jimmy, Pusha, Big Sean, Cyhi, Teyana Taylor & Musiq.” The chorus is sung by the lovely Teyana Taylor, who—-as an actual homegrown Harlem starlet—-adds necessary legitimacy to the track. The “even though we ain’t ballin'” broke-around-the-holidays theme is always a little odd coming from ‘Ye, who hasn’t been hurting for cash in a long time, but plenty of folks can still relate to a recession-friendly song.
THE FAMILY’S STILL HERE: Some of the guest verses aren’t as strong as Kanye’s “bad Santa” rhymes, but there aren’t any stinkers so sour that they kill the track’s buoyant celebration. The Sleigher normally prefers a darker holiday vibe, but even he’s not immune to this track’s goofy swagger. It’s a feel-good “Christmas In The Hood” anthem without pretense.
CHEER FACTOR: 8/10 The song loses a point for having lyrics about sleigh bells without actually incorporating them into the song and another for being a touch too happy. Otherwise, its charm is hard to resist.
LISTEN: Kanye West – Christmas In Harlem (via Nah Right) [audio:http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/files/2010/12/Kanye-West-ft.-CyHi-Da-Prynce-Christmas-In-Harlem.mp3|titles=Kanye West ft. CyHi Da Prynce – Christmas In Harlem]