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Friday, December 19, 2014

Remember That Time Death Row Records Released a Christmas Album?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 4:08 AM

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If there's a bright spot to be found here, it's Nate Dogg's "Be Thankful," a touching sentiment delivered in classic Death Row G-funk style that justifies this entire project's existence. Well, that and the fact that proceeds from sales of the album went to charity. We've been unable to confirm exactly where the proceeds from the 200,000 copies sold went, but if it helped anybody less fortunate to have a warmer Christmas, we can get holly and jolly with that.

So, in the hyper-specific niche of hip-hop Christmas albums, were exactly does Christmas on Death Row fall? Probably somewhere in the middle.

Death Row was far from the first hip-hop label to have a Christmas compilation. Profile's Christmas collection in the mid-'80s gave us fun like "Dana Dane's Coming to Town," and 1993's A LaFace Family Christmas introduced Outkast to the world with "Player's Ball," a song that, in its original version, was about partying on Christmas Day.

Christmas on Death Row wouldn't be the last hip-hop holiday album, either. Ten years later we got A Dipset X-Mas, which wound up being the last major project to feature rapper Stack Bundles before his untimely death, as well as several Jim Jones Bad Santa-themed Byrdgang mixtapes in its wake.

Compared to these projects, while it has the least amount of actual rapping, the soulful stylings make Christmas on Death Row one of the most consistent collections to throw on as background noise at the office holiday party while you try to make a move on Jennifer from accounts transferable. Otherwise, outside of the amazing cover, it's flagrantly inessential for all except the most obsessive of Death Row and Christmas completists. It doesn't even contain this recording of Nate Dogg and Snoop Doggy Dogg's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," which should be on every Christmas compilation from now until the end of time:

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