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Tyler Clark presents: Local Mythologies writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #19 - Outkast, “Player’s Ball”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #19, and the best (and possibly only) use of sleigh bells in an Outkast song.

 

#19: Outkast, "Player's Ball" (1993)

Outkast may be the only hip-hop act in the history of the genre to debut with a Christmas song. On November 19, 1993, the now-legendary Atlanta duo released "Player's Ball," their debut single and ode to the annual gathering of pimps that later appeared on 1994's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. However, a version of the song actually debuted ten days earlier, on November 9, as part of A LaFace Family Christmas.

Powered by sleigh bells (and setting the date of the ball back from November to December), the song finds Big Boi and Andre 3000 taking stock of another year on the hustle while getting blitzed on eggnog. They also take time to throw in lyrical callbacks to famous Christmas songs along the way, the most obvious of which would get edited out of the (much more popular) album and radio versions. Even with the alterations, the song retains the soul-searching mood that everyone settles into around the holidays without sacrificing its all-season durability. It's almost impossible to write a Christmas song that sounds as good in July as it does in December, but Outkast did it.

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Categorized: Christmas Top 25

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