Rappers rarely come as down-to-earth as Michael Christmas. Beneath his vast pop culture knowledge, versatile flows, and braggadocio, lies a vulnerable soul taking life a day, a walk, and a microwave burrito at a time. His first two projects – solid debut Is This Art? and last year’s criminally underrated What A Weird Day – are an average Joe’s odyssey through the lusting, regrets, and nights of TV surfing that we all experience through post-adolesence.
Christmas has continually kept my attention throughout the last few years because he straddles the line between accomplished and hilarious bars and the seeping uncertainty that comes with being a Black dude on an “Adventure Time” kick. Along with OG Swaggerdick, Cousin Stizz, and Dutch ReBelle, he’s dead center in the evolving Boston rap scene.
I expect that the Baggy Eyes EP, which just dropped today (May 25), continues the trend, and in honor of Christmas’ third project, I decided to gather a handful of songs that I feel communicate his skills story, and charm. Walk with me.
Fiscal responsibility’s no fun, which is why this James Rogers-produced groove is all about finding the balance between copping that new hat and paying the rent on time.
Who else can you think of that’s dealing with their insecurities through Arrested Development and Superbad metaphors? Christmas modeling himself off of one of the most awkward actors of our time while prancing his way through NYC is a balance between the sunny afternoon and the awkward sweat-soaked interactions that come after.
Michael Christmas is the kind of guy who “smiles in the face of struggle like I’m 50 [Cent] or somethin'” while rocking mismatched socks. And get his comedic props like Bruce Bruce. He’s a multifaceted guy, and this Rich Kidd-produced track is all the proof you need.
“Smoke (feat. Krondon)”
Christmas’ ability to blend self-deprecation and comedy is a gift, but he’s also capable of being straight contemplative. With an assist from Strong Arm Steady’s Krondon, he raps about losing his uncle and how “memories don’t live like people do,” even when the loud is flowing freely.
This loosie was part two of the bridge between Weird Day and Baggy Eyes, brought to life by a bouncing beat courtesy of Swelly. It’s a shame this song won’t end up on Baggy Eyes (who else has a video made through FaceTime?), but that just means you should grab some friends and bounce along anyway.