The Source in the Spirit: Hip-hop holiday film roundup

The holiday season is just around the corner and with the holiday season comes the tradition of watching Christmas movies for many. Sure, you could watch Elf for the 500th time, but if you’re looking for something old to look at with new eyes, check out some of these holiday flicks featuring hip-hop artists or hip-hop songs on their soundtracks.

Note: Most films mentioned here are available on many streaming sites, but will likely vary based on your location.

Hip-Hop Family Christmas (2021): Featuring Ne-Yo, Keri Hilton, Redman, and more, this recent hit tells the story of one of hip-hop’s most famous fictional families using a live Christmas TV special to fix their image in the wake of recent negative press coverage.  (Bonus: a made-for-TV special, Hip-Hop Family Christmas Wedding dropped a year later in 2022 and is available on many streaming platforms.)


The Sound of Christmas (2022): Ne-Yo also has a lead role in this holiday flick about a nanny who develops complex feelings about the millionaire that she begins to nanny for right before Christmas.

A New Diva’s Christmas Carol (2022): Ashanti stars in this modern-day twist on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” as a once-famous songstress turned harsh judge on a reality competition show who is visited by three spirits of past, present, and future who try to show her the real meaning of Christmas- and love.

Miracles Across 125th Street (2021): Featuring Akon, Nick Cannon, Lil Kim, and more, this film tells the story of a troubled rapper who returns to his family’s Harlem church on Christmas Eve to connect with his past and hopefully work towards a better future.

Friday After Next (2002): Ice Cube stars in the third edition of the famous franchise, this time saving their Christmas by taking on the thief that stole his and Day-Day’s (Mike Epps) Christmas presents and rent money.

Dancing Through the Snow (2023): Ludacris stars in this family-friendly feature about a single father who through a turn of events, rediscovers Christmas magic with his young daughter.

Fred Claus (2007): Ludacris makes another holiday film appearance, this time as a record-spinning elf DJ in this family comedy about Fred Claus (played by Vince Vaughn), Santa’s older brother, who is forced to move to the North Pole to help Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas in exchange for cash.

This Christmas (2007): This holiday movie’s soundtrack features Chris Brown, B2K, Jordin Sparks, TLC’s famous holiday hit “Sleigh Ride,” and more.

Die Hard (1988): In the past few years, society has come to the consensus that Die Hard is indeed a Christmas movie. The film features a holiday-themed intro by Run-DMC.

The Best Man Holiday (2013): This holiday-themed sequel features John Legend, Ne-Yo, Monica, Mary J Blige, and more on its soundtrack.

For individual hip-hop Christmas songs, check out [link to that story] and to hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas,” well…all you probably need to do is leave your house this month and you’ll have no way of avoiding it!