Christmas in Hollis

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"Christmas in Hollis"
Single by Run-DMC
from the album A Very Special Christmas
B-side"Peter Piper"
ReleasedNovember 25, 1987
Songwriter(s)Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizell
Producer(s)Rick Rubin, Run-DMC
Run-DMC singles chronology
"It's Tricky"
"Christmas in Hollis"
"I'm Not Going Out Like That"

"Christmas in Hollis" is a single by Run-DMC that was included on two 1987 Christmas compilation albums featuring various artists: A Very Special Christmas (A&M 3911) and Christmas Rap (Profile 1247). When Bill Adler first asked Run-DMC to contribute to A Very Special Christmas—the first in a series of various artists compilation albums produced to benefit the Special Olympics—they refused. After Bill—who was then the director of publicity for Rush Productions, which managed Run-DMC—gave the band the idea for "Christmas in Hollis," they changed their minds and agreed to be on the album.[1] (Other contributing artists included Whitney Houston, Sting, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Madonna, and Bob Seger.) The track was produced by the group along with Rick Rubin and was originally released as a single in 1987 by A&M. In 2000, thirteen years after it was first released, it reached number 78 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[2]

The title refers to Hollis, Queens, the New York City neighborhood in which the members of Run-DMC grew up. The track samples Clarence Carter's 1968 holiday song "Back Door Santa", as well as "Frosty the Snowman", "Jingle Bells", and "Joy to the World" and features an Acme siren.

"Christmas in Hollis" was included as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Tougher Than Leather.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Christmas in Hollis" takes place at the North Pole and in Hollis, Queens. At the end of the video, Santa is seen flying away with his sled being pulled by a dog. The video was directed by Michael Holman with cinematography by Mark Richardson, both NYU film students at the time, and features a cameo appearance by Bannah McDaniels, DMC's adoptive mother. "Christmas in Hollis" went on to win Rolling Stone's Best Video of the Year award in 1987, beating out Michael Jackson's "Bad" directed by Martin Scorsese.

In popular culture[edit]

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Christmas in Hollis"
  2. "Walk This Way"


  1. "Peter Piper"
  2. "King of Rock"


Chart (2016) Peak
UK Hip Hop/R&B (OCC)[6] 31
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[7] 22


  1. ^ We talk Run-DMC’s “Christmas In Hollis” with DMC himself
  2. ^ "HOT R&B/HIP-HOP SONGS". Billboard. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Season 1 Episode 13 "Can't Fix Crazy"". OITNB music. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  4. ^ MSN (December 20, 2020). "The Talk - Host Eve Makes Her Rap Debut on 'The Talk' with Carrie Ann Inaba and Sheryl Underwood". MSN. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Jingle Barack (Chance the Rapper) - SNL, retrieved 2023-05-30
  6. ^ "Official Hip Hop and R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  7. ^ "Run-D.M.C. Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2023.

External links[edit]