Travel back in time with me to the long-forgotten era of 1990.
The US was on the precipice of war with Iraq in Kuwait. Cheers, Roseanne, and A Different World dominated the TV airwaves. And somewhere in the great state of Texas, little 4thDave was in 4th or 5th grade, discovering Christian Hip Hop for the first time right around Easter.
My favorite cassette tapes on constant rotation were DC Talk’s self-titled debut album and Nu Thang. I was getting into fellow Forefront Records artists ETW (End Time Warriors). (This would be the extent of my childhood rebellion until my high school years when I was smuggling mixtapes into the house with Collective Soul and the Cranberries on it.)
My parents didn’t get my fascination with hip-hop but, according to my mother, “at least it’s not the Beastie Boys,” which were her reference point for secular rap. (Not that I think she could even name one BB track, because she certainly never ch-ch-checked it out.)
So, imagine when to my wondering eyes did appear a Christmas album heavily featuring my two new favorite hip-hop groups. Enter Yo Ho Ho.
I should let the song just speak for itself, but I want to highlight just a few key things:
- Dig that pure late-80’s drum-machine and synthesizer beat. I mean, I’m *thisclose* to breaking out in some Cabbage Patch or Kid-n-Play steps. This was the era of “fun” hip-hop and Fresh Prince, right?
- I appreciated that DC Talk was explicitly Christian in their lyrics. I mean, they always were to some extent, but there’s just no embarrassment about it in their early stuff.
- The ad-libs! So many ad-libs!
- The breakdown when the drums fade out, and it’s just the vocals and the synth. Love it.
- The “little drummer boy” call-out at the end before the fade-out is actually a teaser of the next track (and our next entry in the songbook!).
So, without further ado, let’s keep this party going with one more track from this musical masterpiece.