Run-DMC’s performed the song in front of Disney’s world-famous Magic Kingdom Castle as the backdrop.
In a 2017 interview with The New York Post on the 30th anniversary of the release, Run-DMC revealed how the group almost passed on making the track because Hip Hop icon Curtis Blow had already released a Christmas song much like theirs years beforehand in 1979 with “Christmas Rappin’.”
“In Hip Hop culture, you can’t duplicate what’s already been done, so we weren’t sure about doing it,” said Darryl (DMC) McDaniels. However, after some coaxing from longtime publicist Bill Adler, the group’s DJ, the late Jam Master Jay, came across Clarence Carter’s 1968 R&B track “Back Door Santa,” and ended up sampling the record, in turn, bringing the group’s track to life.
“At this time of year, I can’t walk five steps at the mall without someone shouting the lyrics to ‘Christmas in Hollis’ at me,” he told The NY Post.
Watch the performance above.