It has been a wild few weeks for me, but there has been one thing constant throughout the whole process. Michael Christmas dropped What A Weird Day (WAWD) on Oct. 23rd, 2015. I haven’t been able to go a day without clicking on some piece of its intricate puzzle. Let it be known, Michael Christmas is a major creative force and with projects like WAWD, he has the chance to expand his following by doing exactly what he does best: be himself.
We enter his world to the buzz of a cell phone. “Intro” samples Christmas’ friends giving each other shit, but, in the end, they tell him that they miss him. He opens his project with a string of qualities lines. In the end, he talks about coming back home from making his album, “It’s been a weird year and a half long minute / Now I’m back in it, back in the city, back with my niggas / So where we going?”
“Everything Burrito” has a fast bass line and the female voice sets an upbeat tone. His first verse rolls in and it feels unstoppable. In the second verse, we hear a different side of Christmas, he slows down and the instrumental mellows out. The diversity in this song is very important, as it details Christmas’ multi-faceted ability.
I just left my laptop to get up and dance. “Hate” is a high energy track where Christmas displays his ability to work with unconventional sounds, in turn creating, awesome, almost futuristic, music. The fans seemed to love the beat. One wrote to Michael Christmas on Twitter,
— Sammy Walker (@SemSweg) October 28, 2015
and he replied.
Street fighter shit https://t.co/V2sqyru2K4
— TOUR CHRISTMAS (@MickeyChristmas) October 27, 2015
Polyester the Saint and Christmas create a funky throwback vibe on “Are You Around,” which stands out because it combines older elements of hip-hop with modern day references in Christmas’ verse. Between catchy hooks, Christmas spits some amazing lines and shouts out several artists including fellow Boston rapper Cousin Stizz. “They playing Based God, Kief, Future, Stizzy / Shoutout to the money from the drugs, Biggie”
“One More” is produced by Ozhora Miyagi who has worked with A$AP Ferg & Tory Lanez. Although this song seemed to be dominated by the hook, Christmas delivers a solid set of verses, even with a reference to The LOX, “Follow three words from the LOX /Money, power, respect.”
It is very exciting to see “Where You Been” featuring Logic because Michael Christmas has previously toured with Young Sinatra. Christmas’ words and the instrumental melt together. Logic energetic burst reawakens the track with his signature flow. When listening to his verse, you question how is able to breathe and spit these awesome lines.
“Look Up / Save the Day” stands at Track #7 and it is a crucial to WAWD. We again see the incredible range of Michael Christmas. When an artist chooses to move their song into the visual universal, by creating a music video, they are giving the viewer a path to follow. I like to imagine, an artist, in this case, Christmas is leading his fan on the intimate journey he envisioned when writing this track. Christmas talks about spreading the love while recognizing how hard it can be.
“Grab Her Hand” is special as it is a collaboration between Christmas and Mac Miller who are currently touring together. Each rapper delivers solid bars over a beat that relies heavily on synths. The hook on this song may be one of the strongest hooks throughout the project.
Thelonious Martin lends his Midas touch on the production of “I Wrote a Poem.” Christmas slows it down and brings in Njomza in the second half of the track. A previously unknown name to me, she shows off her vocal ability and range. The track stands out because it is very soothing.
“Perspective II” acts as an introspective break from the other elements of the album. After two songs with features, Christmas is back to create a track between him and Alexander Spit. The introspective context keeps me interested in who Christmas is outside of the studio.
“Smoke” starts with a hook that clearly establishes where the title came from. The instrumental is much more powerful at the start with the heavy hitting drums. But it relents when Christmas comes in with his laid back flow. Krondon who delivers a banger of a verse over the drum-powered instrumental.
On “Think You Grown” Christmas discusses the life of an underground rapper, his musical grind, and growing up. He establishes his connection to his roots but talks about where he wants to grow. Christmas shows his willingness to explore the different ways his voice can be used on his singing based hook.
When you look at the details of “Don’t Talk About It” you see three names, Lakim (Soulection), D.R.A.M., & Michael Christmas. One would believe that the combination of these artists and their talents would lead to an amazing track. “Don’t Talk About It” doesn’t meet that expectation. D.R.A.M.’s voice comes in on the hook but it doesn’t match up with the beat, it feels off right from the start. They don’t produce a cohesive piece; the song almost seems to be the goose of this duck duck album.
Bottom line: Michael Christmas comes prepared with major bars on “Witness.” He opens with, “I say day to day my daily face is changing / Mama says she sees your boy’s aging / Bars for days I got up like the station, uh.” The beat isn’t in my face, and I can really hear Christmas and his awesome verse.
Michael Christmas seems to be all about being honest about who he is and where he came from. In “Just Blaze” he spits straight facts,” I ain’t never had a job in my life and I never sold shit / I always sit front and I never sit bitch.” This is a classic example of the talent of Michael Christmas and his powerful flow.
On “Shadows” he raps, “I thank God for this gift / And if I ever win a Grammy I’ll do something worthy of a gif / Kiss my Momma then I’m back to this Motel 6 / Can’t show emotion like I’m Drago / I’m blessed from a city where I’m tryna grow taller than the shadows.” He’s growing out of the expectations laid in front of him.
Michael Christmas ends WAWD with “Gay Black Model Remix.” The instrumental is wildly creative and Christmas talks about the conclusion of the album, the end of this weird day. He spits, “What the fuck just happened? / I just dropped a album / All my plans is cancelled / All this game dismantled / I’m as hot as Hansel.”
By the end of this project, we see the artist Michael Christmas is. While I cannot identify what path he is taking, as he is still exploring many styles, Michael Christmas’ growth is obvious. The Boston hip-hop scene is going fast but with WAWD under his belt, Michael Christmas sits a top of the throne with the crown of the Commonwealth on his head.