Santa Hooked Me Up – B2K

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 5/10

It’s the holiday season, which means its time to pull out the Christmas boy band jams! We have fun songs from Hanson, BSB, and Nsync, but what about these guys? They were pretty popular in the mid-2000s and they cashed in on it by releasing a Christmas album. When I was a fan I used to listen to it obsessively during the holidays, which drove my mom crazy. I haven’t listened to it since then, so is it still the fun LP I remember it to be?

Like your typical holiday release, this one features traditional songs like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Jingle Bells.” Now, these songs are pretty corny and cheesy, especially when you hear them year after year. But somehow they sound even worse coming out of the B2K boy’s mouths. Rapper Lil’ Fizz sounds goofy as hell singing about the infamous reindeer and the reference to a two-way on “Jingle Bells” horrendously dates the song. All of these tracks are ear splitting and are really unpleasant to listen to.

The original songs aren’t much better. Most of them sound like regular B2K songs with the word “Christmas” thrown in. The sole single from this LP “Why’d You Leave Me on Christmas?” isn’t terrible, but it has very little to do with the holiday season aside from a lover leaving a cheater on Christmas. Then there’s “Sexy Boy Christmas” which has a whole two references to the holiday. Otherwise, the song is just each of the members talking about how sexy and hot they are. Thinking about sexiness in any way seems kind of inappropriate during the holidays and even when they try to enticing with lines like “J-Boog’s gonna freak ya/tonight” they fail miserably.

“Everyone’s Home For Christmas” is the typical slow holiday song where the guys try to be sentimental and heartfelt. In other words, it’s pretty boring. They try again with “Rain and Snow,” which is a little better but is still pretty cheesy. Lead singer Omarion’s falsetto is terrible and their use of the “It’s Raining/It’s Pouring” rhyme is so freaking laughable. To make things worse there’s the phony R&B spoken word part where Raz-B doesn’t even say anything. Why do groups think these breakdowns are a good idea? They are nothing but distractions. And “My First Christmas” is just confusing. Are they writing from the perspective of a one year old? The title makes me think they got the idea for it from the IMx song “My First Time.” Yeah, it’s about what you think it is. And yes, IMx is featured on the song as well.

It’s weird to hear the boys talk about how the holiday season is all about love and being with family when in songs like “Santa Hooked Me Up” they brag about all the diamonds and cars they got for Christmas. I know you get gifts around this time, but it’s hard to stay humble with so much bragging going on. The album closes with “Santa Baby” sung by Lil’ Fizz’s “cousin” Jhene. (BTW, she’s not his cousin). This is the worst rendition of the tune I’ve ever heard. Her high pitched squeaky vocals will make your ears bleed. The song is supposed to be slow and sultry, not annoying and grating. It’s also really shitty of the label to force her on B2K fans. They pulled the same stunt on the band’s debut album.

Pretty much all Christmas albums are cheesy and corny, but they’re also fun and make you smile. I barely got any of that from this LP. Sure there were some songs that made me genuinely laugh, but none of them got me into the spirit. Most of them were just bad, especially since the band sounded bored on most of the tracks. It’s a pretty generic album where most of the “originals” sound like regular songs if you take out references to the holiday season. Even though I was all about B2K for about two years, they don’t hold that special place in my heart like Nsync and BSB. And that plays a huge part into why I dislike the album. Well, you can’t band a blame for trying I guess.

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