Teen star’s Under the Mistletoe tracks ‘All I Want for Christmas’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’ drop in advance of album’s release.
By Jocelyn Vena
Hey Beliebers, you can celebrate the holidays early this year! Just days before he officially releases Under the Mistletoe, Justin Bieber is gifting fans with the early release of two high-profile duets off the November 1 album.
First off, his highly anticipated Mariah Carey collabo, an updated mix of her Christmas classic “All I Want for Christmas,” made its way online. The song, posted on Rap-Up.com, opens with Bieber and Carey exchanging vocal runs. Mariah’s verse, which sounds very much like the original, goes first. Then Bieber, singing in a deeper register than usual, joins in for the second verse.
The sound of Carey’s original track is pretty much all there, with Bieber adding some new shine on the always-glittering holiday standard. “Mariah Carey is doing it with me! It’s incredible. So excited,” he told MTV News recently. “We wanted Mariah from the beginning, but we kind of thought it was really hard, so we didn’t really push the idea. But she’s on my label, so we reached out to some people, she got in contact with us, and Randy Jackson was actually at the studio with us, and I was like, ‘Yo, you think you can help get Mariah on the Christmas album?’ And he was like, ‘I’m actually going to see her in New York on Monday,’ and I was like ‘Yo, go do that!’ ”
On Bieber’s collaboration with Busta Rhymes on the classic “Little Drummer Boy,” which was posted on Hitfix.com, the boys threw some club beats and synths over the old-school Christmas track. The song gets a bit of an edge when Bieber, a skilled drummer himself, appears as his rapper alter ego Shawty Mane.
He raps lines like “Yeah, I’m on the drum/ I’m on the snare drum/ Yeah, I’m on the beat/ ‘Cause the beat goes dum/ I only spare heat ’cause I’m playing for the son/ Playing for king/ Playing for the title/ I’m surprised you didn’t hear it in the Bible,” while also singing the traditional lyrics from the song in between verses.
Busta comes in halfway through the song, spitting family-friendly lines in his signature rapid-fire style. “Bieber hit me back and said let’s make it hot up in the winter,” he raps. “I said, cool/ You know I’m gonna deliver/ Let’s collaborate and make the holiday a little bigger.”
“If you really think about it, it’s genius, because it’s rapping on a Christmas album … and, like, I’m rapping on it. And then it’s singing,” he explained. “It’s cool. [Busta's] got, like, a percussive voice to him [and] the beat was so crazy. I’m actually playing drums on that song, playing the snare.”