When I was a child, my dad and I used to decorate the Christmas tree together and sing “The Little Drummer Boy,” so my nostalgic recollections have me a little bit miffed at Justin Bieber‘s new take of the classic Christmas carol. The Biebs teamed up with rapper Busta Rhymes for the tune—now simply titled “Drummer Boy”—for a remix of that’s fat-beated, bass-lined and rapped-over. A very strange incarnation indeed.
As the beat builds and crescendos, Bieber’s pace quickens and before you realize what’s happening the floppy-haired heartthrob is rapping “pa-rum-pa-pa-pum” at lightning speed. While Bieber likens his rising star to both a Biblical event and to Michael Jackson, Busta goes on about his Blackberry and Tweeting at the Christmas dinner table. By the end of the song, Biebs gets all preachy and charitable, urging people to consider the homeless and give generously… and all this after Bieber suggesting he is Jesus and Busta’s verse about a sumptuous Christmas feast before rolling up to the studio on Christmas day, just because he can.
On first listen, I laughed. On the second, I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. By the third listen, my ears were bleeding. Unfortunately, I’m putting “Drummer Boy” (The Super Hectic Remix Edition) in the epic fail basket. Maybe I’ve come to expect too much from pop stars (Bieber is running with the best of them) and rappers I used to break my neck to when I was a teenager (I’m looking at you, Busta) when it comes to creativity, because this just seems lazy. Or maybe I just believe in the sanctity of the Christmas carol, and the little girl inside me who wants to gently place the star atop a tree to the warm, fuzzy sounds of Christmas without the reverberating bass knocking that lovingly placed star right back off.
[Photo: Getty Images]