Christmas In June: A Graduation Music Feature

Story + Photos by Malakhai Pearson
Edited by Etenish Abebe

It’s the Thursday evening before the release of Michael Christmas’s third album, Role Model. In celebration of the completion of his newest project, Christmas hosted a listening session at a recording studio in Cambridge, MA for his friends and family.

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When I pulled up, Christmas was outside the venue with a cup in his hand. Next to him was his father. Christmas introduced me to his dad and pointed at him, explicitly instructing me to take as many pictures of him as possible. And I did.

Inside the venue, there were bottles of bubbly on ice and a few familiar faces from Boston’s up and coming music scene. Mostly, though, it was a family function.

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Christmas got on the soundstage and told us he wasn’t going to perform any of his new songs that evening. He brought us together because wanted us to listen to the album hours ahead of the project’s official release at midnight.

On the project, he sounds comfortable, most likely because the album includes guest spots from his actual family members. Notably, the intro features a recording between Christmas and his younger sisters, where he shares brotherly advice:

“And if a boy tries to bother you, what are you supposed to do?!”

“Headlock like Stizz”

“EXACTLY.”

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That being said, the album is tight. Although it was released during a month where so much music has come out, Christmas’ project stands out because he’s just being himself. Some standouts on the album are tracks like the opener “These Days”, “Girlfriend”, “Upset”, “Ball” & “Not the Only One” (ft. Tobi Lou), but really, the album is solid from top to bottom. Take a listen for yourself if you haven’t already at the link below:

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By the end of the first run-through of the album, we had popped most of the bottles. To end the night Christmas gave speech accompanied by his Father, thanking his fans and everyone who came out that night. Following up, the MC’s pop assured the audience that if we were ever in the hood, he would hold us down, providing a fitting end to a family affair in which all were welcomed and all were family…

Thank you to Michael Christmas, his father, and everyone else involved for an incredible night.

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Michael Christmas – ‘Role Model’ [Album]

Resting right alongside days such as the Boston Tea Party, when the Celtics won the ’08 finals, and when Paul Revere embarked on his midnight ride, June 22nd will go down in Boston history as the day that Michael Christmas finally released his long-awaited third album, Role Model. And quite frankly, it might just take precedence over the other three days I mentioned. Regardless, today is an important day, and for anyone that heard the magic of Christmas’ past 3 singles, “Ball”, “Girlfriend”, and “Not The Only One”, the full scope of anticipation for this album can truly be realized.

In just 15 songs, we hear the musical manifestation of unwavering authenticity and exuberant charisma, complete with the technical skill that makes Michael Christmas an unforgettable artist. His personality shines through each track all the way from the bubbling energy of “These Days” to the potent loyalty of “Everybody Eats”, and in such a way, every song represents an important moment in the Roxbury-bred star’s life. From the hilarious, soul-searching sentiment of Is This Art? all the way up until today, Michael Christmas has never lost track of who he is at heart.

With this, topping Role Model off with the sonic direction to make it such a magnificent offering, the production on this one rings forth as some of the most memorable that I’ve heard from any other release this year. Credits from names such as Teddy Roxpin, Meltycanon, and Thelonious Martin, among others, radiate immense positivity through sound and style, only to be graced with Christmas’ homegrown charm, sparkling character, and effortless flows along the way. The additional feature verses include fellow Boston act Cousin Stizz, Tobi Lou, G Perico, and Domo Genesis, all of which show out in their respective roles and make this album the official soundtrack of the summer.

There’s so much more to be said about the magic of Role Model, but in truth, the music speaks for itself, in this case. That being said, stream the latest LP from Michael Christmas at the link below and stay tuned for a follow-up article/interview on the importance of the project coming soon!