Johnny Gill, Bad Santa
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday: Johnny Gill, Bad Santa

As the Christmas season winds down, the last pick for my holiday-themed slow jam is one that recently saw a release, “Bad Santa,” from legendary balladeer Johnny Gill. Fans received an early gift from the legendary vocalist when he announced that he and the rest of New Edition were hitting the road for The Legacy Tour starting in the spring of 2023.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when Gill dropped the slow jam “Bad Santa .”The song is part of the soundtrack to the romantic comedy A Miracle Before Christmas, starring songstress LeToya Luckett. While I haven’t seen the film yet, upon listening to the lyrics and the production, my first reaction was that it’s the perfect song for a streaming movie or a holiday play. As my family and friends will attest, I am a die-hard New Edition fan, so I will support anything they do.

A borderline gritty string section is in the song’s opening before Gill starts vocalizing. Skillz’s take on beloved Santa tropes (“I’m checking my list twice”) may seem corny to those unfamiliar with Gill’s singing style, but if you are, you may also find it funny.

Despite this, JG has always possessed the kind of sound that makes him like a singer’s singer, so it’s no wonder that if any artist is capable of transforming beloved yuletide phrases into a sensual slow jam about Kris Kringle making his way into your home to provide some adult gifts, it’s JG.

Although the song will not become a significant part of the Christmas repertoire in the near future, it’s a fun song that serves its purpose well.


Final Grade: B

“Bad Santa” is available on all streaming platforms

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