Snow on Christmas is increasingly rare—eff you, global warming. But fear not, boys and girls, skiers and snorters: Thanks to Troy Ave, the streets will be coated with powder come Yuletide regardless. The upstart Brooklyn rapper teamed up with DJ Holiday to gift-wrap his newest mixtape, White Christmas, which will be available for download today at noon here on XXLmag.com. With well-placed features from Mac Miller, Fabolous, Chase N. Cashe and Pusha T, the project is poised to build on the buzz Troy’s been making with his Bricks in My Backpack mixtape series and cap off a breakthrough year for the 27-year-old rapper. “I want people to think Dedication with Wayne, or Trap or Die with Jeezy and Drama,” Troy says, comparing his mixtape to two street classics. “I’m trying get hot in these streets, baby!” Here, just hours before he unleashes White Christmas on the masses, Troy Ave shoots the gift with XXL about a few of his favorite things during the holidays. —Alex Gale (@apexdujeous)
Favorite Christmas Song:
Troy Ave: Obviously, it has to be White Christmas, of course. That’s No. 1. I was originally gonna call the mixtape Holiday Season, cause it’s with DJ Holiday. But then I thought of “White Christmas,” and it just makes sense. Wait till you hear the intro, it samples the song. White Christmas could be any day—we’re making it white. It’s always Christmas when you got some powder out in the streets.
But besides that song, my next favorite is the [title track] from the movie with Chris Brown, This Christmas. I like that movie, it’s just dope. He spaces out on that. It’s got a good feeling. If the movie was bad I probably wouldn’t really be fucking with the song. But it was a dope movie.
Favorite Christmas Food:
I like to drink egg nog, of course. To eat, those Christmas breakfasts be dope. I like French toast, bacon and eggs Benedict with salmon and hollandaise sauce. My mom’s always cooking some shit. Dinner is like turkey, candied yams, roast beef. She goes in. It’s basically like Thanksgiving dinner but not as O.D.
Favorite Christmas Movie:
This Christmas! You’d expect me to say, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” [from Christmas Story]. But This Christmas is my favorite movie. I like the feeling of family in that movie, the way they were all doing their thing and they all come together for Christmas. And I like Lauren London, I always wanted to take her down. [Laughs]
What other Christmas movies are there? I don’t fuck with Home Alone. I used to fuck with it but after they had, like, Home Alone 3, and then Macaulay Culkin was friends with Michael Jackson, that kind of weirded me out. I’m not fucking with Macaulay no more.
Favorite Christmas Memory:
Whenever I got bikes for Christmas that was always cool. I got a few bikes now. I remember getting PlayStation one year when I was a kid and PlayStation was rocking. It was just the new shit. I played that shit all Christmas. You know how you get a bunch of gifts and then you just open some and put them to the side? I was playing that PlayStation for days. I got NBA Live with it. The whole vacation you’re out of school, so I was just rocking. That was the shit.
Favorite Christmas Tree Ornament:
It’s close between a star and an angel. I wanna go with the angel ’cause we got a gold angel in my family that we always put on top of our Christmas tree. It’s from when my moms was a little kid. Sometimes the red ribbon—we switch it up.
Favorite Christmas Activity:
Going to see a play. We go to see a Broadway play a lot of times. This Christmas we’re going to a basketball game. A Nets game—you know me! It’s that Brooklyn pride. It’s like a civil war out here with the Knicks. The Knicks are like your girl, they’re like your wifey. The Nets is like your new side bitch that you’re fucking with heavy, like, ‘Damn, I like this bitch a lot.’ You know you’re not gonna leave your girl but the side chick is crazy though. They got a huge picture of me at the Barclays Center at the Adidas store. I like a lot of their gear.
Favorite Christmas Tradition:
Giving gifts to my family. I like the expressions on the people’s face that you’re giving the gift to. Giving them fly shit. It’s not so much getting gifts anymore, ’cause by the grace of God and hard work I got a lot of things that I want—besides, like, a Lamborghini, shit that nobody’s buying you.
This year I bought a lot of nice presents. I got my little brother some sports shit, ’cause he’s into sports. I bought my moms a gold ladies Audemars. We usually do presents at like 4 in the morning on Christmas at my mom’s house. We’re already up partying, wrapping and getting stuff ready. Giving gifts is a dope feeling.