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.
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.
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”
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:
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.