Michael Christmas Brings Comedic Wit to Cornerstone

The Boston rapper is touring to support Role Model, his first proper album in three years, and will be in Berkeley.


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Photo by Michael Escobar

If you want an idea of how fun a Michael Christmas show might be, watch the music video for his single “Girlfriend.” The 24-year-old Boston rapper takes the stage at a mock talk show hosted by comedian Orlando Jones, making his light-hearted lyrics come to life with goofy dance moves and facial expressions.

The studio audience gets almost a little too excited as he delivers self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek lines about trying to get with a girl he really likes (“Now when I pull up, I don’t talk much / ‘Cause I be too nervous, say awkward stuff / She whispered some shit and I lost a nut”). Right on track with the lyrics (“Then one night I heard ‘bing,’ check my phone and she slid it”), he receives an emoji-crammed text from “Shorty” mid-performance and straight-up drops the mic and runs off stage to meet her outside.

“Girlfriend” embodies a hilarious awkwardness anyone young and head-over-heels can relate to. Christmas’ good-natured delivery, complete with a cheery 8-bit synth instrumental from producer meltycanon, makes getting shaky knees and saying the wrong thing seem funny rather than pathetic — and downright charming.

Earlier this summer, the rapper dropped Role Model, his first proper album in three years. The album’s 15 tracks feature Cousin Stizz, Thelonious Martin, Domo Genesis, and others, all grounded by Christmas’ infectious charisma. Witness his comedic wit live at the Berkeley stop on his current supporting tour.

 Sun., Sept. 30, 8:30 p.m., $14-$16, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CornerstoneBerkeley.com.

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