• DMX performing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

I can’t stop thinking about DMX. It’s been a little more than a week since a video of his impromptu rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” began circulating online, transforming into a viral phenomenon before our very eyes as outlets such as ABC News, Gawker, and, um, PerezHilton.com reposted the clip with amusement. By now the memory of Dark Man X singing-slash-rapping “Rudolph” in a studio at New York radio station Power 105.1 should have faded away in my mind in order to make room for whatever meme is hot this week, but for some reason I can’t shake the sound of DMX’s gruff voice delivering his signature “come on” in the middle of that beloved Yuletide tune.

Sure, that video is great; not only does DMX gleefully embrace a kitschy idea, but he performs the tune with such sincerity he practically makes the song his own. And yet I have the nagging suspicion that the whole thing is just a ruse to get folks to think about DMX more often than they normally might, a well-executed plan to generate viral content with the explicit intent to push a rapper’s brand under the guise of a goofy YouTube clip.