Music

Instead Of Talking About Snow, Let’s Talk About The ’90s Rapper Snow

It’s going to snow. You know that, I know that. Dude, we ALL know that. The Winter Storm Jonas has its sights set on the defenseless Eastern Seaboard and it’s all anyone can talk about.

How much snow are we supposed to get?

When is the snow supposed to start?

Will it be wet snow or nice, pillowy soft snow?

No really, how much snow are we supposed to get?

Frankly, it’s a lot of talk about snow. It’s getting boring. We get it, it’s going to snow. It’s probably going to snow a lot. You’re going to be hunkered down for the foreseeable future with nothing but your wits, Netflix, and Oreos to get you through. I think we should turn our attention to something else, spend our time talking about another subject because all of this snow talk is becoming kind of a bummer.

Let’s instead talk about Snow, the Canadian reggae/rapper. Remember him? He was the guy who sang “Informer.”

Admit it, you remember “Informer.” When was the last time you even thought about Snow?

Cue: crickets.

I thought so. It has been 23 long and lonely years since Snow dropped “Informer” on us, riding the wave of white dude pop-rap ushered in by the success of one Vanilla Ice. Has the world been the same since? Yeah, probably. But that’s besides the point, because for one wonderful moment in time, a white dude from Canada spitting completely incomprehensible lyrics by affecting a not-great patois provided the soundtrack to our lives and now, with mountains of snow bearing down on us, thinking back to that glorious time and more importantly, wondering how the hell did that happen, is what we should be busying ourselves with.

Because here, here’s how Snow happened. Snow happened because a white Canadian fella named Darrin O’Brien grew up in a housing project outside of Toronto, meaning that he was exposed to what sociologists call a “diverse neighborhood” or because it’s Canada, a “diverse neighbourhood.” (You can’t sleep on those “u’s” when talking about Canada.)

In said neighbourhood, there was a large population of Jamaicans due to the immigration policies of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and O’Brien’s neighbors were a Jamaican family. This family introduced a young O’Brien to reggae and bestowed upon him the nickname “Snow.” A legend was born. Just like that.

Well, actually, the legend was born when Snow hooked up with a Jamaican-born DJ, Marvin Prince, who began working with the rapper/singer. A few years later, 12 Inches of Snow was released, an album that included “Informer,” and would go on to sell more than a million copies.

Wait, I skipped over Snow being thrown in jail for allegedly trying to kill someone. Should I have mentioned that? Well, now you know. I bet you can’t guess where he got the inspiration for “Informer?” Yeah, seems like Steven Avery isn’t the only one out there who feels he’s been done dirty by the justice system. I bet Avery, too, would like “a likka boom boom down.”

And speaking of that, what the hell is Snow saying there?

“I lick he bum bum down.”

Oh, looks like I was wrong. My apologies, Snow. Can we get some clarification on the rest of the song’s lyrics?

“You no say “Daddy Me Snow” me-a gon’ blam/I lick he bum bum down/’tective man they say, say “Daddy Me Snow” me stab someone down the lane/I lick he bum bum down”

Let me take a stab at this and say that it seems like our friend Snow has been blamed for something, specifically stabbing someone down the street. I now regret using the phrase “let me take a stab at this” and, once again, I apologize to Snow. I still don’t know what he means by “I lick he bum bum down,” but upon further investigation, it means he’s gonna kick your ass (give your bum some licks). Alright, seems like a roundabout way to get there, but moving on.

“Police-a them-a they come and-a they blow down me door/Break in an’ crawl through, through my window/So they put me in the back the car at the station/From that point on I reach my destination/Well the destination reached in down-a East detention/Where they whip down me pants look up me bottom”

They blew down your door, Snow? I would have expected more from Canadian cops based solely on Kids in the Hall skitsAnd they crawled through the window? What the heck, is the SWAT team present, too? What did you do, Snow? I’m thinking you might have done more than just “stab someone down the lane.” You, sir, have some explaining to do and please, if it could be even slightly coherent, that would be great.

“So, bigger they are they think they have more power/There on the phone me say that on every hour/Me for want to use it once and-a me call me lover/Lover who me callin’-a the one Tammy”

Beef with the cops. Seems like it’s not just an American problem. I guess that’s mildly reassuring. Although, currently, Snow’s beef is that they won’t let him call his lady friend, the one “me callin’ a the one Tammy.” To be fair, all things considered, that’s not much of a legitimate beef. It’s more of a gripe.

But Snow isn’t going to cooperate like that! Especially not with the cops!

Snow isn’t going to elaborate anymore, either, though, especially when it comes to his time behind bars. The rest of “Informer” is a word cloud-esque collage of musings about his girl, stories about his upbringing and one or two other examples of police up in dude’s business. Really, you just have to sit back and say to yourself, “I lick he bum bum down.” It truly was the “C’est La Vie” of 1993.

Snow is still out there, still recording and releasing records. So, we could ask him, ask him to, in a sense, be an informer…on the past version of himself. I don’t know. After listening to “Informer” several times while writing this, I don’t think he’d be too into it.

Some questions are just best left unanswered, I suppose.

Okay, now we can go back to talking about the snow coming this weekend.

Have you bought batteries yet?

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