Informer (song)

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"Informer"
Single by Snow featuring MC Shan
from the album 12 Inches of Snow
Released September 30, 1992[1]
Format CD single, CD maxi, 7" single
12" maxi, Cassette
Recorded 1992
Genre Reggae fusion, hip hop
Length 4:05
Label EastWest Records America, Atlantic
Writer(s) Edmond Leary
Darrin O'Brien
Shawn Moltke
Producer(s) M.C. Shan
Snow featuring MC Shan singles chronology
"Informer"
(1992)
"Girl I've Been Hurt"
(1993)

"Informer" is a 1992 single by Canadian reggae musician Snow. It features and is produced by MC Shan, and is from Snow's debut album 12 Inches of Snow. The single was a chart-topping hit, spending seven consecutive weeks at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was his biggest hit in the United Kingdom, where it reached Number 2, behind two different number one singles. In 2007, the song was ranked No. 84 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s.[2]

History and content[edit]

In 1992, while on vacation in Queens, New York, Snow met MC Shan, and the pair produced a four-song demo.[3] MC Shan then introduced Snow to producer–managers Steve Salem and David Eng, who signed him to their Motor Jam Records company, and licensed the music to East West Records.[3] Shortly thereafter, Snow began serving an eight-month sentence in Toronto for assault.[3] "Informer" began getting radio and MuchMusic airplay while he was incarcerated.[3]

The song is based on a separate 1989 incident when Snow was charged with two counts of attempted murder.[3] At the time, he was detained for a year in Toronto before the charges were reduced to aggravated assault, and he was eventually acquitted and freed.[3]

In a 1999 interview, he referred to his criminal history as "a couple of bar fights."[3]

Music video[edit]

Directed by George Seminara, the video shows Snow entering a jail cell. His producer and friend, M.C. Shan, is also featured in the video, where he explains how he got into prison himself while being accompanied with a couple of women in a sauna. It also features Snow being accompanied himself with female dancers glossed in black and white. One of the dancers is Mona Scott, who would later go into music management by starting Violator Management and later becoming owner of Monami Entertainment.

Awards and recognition[edit]

"Informer" won a Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording in 1994.[4]

Parody[edit]

Despite "Informer"'s chart success, many reggae purists viewed the song, along with the works of Ini Kamoze, Diana King, Shaggy and Shabba Ranks, as another example of "watered down" commercial reggae that rose to international popularity in the 1990s.[5] The sketch comedy show In Living Color, in a mock video featuring Jim Carrey as Snow, famously parodied the criticisms of reggae purists. Throughout the video, Carrey flees from angry Jamaican rastas determined to reclaim the purity of reggae from commercialism.[6]

Sample[edit]

The song has been sampled in songs:

The song has been covered in songs:

Track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Text : Darrin O'Brien, Edmund Leary, Shawn Moltke
  • Producer : MC Shan
  • Executive producer : David Eng, EZ Steve Salem
  • Co-producer : Edmund Leary, John "Jumpstreet" Ficarotta
  • Photography : Melanie Nissen
  • Informer remixer/editor: Rick The Mexican Huerta

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"A Whole New World" by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
March 13, 1993 – April 24, 1993 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Freak Me" by Silk
Preceded by
"No Limit" by 2 Unlimited
Norwegian VG-Lista number one single
16/1993 – 21/1993 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"What Is Love" by Haddaway
Preceded by
"No Limit" by 2 Unlimited
Swedish number one single
April 21, 1993 – May 19, 1993 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Two Princes" by Spin Doctors
Preceded by
"Give In to Me" by Michael Jackson
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
May 7, 1993 – May 21, 1993 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"That's the Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"No Limit" by 2 Unlimited
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
May 8, 1993 – May 22, 1993 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"That's the Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"All That She Wants" by Ace of Base
Swiss number one single
May 9, 1993 – June 6, 1993 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"What Is Love" by Haddaway
Preceded by
"That's the Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson
Australian ARIA number one single
June 6, 1993 – July 4, 1993 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You" by UB40

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/informer-6-mixes-mr0001237417
  2. ^ 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s
  3. ^ a b c d e f g LeBlanc, Larry (May 22, 1999). "Snow Looks For Warmer Reception". Billboard: 49, 52. 
  4. ^ Juno Awards list, http://junoawards.ca/database/artist-summary/?artist_name=snow (Retrieved January 6, 2011).
  5. ^ Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican music (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 6–8.
  6. ^ Carrey's parody can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Icb_tRTnA4g (Retrieved October 30, 2010)
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Snow – Informer". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Snow – Informer – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Snow – Informer" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – Snow – Informer" (in French). Les classement single.
  12. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
  14. ^ Top Italian singles of 1994
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Snow search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Snow – Informer". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Snow – Informer". VG-lista.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Snow – Informer". Singles Top 60.
  19. ^ "Snow – Informer – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "Informer", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
  21. ^ a b c d Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  22. ^ 1993 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  23. ^ 1993 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  24. ^ "Single top 100 over 1993" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  25. ^ 1993 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  26. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  27. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). "1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s". Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  28. ^ Austrian certifications, database ifpi.at (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  29. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Informer')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved August 11, 2008. 
  30. ^ UK certifications, database Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
  31. ^ U.S. certifications, database riaa.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)