|Single by Snow featuring MC Shan|
|from the album 12 Inches of Snow|
|Released||September 30, 1992|
|Format||CD single, CD maxi, 7" single
12" maxi, Cassette
|Genre||Reggae fusion, hip hop|
|Label||EastWest Records America, Atlantic|
|Snow featuring MC Shan singles chronology|
"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.
History and content
In 1992, while on vacation in Queens, New York, Snow met MC Shan, and the pair produced a four-song demo. 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. Shortly thereafter, Snow began serving an eight-month sentence in Toronto for assault. "Informer" began getting radio and MuchMusic airplay while he was incarcerated.
The song is based on a separate 1989 incident when Snow was charged with two counts of attempted murder. 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.
In a 1999 interview, he referred to his criminal history as "a couple of bar fights."
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
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. 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.
The song has been sampled in songs:
- Roland & Sherman - "Somewhere Down the Lane"
- Snow - "Lonely Monday Morning" (Remix)
- The Axis of Awesome - "Songs to Sing Along To"
The song has been covered in songs:
- 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
End of year charts
End of decade charts
- 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s
- LeBlanc, Larry (May 22, 1999). "Snow Looks For Warmer Reception". Billboard: 49, 52.
- Juno Awards list, http://junoawards.ca/database/artist-summary/?artist_name=snow (Retrieved January 6, 2011).
- Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen, Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican music (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 6–8.
- Carrey's parody can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Icb_tRTnA4g (Retrieved October 30, 2010)
- "Informer", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
- Belgian peak
- Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
- Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
- Top Italian singles of 1994
- "Single top 100 over 1993" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- "Informer", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
- Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- 1993 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- 1993 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- 1993 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- 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.
- Austrian certifications, database ifpi.at (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Informer')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
- UK certifications, database Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved August 11, 2008)
- U.S. certifications, database riaa.com (Retrieved August 11, 2008)