|Single by Snow|
|from the album 12 Inches of Snow|
|Released||January 2, 1993|
|Format||CD single, CD maxi, 7" single
12" maxi, Cassette
|Genre||Reggae fusion, hip hop|
|Snow singles chronology|
"Informer" is a 1993 song by Canadian reggae musician Snow from his debut album 12 Inches of Snow. Produced by MC Shan, who also contributed a verse, the single was a chart-topping hit, spending seven consecutive weeks at number-one 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. Conversely, the song was included in Pitchfork Media's 2010 list of "the seven worst U.S. No. 1 singles 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. There are also bikini clad women. It also features Snow being accompanied himself with female dancers glossed in black and white. When first shown, the video had no subtitles, but because few people could comprehend what Snow was saying, they were soon added. 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
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 rastafarians 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:
- Arash – "Chori Chori"
- Sandalo – "Te informo"
- Bozo der Boss – "Ich bin der Farmer"
- Imiskoumbria – "Katadotes"
- WoshMc – "VnimaVai"
- Nicolae Guță & Play AJ – "Sunt Tare"
- 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 certifications
- "Informer (6 Mixes)". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Latest Music News - VH1". VH1 News. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Staff Lists". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- 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.
- on YouTube
- "Australian-charts.com – Snow – Informer". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Austriancharts.at – Snow – Informer" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Snow – Informer" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
- "Lescharts.com – Snow – Informer" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Musicline.de – Snow Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 4, 2008)
- "Hit Parade Italia - Top Annuali Single: 1993". Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Snow search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Snow – Informer". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Snow – Informer". VG-lista.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Snow – Informer". Singles Top 100.
- "Swisscharts.com – Snow – Informer". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "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)
- "Single top 100 over 1993" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- 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.
- Kent, David (2006). Australian Chart Book 1993-2005. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-45889-2.
- "Austrian single certifications – Snow – Informer" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Snow in the field Interpret. Enter Informer in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Snow; 'Informer')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "New Zealand single certifications – Snow – Informer". Recorded Music NZ.
- "British single certifications – Snow – Informer". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Informer in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American single certifications – Snow – Informer". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. January 15, 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.