Snow – Informer

First Hit #1: March 13, 1993

Snow was one of those artists that was more interesting for the story than the actual music. At the time, every time Snow cropped up on the radio one would hear a mention about his criminal past, and how he was in jail at the moment for assault even as his record climbed the chart. This Canadian bad boy was clearly an interesting and vital artist, look at how unhinged he is! Then Informer would play, and everyone would then wonder what the hell “leaky boom boom now” was supposed to mean.

Snow isn’t the most intelligible voice in reggae, to be honest. His rapid fire delivery just renders his lyrics as a mass of syllables rather than anything coherent. It’s something to do with being arrested, sure, but nobody knew what he was talking about, and I’m still not quite sure what he’s on about even after reading the lyrics and listening to the song several times. It had a neat beat and a compelling story, and the voice was more an extra instrument than something that delivered lyrics.

Naturally, when spring came Snow slowly melted away. People who liked reggae wanted something “authentic”, rather than from a white guy from Toronto – plus, the Jamaican affectations were kind of weird and uncomfortable from the world’s whitest Canadian, a sentiment captured by Living Color’s “Impostor” sketch. People who wanted pop music kind of wanted words they could understand. With Snow out of jail, the narrative hook was gone.

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One Response to Snow – Informer

  1. RBerman says:

    We’re back to the Debbie Gibson theory again; there’s a novelty entertainment factor in watching someone do something that we wouldn’t expect. A bespectacled white Canadian reggae artist fits the bill well, even when he turns out to be a thug in real life.

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