Don’t Think About That Snow, Think About This Snow

It’s going to snow, kids!

Well, maybe. Reports as of Thursday afternoon are a little scattered if you will. For instance, I look at AccuWeather and it says we’ll either get one to three inches or at least a foot. Middle ground? There is no middle ground. This storm, Winter Storm Kenan, is as divided as our gosh darn political system in this country, am I right?

But yes, Winter Storm Kenan. It could be a doozy. If there weren’t more pressing matters right now like Joe Rogan explaining what constitutes a black person, the NFL playoffs, and *checks notes* oh God, another Kanye album, Kenan would be all people here on the Eastern Seaboard could talk about. Instead, it’s just kind of out there, milling about, biding its time until we have a moment to give it some attention.

I’d say give it a few more hours. Once things become a little bit more clear and if it seems that a storm, a “bomb cyclone,” is indeed imminent, you know what’s going to start happening.

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?

It’s going to snow. We get it. 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. On the plus side, for at least a day or two, trying to hide from COVID shouldn’t be a concern. So there’s that, right? Plus there are new episodes of Ozark to watch and if you skipped Station Eleven, now is your chance to right that massive wrong.

I think we should turn our attention to something else if you ask me.  We should spend our last few snow-free hours talking about something other than the incoming snowstorm because endless snow talk just becomes kind of a bummer. It’s like rehashing the final season of Game of Thrones. What’s the point, right? It was a bummer. Done and done. Watch the first few seasons. They were the best. Season three was the show’s high watermark.

But whatever, no snow talk. I say that instead of talking about snow as in weather, let’s talk about snow as in Snow, the Canadian reggae/rapper. You know, the guy who sang “Informer.”

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

Cue: crickets.

I thought so.

Come August of this year, it will have been thirty 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 beside 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 (maybe) 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.

So, How Did Snow Happen?

Snow happened because a white Canadian fella named Darrin O’Brien grew up in a housing project outside of Toronto. Growing up in such an environment meant that he was exposed to what sociologists call a “diverse neighborhood” or because it’s Canada, a “diverse neighbourhood.” In said neighbourhood, there was a large population of Jamaicans due to the immigration policies of then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (the father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,) and as a result, 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?” Apparently, Snow harbored some beef with the justice system, resulting in him I guess, wanting to “a likka boom boom down.”

And speaking of that…

What The Hell Is Snow Saying?

You mean, when he sings “I likka boom boom down?”

Oh, wait. I was wrong. My bad. Context is everything. That should help.

“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’s take a stab at figuring this out.

It seems like our friend Snow was blamed for something, specifically stabbing someone down the street. I now regret using the phrase “let’s take a stab.” Anyway, I still don’t know what he means by “I lick he bum bum down,” but upon further investigation (not cited for legal reasons of course) it means he’s gonna kick your ass (i.e. 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, was 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, Snow, 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, huh? Seems like it’s not just an American problem.

Although, it seems like 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, that’s not much of a legitimate beef, at least not how I’ve been taught about what is and isn’t a beef (again, not citing sources for legal reasons.) To me, not being able to call “the one Tammy” seems more like a gripe than anything.

Phone calls and alleged beefs aside, if you think Snow is going to flip, you done lost your damn mind, friend. Snow isn’t going to cooperate. Especially not with the cops! Please!

snow informer lift glasses and grin smile - GIF on Imgur

Snow isn’t going to elaborate anymore, either, though, especially when it comes to his time behind bars so you’ll have to sit with the unknown when it comes to the full and unvarnished story of “Informer.” The rest of the song is a word cloud 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 1992.

What Happened To Snow?

Snow continued to record and release music over the course of the next decade with his last album, Two Hands Clapping, coming out in 2002. Probably not surprisingly, none of the albums or the songs on them failed to reach the levels of success “Informer” did. They did not “lick he bum bum down” on the charts if you will.

So our boy Snow retreated to a life of solitude, eventually connecting with proper legal representation that helped him cash in on the long trail of “Informer,” allowing Snow to make a living on the song’s royalties.

“All I can say is that I’m blessed,” Snow said in 2019. “You mean do I have another job? No way. I don’t want nothing, a plane or a boat. Music is all I know.”

In 2019, “Informer” had something of a resurgence, thanks to the song’s inclusion in Daddy Yankee’s “Con Calma,” a song that was something of a Spanish remake of Snow’s bread and butter.

The song became Snow’s first tune to crack the Billboard 100 since, well, you know, the original “Informer.” It also took home awards, winning Top Latin Song of the Year at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards and collecting six awards at Latin Billboard Music Awards later that year.

In 2019, Snow was asked if he had any plans to capitalize on the success of “Con Calma” and the renewed interest in “Informer.”

Capitalize?” he said as if the word is foreign to him. “That doesn’t mean much to me. I’m in and out of music. I only do it when I feel like it. It blows up or [it doesn’t]. I don’t care.”

And for the most part, Snow has been largely out of music, leaving us to bask in the glory of “Informer” every winter, when a big old snowstorm rolls around and it behooves us to not drag ourselves down with talk of snow the weather, but instead, Snow the Canadian rap/reggae star.

So at least there’s that.

With that being said though, have you bought batteries yet? You probably should. Booze too. You don’t want boredom to “lick he bum bum down.”

Portions of this piece originally appeared in UPROXX.

Categories: Music

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