Saturday, August 7, 2021

Informer

Snow.. in August? Yeah, I thought it would be too 'on the nose' if I wrote about the Canadian reggae-rapper in February.

My musical interests were more wide-ranging in 1993 - much of that was based on watching a lot of MTV. And in the wake of that channel's 40th anniversary i was tempted to explore how narrow our listening habits have become without it.

1993 was the year I really caught on to the alternative rock or "grunge" scene, though I still dabbled in hard rock like Guns N' Roses, Metallica, and even Megadeth. My friends and I would watch Yo! MTV Raps now and then, and while I like very few hip-hop tracks overall I'm partial to the 'mainstream' rap from this era. Songs like "O.P.P.", "Nuthin' But a G Thang" and "Summertime" remind me of the crazy days of adolescence.

We were a diverse group of lower-middle class boys: one Korean, one African-American, one Portugese, and three very uncool white kids, myself included. How do I know we were uncool?

This was our jam:



I kind of though that we were done with white rappers after Vanilla Ice had been forever banished as "played out" or "corny" or whatever labels we used to use back in the day. And yet we had Mark Wahlberg (yes, that Mark Wahlberg) rapping and dancing in his Calvins. Good thing we didn't destroy that guy.


Anyone remember 3rd Bass? Their take on "Pop Goes The Weasel" got a lot of airplay. I think the one guy had a sports memorabilia shop in Cooperstown for a while.

My friend Ed used to ad-lib a lot of these songs. He'd say "Pop Goes the Weasel because the Weasel Goes Pop". Why do I remember that? Because I remember his ad-lib lyrics for "Informer" like it was yesterday.


The actual lyric was:
Informer, ya' no say daddy me Snow me I go blame
A licky boom boom down



Ed's improvised lyric was:
I'm a farmer, I live in Idaho and grow potatoes
A there's a moo-moo cow

 
He was 10. 

 
 
 
I hadn't thought of this song in forever, until I started working at my current job. My manager has her Pandora on all day - mostly country music, though I did hear Salt N' Pepa's "Push It" yesterday, which was kinda random and enjoyable. When I started working there we had a girl in our collections department who was in her late twenties and she'd play newer hip hop stuff that my white co-workers and I weren't really familiar with.
 
Except.. one day Mercedes had her music on and a Daddy Yankee track played. Our estimator Brian (who's in his early forties) and I instantly recognized the sample. "Hey! That's Informer!" We soon played the Snow single for Mercedes - prefacing it by explaining that he's a white reggae-rapper from Canada - and she chuckled.
 
I guess it was kind of a funny song. Maybe.. I still don't know what Snow was saying. Something about farming?



 
 
Thanks for reading!




~



8 comments:

  1. "Informer" is a damn good record. I can remember there was a period where I'd make a point of checking the top 40 stations on my car radio hoping "Informer" was on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always checked the charts for my favorite tracks, too. It was like reading the standings in the sports page. Good to know someone else enjoyed "Informer" as much - or more - than I did.

      Delete
  2. Nope, nope, nope.

    I'm happy to say that I was old enough in the early '90s that Vanilli Ice and Snow had no appeal. I was deep into alternative by '93 and had put aside almost all pop.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Done with white rappers? The Beasties were still around in '93, and were also still making some of the best rap music, period. The 90's produced a lot of one-hit wonders, many of which are still good today, I don't consider Informer one of them. I was one of the few kids in my area that wasn't overly fond of the song when it was new, but I'm sure liked plenty of things at the time that others didn't, so...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Beastie Boys were their own genre. "Fight For Your Right To Party" isn't a rap song. Neither is "Sabotage". And we've already established that you won't like any song I mention here.

      Delete
  4. On any other blog, I would wonder what the title Informer meant before clicking. But here on the 1993, I knew instantly. And it's now stuck in my head LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are plenty of music artists that fall under the category of guilty pleasures for me... but Snow isn't one of them. 1993 was a pretty big year for hip hop with Dre, Digible Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, 2Pac, and plenty of others. Plus alternative was still high on my playlists... so there just wasn't any room for 12 Inches of Snow ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Side note... I agree that the Beastie Boys are unique. They incorporate rap into their style... but there's a lot of punk and other genres of music mixed in as well. It's hard to nail down one particular genre their music falls under.

      Delete