Darrin O’Brien, aka Snow is 50 this week.
He a white reggae rapper from Allenbury Gardens, Toronto and when he was growing up in the early eighties his neighbourhood experienced an influx of Jamaicans. They loved his music and rapping style and thus nicknamed him Snow, which some will tell you is an acronym for Super Notorious Outrageous Whiteboy.
He was accused of murder but whilst on bail he took a holiday in Queens, New York where he met the rapper M.C. Shan and the pair made a four-song demo which earned his a deal with East West records.
Before he had time to do anymore he was recalled to Canada to face sentencing. He was eventually acquitted but did serve eight months for assault.
“Whilst in prison,” Snow recalled in an interview with Genius, “I had my father and brother in my cell and when I was in custody, I wrote that little piece, ‘Informer, detective man say Daddy Snow stabbed somebody down the lane.’ I didn’t even want to be a singer – it wasn’t like I was handing out demos. I just did it because I got snitched on. Where I grew up, in my family, that was a terrible thing to do.” The song is about being wrongfully accused of murder.
When released Informer spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also topped the charts in Australia, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In the UK, it reached number two.
Let’s remember that song.