1. “Girl, I’ve Been Hurt”
The second single on Snow’s debut album, 12 Inches of Snow, “Girl I’ve Been Hurt” is a more sensitive follow-up to the massively successful “Informer.” The song explores the turbulent emotional fall-out between a woman who has been unfaithful and a man who has grown despondent in his relationship. Despite the ballad-like nature of the song, Snow stays true to his roots with short reggae bridges between choruses.
2. “Uhh in You”
A bold and creative exploration of onomatopoeia as lyric, a device that would influence later hits such as “Wait (The Whisper Song)” by the Ying Yang Twins. Snow creatively skirts radio censorship issues by replacing key phrases in this song with the phrase “uhh uhh in you,” allowing him to explore and comment on explicit sexual topics while maintaining mass appeal.
3. “Si Wi Dem Nuh Know We”
Following the success of “Informer,” Snow left his native land, Ontario, Canada, reggae capital of the world, to tour Jamaica in 1994 where he met and developed a relationship with dancehall legend, Ninjaman. The two collaborated on several tracks with one of Snow’s biggest musical influences, Junior Reid, which led to the production of the 12 inch maxi single of “Si Wi Dem Nuh Know We.”
4. “Sexy Girl”
“Sexy Girl” chronicles the relationship between two people through several milestones, and the inevitable moment when the couple grows less attracted to one another. The song is told from the perspective of the man (presumably Snow) in the relationship who is desperate to remember what he found attractive about the titular sexy girl and rekindle their relationship. Really powerful stuff.
5. “Boom Boom Boogie”
The first single off Snow’s third album, Justuss, “Boom Boom Boogie” was Snow’s response to critics who doubted his skills and credibility in the lucrative ’90s reggae scene. You may recognize the similarities between the chorus of “Boom Boom Boogie” and the chorus of Kid Rock’s smash hit, “Bawitdaba” (as well as that of a lesser known rap song called “Rapper’s Delight” by a relatively unknown group called Sugar Hill Gang).
6. “Anything for You”
The top selling single in Jamaica in 1995, “Anything for You” would later appear on Snow’s third album, Justuss, where it would go on to be called “the most important dancehall song of the 1990s” by Jamaica Gleaner News (alongside memorable hits such as “Urkle Dance” by Mega Banton and “Peanut Punch” by Fabby Dolly).
7. “Everybody Wants To Be Like You”
The first single from Snow’s 2000 album, Mind the Moon, “Everybody Wants To Be Like You” is a departure from the reggae-influenced hits that made Snow a household name. The song was featured on the Canadian complication album “Now! 6”, a series much like America’s “Now! That’s What I Call Music” albums, only worse because it features Canadian songs alongside American hits. The song also reached the number one spot on MuchMoreMusic’s video countdown on MuchMusic, which is like Canada’s version of MTV, but worse because they feature Canadian songs alongside American hits.
8. “Plum Song”
With “Plum Song” (or “The Plumb Song” as it’s sometimes listed), Snow continues to explore a more acoustic, etherial vibe that would come to define his sound in the early 2000s. It also marked the return of M.C. Shan as producer for the first time since Snow’s hit, “Informer” alongside producer Edmond Leary who now spends his time making bubbles in NYC parks.
The first single from Snow’s 2002 album, Two Hands Clapping, “Legal” marks a return to form for Snow. The reggae infused verses perfectly compliment the soulful chorus of the song, which describe Snow’s attraction to a young woman who recently reached the legal age of consent in Canada, which is 16 years old.
10. “Just 4 U”
“Just 4 U” is a non-album single from 2008, and arguably Snow’s greatest recording of all time. The song is seeks to recapture the magic of Snow’s early reggae hits on the album 12 Inches of Snow, but with years of experience to give the song a much more mature, resonant sound. If you listen to one song in your life, make it Snow’s “Just 4 U.”