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The story behind Jibbs' Chain Hang Low

Chain Hang Low was a successful hit for the Chicago-born rapper Jibbs. Find out all that you need to know about the song and the artist.

About the artist

Born Jovan Campbell on 13 November 1990, American rapper and songwriter Jibbs has achieved a good deal of success in a relatively short career to date. Growing up in St Louis, Missouri, Jibbs began his attack on the music scene at an all early age by writing raps aimed at impressing his brother DJ Beats. At the time, Beats was producing for the likes of Nelly and Chingy, and liked what he heard from his younger sibling. As word spread of Jibbs, record label executives caught on to the craze and he eventually signed for Geffen Records. With Geffen Jibbs releasing his début single, Chain Hang Low, there followed a few months later by the self-titled album, Jibbs, Featuring Jibbs. A new album, New Tempo, New Swag, is penned for release in 2011.

The song: Chain Hang Low

Released in the US in June 2006 and across Europe in December of the same year, Jibbs' Chain Hang Low is the rapper's most successful record to date. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and is said to have amassed ringtone downloads of over 20,000 in just two weeks. Although more popular in the US than Europe, the single still peaked at 14 on the Irish Singles Chart. Song meaning Although Jibbs denies knowledge of the fact, the song mimics the classic nursery rhyme "Do Your Ears Hang Low?", which is sang to the tune of minstrel show song Turkey in the Straw. Rumours abound that the nursery rhyme was sang during the civil war and celebrated soldiers donning the body parts of slaves as trophies. Other than similarities such as "Do your ears hang low" and "Does your chain hang low", in Jibbs Chain Hang Low lyrics, all connections appear to be nothing more than coincidental.

The video

Jibbs' Chain Hang Low has been classified in the genre as snap music, a consequence of those who accompany Jibbs in the music video. The video features the rapper narrating the song in the street alongside groups of adolescents performing the snap dance. The snap dance originates from a sub-genre of hip-hop music coming out of Bankhead, West Atlanta around the late 1990s/early 200s. At the time, the Bankhead neighbourhood was infamous for crime and social divide, and snap music was born out of a freedom of expression.

Final word

The song was remixed with the input of American rappers Lil' Wayne, Rich Boy and Yung Joc and featured in the movies Norbit, starring Eddie Murphy, and Drillbit Taylor, starring Owen Wilson.

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