Jibbs Jab

Nov 30, 2006 at 9:11 am

Who stole what from whom?

Local rapper Jibbs went nationwide this year with one of the summer's biggest hits, "Chain Hang Low," which used as its central melody the children's song -- and old blackface standard -- "Do Your Ears Hang Low." That's old news. The song peaked on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart at No. 7 and currently sits at No. 44. The album that arrived on its heels, the wonderfully titled Jibbs feat. Jibbs, didn't fare nearly as well: After an impressive debut at No. 11, it sank like a stone. Only a month into its life, the album resides at No. 96 and is falling fast. Jibbs seems to be vanishing quickly in history's rear-view mirror.

To add insult to injury, Jibbs is now the subject of a furious dis track by three New Jersey girls who call themselves 3KZ. As reported in the fantastic hip-hop blog 33jones, the ladies claim Jibbs swiped the idea for "Chain Hang Low" from their own track, "Pants Hang Lo." Like the Jibbs track, 3KZ uses as its melody "Do Your Ears Hang Low," but instead of rattling on about thick ropes of gold, "Pants Hang Lo" celebrates the glory of low-riding pants:

I know you rock your Air Forces but I really want to know Do you tie them in a knot? Do you tie them in a bow? When you buy your white tees do they almost hit the flo'? Do your pants hang low?

Heady stuff. Neither song is likely to become a standard anytime soon. In fact, 3KZ's dis track trumps the other two in sheer ferocious anger, and features as its refrain this accusation:

I heard your chain hang low but I really wouldn't know Do you write your own rhymes? Do you got your own flow? Did you really write the song? Was it produced by your bro? Or was the song just something you stole?
Jibbs has yet to respond to the accusation. Listening to the tracks side by side, you can't help but notice the similarity -- but wouldn't that be the case when any two artists came upon the not-so-novel idea of jacking a ubiquitous children's song as the foundation for a rap?

-Randall Roberts