The Bottom Line
"Chain Hang Low" is the debut single from St. Louis-based 15-year-old rapper Jibbs. His hit is built around a chorus reworked from the children's tune "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" which is itself a variant on the minstrel show song "Turkey in the Straw." This has generated controversy among urban music writers and scholars, but Jibbs claims innocence of the tune's origins.
Listen to "Chain Hang Low."
- Singalong chorus
- Stripped down spare synth line
- Raps sound like filler between repeats of the chorus
- Stripped down synth melody line
- Singalong chorus based on "Turkey in the Straw" via "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
- Simple raps connecting repeats of the chorus
Guide Review - Jibbs - Chain Hang Low
15 year old Jibbs has emerged out of the same St. Louis rap community that has produced such stars as Nelly and Chingy. Jibbs' older brother DJ Beats is a respected producer in the community. "Chain Hang Low" is the first single release for Jibbs, and, largely due to its catchy singalong chorus, it looks headed for the pop top 10.
Unfortunately, there's not a lot more to the song than that chorus. The chorus is a simple rewrite of the children's tune "Do Your Ears Hang Low?," except this time it's talking about chains, not ears. It's difficult to not get caught up in the chorus along with the children singing, but after that it seems the raps are just filling space between repeats of the chorus.
The use of "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" as the base for the song has generated controversy in the hip hop community. This is due to the fact that "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" is itself derived from the minstrel show song "Turkey in the Straw." "Chain Hang Low" has been referred to as minstrel show rap. Jibbs denies any knowledge of this origin of the strong and just claims affection for the beat.
In concept, "Chain Hang Low" is very reminiscent of Nelly's shiny mouth gear hit "Grillz." Both work as simple party tunes, but artistic achievement is lacking.