Too $hort: Living Legend
Recently acquired Too Short's complete discography. 18 albums as of 2010, dating back to his first record Don't Stop Rappin in 1985 to his most recent Still Blowin in 2010. 17 albums are studio releases, his newest album is an online only release. In an article on the Napster blog from March 2010, Short talks about how he is transitioning from the major label to digital world.
Too Short, real name Todd Anthony Shaw, is a 43 year old rapper from Oakland California. He is the longest tenured active rapper in the world. His rap style hasn't changed much over the course of three decades. His albums don't sell like they used to be he still is Too Short and his fan following is still there.
Too Short is the original West Coast rapper, Short started making tapes and selling them to drug dealers to play in their cars. It was a time when sub woofers and loud base were gaining popularity in the mid-late 80s and his goal wasn't to make club music or dance music, it was music for the car, music with loud base that would hit hard when your driving around, flexing. I've been listening to the music, and its quite the collection.
I downloaded his non studio LP's prior to Born to Mac all released on local label 75 Girls. The set includes Don't Stop Rappin, Players, and Raw Uncut and X Rated. His progression as an artist is seen throughout the 18 album collection. Even with the success' he's had he is still seen by many as an underground rapper, and he doesn't mind that at all. He got into the rap game because its something he loved, not for the fame, and not for the money.
As one of the dirtiest rappers of all time, Too Short was under the radar in the early 90s when rappers like Snoop Doggy Dogg were publicly scrutinized. His lack of radio play and television status has kept him true to the game, his highest selling album Life is..Too Short went double platinum and was hardly even advertised. I highly recommend purchasing some classic Too Short, but much of his music is no longer in print especially the real early stuff, so find a good torrent and get the classics from 75 Girls like "Girl That's Your Life".
Too Shorts first ten albums from Don't Stop Rappin' to Gettin' It signify classic Short. Even though he returned three years later after his short lived retirement not only his music but the industry had changed. Any rapper with successful longevity has the ability of changing with the times to thank for. That is something rappers Snoop Dogg and Too Short have in common, they've gone out of their way to work with different artists and producers outside of the West Coast. What contributed mostly to Too Short's new sound was when he relocated to Atlanta and started working with southern producers in the late 90's. Of those producer's the most notable one was Lil Jon. This give a different and more modern sound to the oakland g-funk that made him famous.
Over the past few year I wasn't up to date on any of Too Short's recent releases. Anything he did after Gettin It I listened to sparingly. Why exactly, who knows, but now years later I am appreciating all the music. It takes a certain kind of music listener to like the oldest of the old and newest of the new. His new music is hot, I really enjoy it. And his old dated 80s raps off the 75 Girls LPs are great too, and sound amazing in my car.
Now why would I write an article on Too Short in a cult film review site? Well considering how dirty and at times violent his lyrics can be I thought it would be perfect for Savage Cinema. So do your research and study up on my boy Short Dogg.
Complete Too $hort Discography