Whether you’re scared away by his raunchy reputation or freely flaunt your love for the game-infused funk he’s kicked for decades, everyone knows Too $hort. As Hip-Hop’s original mack, this revered veteran has been in the game three decades and gone from selling curse-free tapes out his trunk to being an industry mainstay with the foulest mouth of all.
Yet, amidst all $hort Dog’s colorful content, some of the songs that connected most with folks were filled with social commentary and stand out just as much as his explicit raps. To spotlight the unassuming versatility of this one and only Oakland OG, we present to you, The Primer: Too $hort.
1. “Freaky Tales”
After ironing out his sound via a string of successful homemade EPs, $hort Dog released his first full-length album in 1987, affectionately called Born To Mack. Laced with simplistic pimp flows and 808-based beats, the project put everyone’s favorite Oakland MC on the map and featured this strutting set of now classic, X-rated tales.
2. “Life Is…Too Short”
Never one to refrain from lending advice to listeners, Too $hort took the high road for the intro to his sophomore album and used this funky thumper to remind everyone how hard work is the answer to life’s many complications.
3. “Don’t Fight The Feeling”
Certain females are faster to the sack than others and on this eight minute long, One Way-sampling jam from $hort’s Life Is.. album, the Bay Area pimp recruited his local comrades to entice those hoes playing hard to get.
4. “The Ghetto”
While many classified his raps as mostly misogynistic, Todd Shaw was occasionally making attempts to empower listeners seeking more from life. This smooth cut from his 1991 Short Dog’s In The House album specifically spoke on survival in the troubled streets of his hometown of Oakland, but rang true to listeners in just about every area code.
5. “I Want To Be Free (That’s The Truth)”
Another conscious cut from Sir Too $hort, this Ant Banks-produced single from his 1992 Shorty The Pimp album spoke on getting wrongly profiled by police who assumed he sold dope and didn’t believe rap could facilitate his lavish lifestyle.
6. “I’m A Player”
With Ant Banks and the Dangerous Crew involved in the majority of his 1993 Get It In Where You Fit In album, Too $hort’s mack hand was perfectly complimented by funky basslines and glossy guitars throughout the album and this convincing reintroduction kicked off the classic LP perfectly.
7. “Just Another Day”
If this QDIII-produced look into 24 hours of $hort’s life is really an indication of what he does everyday, the man doesn’t get much sleep. Between hitting the studio and getting his stereo fixed to hanging out with Gary Payton and jet-setting cross country, the Oakland OG definitely maintains the high profile he preaches.
8. “Blowjob Betty”
Lacing Ant Banks’ horns and riding bassline with rhymes about a fictional chick who helped herself to every homie in the hood, $hort Dog used this Get It In Where You Fit In cut to remind ladies there’s no end game to being a hoe with no pimp.
9. “Gettin It”
With ten albums under his belt and a career certified from the start, Todd Shaw felt accomplished enough to hang it up in 1996 and used this inspirational, horn-singed anthem as his swan song. Say what you want about $hort, but this song is classy as they come.
10. “Blow The Whistle”
After an inevitable return from retirement and quite a few more albums of his patented pimp formula, $hort scored a career resurgence in 2006, thanks to this bouncy reminder of how and why he’s the one calling the shots in every game he plays.