Too $hort

From Academic Kids

Too Short, or Too $hort, (born Todd Anthony Shaw on April 28 1966) is a rapper who started his career in his hometown of Oakland, California. Through his music, Too $hort has cultivated a persona of a no-nonsense pimp, and is widely credited for popularizing pimp culture in hip hop, along with Ice T and Slick Rick. He has released over ten albums and recently founded his own label. Too $hort is now based in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the early 1980s $hort produced custom raps for people with his high school friend, Freddie B. They would glamorize a person on a 30-minute tape, and the transaction would usually cost $10. He also played percussion in his high school marching band. Soon he became one the first rap artists to promote and sell records independently, and as a pioneer responsible for the birth of Northern California's independent hip-hop scene, he has inspired many to pursue success in the music industry without the assistance of a major record company. Also, the sound of the music was different from East Coast hip-hop, which is known for its technique of sampling and looping to create a song. Initially, $hort's first releases had raw and simple drum beats, but by (1988)'s Life Is...Too $hort, Funk and Blues were being infused with synthesizers and drum machines, giving birth to the Bay Area hip-hop sound known as Mobb music.

As of 2004, Too $hort is one of the few artists to have released six back-to-back platinum albums (others include LL Cool J and Ice Cube). Too Short is a legend in the game, and has dropped 15 albums to date, with his latest being Married To The Game, which contains the hit singles "Choosin" featuring Jagged Edge and the club banger "Shake That Monkey" ft. Lil Jon.

Over the years, Too $hort has released many albums hailed as classics, along with appearing on more top selling albums than any other artist in the game through his collaborations, which include over 60 guest appearances to date. Of his 15 albums, those nationally released on Jive records include the influential Born To Mack (1987), Life Is...Too $hort (1988), $hort Dog's In The House (1990), $horty The Pimp (1992), Get In Where You Fit In (1993), Cocktails (1994), Gettin It (1996), Can't Stay Away (1999), You Nasty (2000), Chase The Cat, (2001), and Married To The Game (2003).

In his early years, $hort teamed up with close friends Ice Cube and producer Ant Banks to create several classic records. He signed with Jive records in (1987). In (1996), he claimed he was retiring, but returned in 1999. He appeared on the hit "Player's Holiday" which appears on T.W.D.Y.'s (1999) debut album and Priority Records compilation "Nuthin But A Gangsta Party." After the appearances, he began working on his 11th album which was appropriately titled Can't Stay Away. The album included guest appearances by Eightball & MJG, Puff Daddy (now P. Diddy), E-40, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, Soopafly, B-Legit, as well as well recognized verses by $hort himself. When he relocated to Atlanta in (1994), he began working with a more diverse variety of artists including Twista and Lil Jon.

Although $hort's hit list is lengthy, the biggest hit of his career is perhaps, "The Ghetto," which appeared on his 1990 album $hort Dog's In The House. Other notable hits include, "Ain't No Bitches," "Money In The Ghetto," "I Want To Be Free," "You Nasty," "I Luv," "Just Another Day," "Good Life," "Invasion of the Flat Booty Bitches," "Don't Stop Rappin," "Freaky Tales," and "Cocktails."

$hort relocated from Oakland to Atlanta, but he still represents his Oakland roots as on his 2003 record he has a track titled "California Girls." Along with his crafty appearances, $hort has been able to remain a prominent figure on the underground scene, a West Coast hero, and an overall legend by constantly updating and reinventing his sound. $hort has come from rapping over raw drum beats, through the G-funk era, through the Bay Area signature sound, and on his latest efforts, the crunk era. He guest appeared on his close friend Lil Jon's album and scored a hit record with the track "Bia Bia" along with Ludacris and Chyna White. He is credited for coining the phrase "Bee-yatch" in hip-hop/gangsta rap -- as he states on his track "These Are The Tales," I won't sue you/ that's the trademark/ I was a grown ass man when you was playin' in the park...that's my gift to the rap game. Too $hort is also making a contribution to the porn industry, as he currently has 3 movies available. Too $hort, a.k.a. "Short Dogg" continues to make guest appearances, records, and movies.

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