Who is Too Short? Too Short is a West Coast rap pioneer who dropped three LPs before moving to a major label for 1988’s “Born to Mack.” From there, Too Short released six platinum-selling albums in a row, and the hip-hop legend is still going strong, having returned with his 16th album, “No Trespassing,” in 2012.
Along the way, Too Short has collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Puff Daddy, Lil Kim, Kid Cudi, and the Notorious B.I.G. His appearance on Biggie’s “Life After Death” cut “The World Is Filled” helped him reach a wider audience in the ‘90s, well after his initial wave of success. He even shows up on Lady Gaga’s eagerly awaited “Artpop” album, due out in late 2013.
Who is Too Short, other than a prolific hip-hop lifer with an impressive list of cosigns? Too Short was born Todd Shaw on April 28, 1966, in Los Angeles. As a teenager, he moved with his family to Oakland, and in the early ‘80s, he began rapping and selling homemade tapes out of his car. His first album, “Don’t Stop Rappin’,” arrived in 1983, and that was followed by “Players” and “Raw, Uncut and X-Rated” in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Too Short wrote explicit songs about violence and sex, and that made him ahead of his time, as West Coast groups like NWA would later run with such themes and take “gangsta rap” to the mainstream.
Who is Too Short? He’s the man behind 1990’s “The Ghetto,” a single that nearly made the Top 40, peaking at No. 42. That song appeared on “Short Dog’s In the House,” and while Too Short has never had another song chart as high on the Billboard Hot 100, he’s scored plenty of R&B and Rap hits. In 2013, he appeared on Lady Gaga’s “Jewels n’ Drugs,” prompting teenage girls across the world to ask, “Who is Too Short?” Here’s hoping a new generation discovers hefty back catalog and gains an appreciation for one of gangsta rap’s architects.
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