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, Slick Rick, and Snoop Dogg. 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.
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, classics that stick out in his collection include Get In Where You Fit In (1993), Cocktails (1995), Gettin It (1996), Can't Stay Away (1998), 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. In 1996, he claimed he was retiring, but Ice Cube brought him out to do guest appearances including the hit "Player's Holiday" which appears on T.W.D.Y.'s 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, and is considered by many to be his best album next to Cocktails. 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. After the G-funk era came to an end and he relocated to Atlanta, 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, "Cocktales," which appeared on his 1995 album Cocktails. 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 "The Ghetto."
In the late 90s $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.
- Too $hort (http://www.tooshortworld.com/) site by record label Jive Records