Todd Anthony Shaw (born April 28, 1966), better known by the stage
name Too $hort, is an American rapper, producer, and actor who started
his career at the age of fourteen in East Oakland, Oakland, California.
Too $hort has sold about 11 million albums in the US alone.
Shaw was born April 28, 1966 in Los Angeles, California, but raised
in East Oakland, Oakland, California during his teenage years. In
the early 1980s, Shaw produced custom songs (called "special
requests") for people with his high school friend, Freddy B.
In 1985, Too Short had his first release, Don't Stop Rappin'. This
and his next three releases featured raw, simple drum beats using
a LinnDrum drum machine in the early 1980s, switching to mostly the
TR-808 and TR-909 by the mid-to-late 1980s. In 1986, Too Short and
Freddie B. founded the Dangerous Music record label to distribute
his music regionally. Dangerous Music later changed names to Short
Records, and then Up All Nite Records. With his 1988 release, Life
Is...Too Short, he began infusing replayed established funk riffs
(rather than samples) with his beats.
Subsequent work was primarily collaborative, including work with
Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Scarface . One of his noticeable
collaborations during this period was on the track "The World
Is Filled..." on the classic Notorious B.I.G. album Life After
Death; he comes in on the third verse after Diddy and Biggie. Being
featured on the album introduced him to a wider audience as well,
due to his typical style contrasting greatly with the Mafioso theme
of the album. He also appeared on TWDY's hit single "Player's
Holiday" from their 1999 debut album Derty Werk as well as
the Priority Records compilation Nuthin but a Gangsta Party. After
these appearances, he began working on his eleventh album, Can't
Stay Away. The album included guest appearances by 8Ball & MJG,
Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Sean Combs, E-40, Daz Dillinger, Lil' Jon,
Soopafly, Scarface and B-Legit. Too Short relocated to Atlanta
in 1994, but he did not begin working with a more diverse variety
of Southern artists until 2000, when he collaborated with Lil Jon.
With the 1999 release of Can't Stay Away, Too Short fully came out
of retirement and released a number of new albums within the next
few years, most of them taking on a crunk or Dirty South type sound,
as he had become involved in the Southern rap scene. However, he
didn't totally give up on his trademark funk grooves or sexually
explicit style. New albums released 2000-2003 were You Nasty (2000),
Chase the Cat (2001), What's My Favorite Word? (2002), and Married
to the Game (2003). These albums all charted fairly well, as they
all were in the top 71 of the Billboard Hot 200, but they didn't
do quite as well as Too Short's earlier 1990s releases as none of
them reached the top 10.
In 2004, his earlier 1990 single "The Ghetto" appeared
on popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on West
Coast hip hop radio station Radio Los Santos. Given that this was
an incredibly popular game at the time, the featuring was acclaimed
as a success for Too $hort, both in publicity and in the fame generated
by the song.
For his next album, 2006's Blow the Whistle, Too Short now took
advantage of the new hyphy rap music that was emerging out of his
original home base in Oakland. This saw somewhat of a resurgence
for Too Short as it peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 200, much
better than each of his previous three releases. However, his
subsequent releases, such as 2007's Get Off the Stage, have not been
as successful. On October 7, 2008 Too Short was honored by VH1 at
the fifth annual "Hip-Hop Honors" along with Cypress Hill,
De La Soul, Slick Rick and Naughty By Nature.
In 2009, Too Short recorded for Daz Dillinger, Lil' Jon, Soopafly,
Scarface and B-Legit. and continues to tour to this day.[citation
Several of Too Short's themes are similar to those reflected in
the works of author Iceberg Slim. However, Too Short has made several
songs encouraging people to survive, stop drug use, not to be a gangster,
to get money through legitimate means, and to support themselves
and their families rather than spend their paycheck on luxury.[citation
needed] While this has been lauded as strange or even character-breaking
for the rap industry, these songs of his with more realistic edges
to them include famous hits, such as "The Ghetto" and "Gettin'
Too Short has influenced many rappers who claim themselves as a
pimp or to live the pimp lifestyle such as Snoop Dogg. His flamboyant
use of the word "Bitch" (pronounced as BeeITCH or Biatch)
that he has used since the Born to Mack album has been picked up
and emulated by various other rappers (and popularized in the mainstream
by Snoop Dogg) and was turned into a popular slang vernacular used
in other media, such as radio, television, and movies. Other artists
have gained much influence from his lyrics which include E-40, Lupe
Fiasco , Rappin' 4-Tay, Mac Mall, The Dogg Pound, Jay-Z, MC Eiht,
Spice 1, Young Buck, Turf Talk, 50 Cent, UGK, T.I., The Pack, The
Luniz, Ludacris, and among countless others. For his last albums
Too Short collaborated with many Southern Rap artists, one of the
most popular being Lil' Jon, which gave a new Dirty South and Crunk
sound to his works.
 Up All Nite Records
Too Short runs his own record label—Up All Nite Records. Artists
on the label include The Pack, Dolla Will, Boo Ski, Eyob Fantay
and Li'l J & Boi Payton, FX. In addition to creating Up All Nite
Records, Too Short has been a mentor at Youth UpRising, a group serving
at-risk youths for several years.
 Too Short in film
Too Short played the role of Lew-Loc in the film Menace II Society.
Too Short has also worked in the adult film industry, with the 2003
film Get In Where You Fit In.
Along with Snoop Dogg, Short was one of the only interviewees in
American Pimp who were not current or previous full-time pimps, a
testament to his contribution to the Pimp culture.
In 2005 Too Short starred in and performed the music for America's
Too Short has also appeared in an episode of The Game.[citation
Main article: Too Short discography
* 1985: Don't Stop Rappin'
* 1985: Players
* 1986: Raw, Uncut, and X-Rated
* 1987: Born to Mack
* 1988: Life Is...Too Short
* 1990: Short Dog's in the House
* 1992: Shorty the Pimp
* 1993: Get In Where You Fit In
* 1995: Cocktails
* 1996: Gettin' It
* 1999: Can't Stay Away
* 2000: You Nasty
* 2001: Chase the Cat
* 2002: What's My Favorite Word?
* 2003: Married to the Game
* 2006: Blow the Whistle
* 2007: Get off the Stage
* 2010: Still Blowin'
* 2010: Respect the Pimpin'
* 2011: The History Channel with E-40 (Summer 2011)