“In my category, I’m the one and only,” proclaimed Oakland legend Too $hort on his 1990 single “Short But Funky.” Few disagreed then, and even fewer would do so decades later.
First appearing in the mid-1980s slinging homemade tapes out of his car trunk, the man born Todd Shaw has always stayed true to himself. And although he is known more for the dirty side of his rap game, on “Short But Funky” he also reminds listeners of an important fact: “There’s a serious side to everything I say.” Short Dog’s In The House was $hort’s sixth album, and his second for the Jive label. By the time it hit, he was a West Coast legend, but his rep was growing Eastwards, as the rest of the country started opening its ears to new sounds. Peaking at #20 on the national Billboard 200 chart, the album was exactly what his dedicated fans expected – funky, 70s-drenched beats made for cars on the boulevard; and no-nonsense lyrics that made more sense and dropped more knowledge than he was ever given credit for. For examples of his conscious side, look no further than the P-Funk fueled “It’s Your Life” or the album’s lead single, “The Ghetto.” The album’s second single “Short But Funky” landed somewhere in the middle of $hort and Todd Shaw, talking about where he was at as the new decade broke, and making it clear that he wasn’t going anywhere. His mortality was particularly on his mind after rumors had surfaced the year before that he had died in a crackhouse. He speaks directly to this crazy episode on “Dead Or Alive.” And although it’s mostly a solo affair, he brings in some heavy artillery – and a lot of not-for-the-kids profanity – on “Ain’t Nothin’ But A Word To Me,” featuring none other than Ice Cube. In between, $hort distributed plenty of tales and charisma for fans to eat up, continuing to build his legendary status as one of the rap trailblazers of the era. Presented here on black wax with a poster of the excellent cartoon cover graphic, it’s time to give this one a spin, whether it’s the first or 100th time.
1. Short Dog's In The House 2. It's Your Life 3. The Ghetto 4. Short But Funky 5. Dead Or Alive 6. Punk Bitch 7. Ain't Nothin' But A Word To Me (Feat. Ice Cube & Sir Jinx) 8. Hard On The Boulevard 9. Paula & Janet 10. Rap Like Me