Too Short

Last updated
Too Short
Tooshort (300dpi).jpg
Shaw at Martin Luther's Rebel Soul Fest at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, July 2008
Background information
Birth nameTodd Anthony Shaw
Also known asShort Dogg
Born (1966-04-28) April 28, 1966 (age 54)
Los Angeles, California, U.S. [1] [2]
Origin Oakland, California, U.S. [1] [2]
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • record executive
  • actor
Years active1983present [3]
Associated acts
Children1 [4]

Todd Anthony Shaw (born April 28, 1966), [5] [1] [2] better known by the stage name Too Short (stylized as Too $hort), is an American rapper and record producer. Too Short became famous in the West Coast hip hop scene in the late 80s, with lyrics often based on pimping and promiscuity, but also drug culture and street survival. [6] The latter, in songs such as "The Ghetto" and the former, in songs such as "Blow the Whistle".


A pioneer of West Coast rap, [1] [2] [7] he began recording in 1983, drew renown on Oakland's underground rap scene, and signed a major deal in 1987 with Jive Records, which released his album Born to Mack . In 1989, his second album, Life Is...Too Short , drew wide notice, and he remained prominent into the 1990s.

Early life

Shaw was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California. In the early 1980s, Shaw and his family moved to Oakland, California. He was a drummer in the band at Fremont High School in Oakland. [8]


In the mid-1980s, Shaw along with a high school friend Freddy B, produced custom songs (called "special requests") locally on cassette for people in Oakland and the Bay Area. In 1985, Too Short started his solo career and released his debut album, Don't Stop Rappin' on Oakland record label 75 Girls Records And Tapes which, along with four 12" releases, featured raw, simple drum beats from a LinnDrum drum machine. [9] This was also one of the first hip hop records to use the word "bitch" - a word which became one of the rapper's trademarks and was the focus of subsequent raps such as "Ain't Nothin' but a Word to Me".

In the early 1990s his self-produced beats came from mostly a TR-808 and from mid-to-late 2000s, a TR-909 was used. In 1985, Too Short and Freddie B. formed the label Dangerous Music to regionally distribute his music, and with others formed rap group the Dangerous Crew. [10] Dangerous Music became Short Records, and then Up All Nite Records. With his 1989 release, Life Is...Too Short , he began using 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, and Pimp C. One of his notable 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 [11] as well as the Priority Records compilation Nuthin but a Gangsta Party. [12] 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. [13]

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 came out of retirement, continuing his sexually explicit, relaxed style of rap. [14] 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 200, but they didn't do quite as well as Too Short's earlier 1990s releases as none of them reached the top 10. [15]

In 2004, his earlier 1990 single "The Ghetto" appeared on popular video game 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, Blow the Whistle (2006), 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 200, much better than each of his previous three releases. [15] 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. [15] [16]

In 2009, Too Short recorded for Daz Dillinger, Lil Jon, Soopafly, Scarface and B-Legit. [13] In 2011, the rapper was featured on Wiz Khalifa's song "On My Level". He also collaborated in Snoop Dogg's 2011 album, Doggumentary in the song "Take U Home" and on the 50 Cent song "First Date". In 2012 Too Short along with E-40 released two collaboration albums on the same day titled History: Mob Music and History: Function Music . Both charted in the top 100 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Too Short has said the best verse he has ever recorded is a verse for a song on Dr. Dre's Detox called "Man's Best Friend (Pussy)". [17]

In 2013, it was announced he would collaborate with Lady Gaga on a song "Jewels n' Drugs" for her upcoming album Artpop . Also featured on the song are T.I. and Twista. [18]

In 2013, Too Short was featured on the song The Compliments by the Lonely Island on the wack album.

In 2015, Too Short was featured on actor Tavion Tate Guice also known as Tavion Millioune's song "Oakland Brookfield Dance".

In 2016, Too Short was featured on the song "Cochino" by Korean American rapper Dumbfoundead. The song is the seventh track off of Dumbfoundead's fifth studio album We Might Die. [19]

Six years after his last release, Too Short released his 20th album The Pimp Tape on November 9, 2018. On December 20, 2019 he released his 21st album The Vault . On December 18, 2020 Too Short and E-40 released their collaboration album Ain't Gone Do It and Terms & Conditions.

Up All Nite Records

Too Short runs his own record label—Up All Nite Records. Artists on the label include the Pack, [20] Dolla Will, Boo Ski, 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 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. [21] Too Short was an interviewee in American Pimp. Too Short starred in and performed the music for America's Sexiest Girls 2003. Too Short has also appeared in an episode of The Game . [22] Too Short made a cameo appearance in Jay-Z's video for the hit single Big Pimpin'. Too Short was in VH1's Rock Doc, "Planet Rock". Too Short made a cameo in the feature film Stop Pepper Palmer with Scott Schwartz. Too Short released two straight-to-DVD films as well, 2001's Too Short Uncensored, produced by Jarrod Donoman and Terrell Taylor, the DVD Live Nationwide, and 2003's Too Short Presents....Titty City again produced by Taylor & partner Co Garrett.


On February 10, 2012, a video of Too Short was posted on XXL magazine's website. In the video, Too Short gives "Fatherly Advice" to late middle-school and high-school boys. Specifically, he offers "a couple of tricks" for manually manipulating female genitals "when you start feeling a certain way about the girls." [23] The video caused an immediate outcry and was soon taken down by XXL, which issued an apology. [24]

While on the Scoop B Radio Podcast in 2017, Too Short told Brandon Scoop B Robinson that Jay-Z sampled his "Blow the Whistle" song in 2010 in an attempt to recruit LeBron James to join the New Jersey Nets. [25]


Studio albums
Collaboration albums

Related Research Articles


UGK was an American hip hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas, formed in 1987, by Chad "Pimp C" Butler and Bernard "Bun B" Freeman. They released their first major-label album Too Hard to Swallow, in 1992, followed by several other albums charting on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, including the self-titled Underground Kingz album, which contained their single "International Players Anthem " and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, in August 2007. The duo has also been featured on hit singles by several other artists, such as "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z and "Sippin' on Some Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia. Pimp C founded UGK Records in late 2005. On December 4, 2007, Pimp C died in his West Hollywood, California hotel room.

Pimp C American rapper from Texas

Chad Lamont Butler, better known by his stage name Pimp C, was an American rapper and record producer. He was best known for his work with Bun B as a founding member of the Underground Kingz (UGK).

Bun B American rapper from Texas; 1/2 of UGK

Bernard James Freeman, known professionally as Bun B, is an American rapper and actor. He is best known as one half of the southern rap duo UGK, a group he formed in 1987 alongside Pimp C. Aside from his work with UGK, Bun B has released five solo albums, including 2010's Trill OG, which received the rare 5-mic rating from The Source.

<i>Life Is...Too Short</i> 1988 studio album by Too Short

Life Is...Too Short is the fifth studio album by American rapper Too Short. It was released in 1988 through Jive Records and RCA Records, although it appeared as a Dangerous Music/RCA Records release until Jive Records logos appeared on the release on October 25, 1989, after it became successful. It is currently his highest-selling album to date, being certified double platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 2 million copies.

<i>Short Dogs in the House</i> 1990 studio album by Too Short

Short Dog's in the House is the sixth studio album by American rapper Too Short. The album was released on September 11, 1990, via Jive Records. The CD contains a number of both socially conscious songs, as well as dirty rap and sexually-explicit songs that have made Too Short famous. The album's production samples a number of classic P-funk records, as well as the heavy use of the Roland TR-808 for instrumentation. The laid-back beats would be a major influence in hip hop years later, and the album was key in the development of West Coast born G-funk that dominated the charts for the next few years. The album's cover was an influence for the cover art for Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, just as Too Short's drawl-heavy delivery had influenced Snoop Dogg's vocal style. Upon release, the album received a number of positive reviews, which helped it reach the highest position on the U.S. R&B charts, of any of Too Short's albums, at the time.

<i>Pimpalation</i> 2006 studio album by Pimp C

Pimpalation is the second solo studio album by American rapper Pimp C from UGK. It was released on July 11, 2006 through Rap-A-Lot Records, Asylum Records and Atlantic Records, making it the rapper's last solo album released during his lifetime. Recording sessions took place at Dean's List House of Hits, at M.A.D. Studios and Studio 7303 in Houston and at PatchWerk Recording Studios in Atlanta. Production was handled by several record producers, including Mr. Lee, Mike Dean, Jazze Pha and Mannie Fresh. A chopped and screwed version of the album was mixed by DJ Michael "5000" Watts. The album features a large number of guest performers, such as 8Ball & MJG, ABN, Ali & Gipp, Big Mike, Bun B, Chamillionaire, J. Prince, Lil' Boosie, Lil' Keke, Mike Jones, Scarface, Slim Thug, Tela, Webbie and Willie D among others.

<i>Get in Where You Fit In</i> 1993 studio album by Too $hort

Get In Where You Fit In is the eighth solo studio album by American rapper Too $hort. It was released on October 26, 1993 through Jive Records, making it his fifth release for the label. Recording sessions took place at Dangerous Studios. Production was handled by The Dangerous Crew and Quincy Jones III. It features guest appearances from Ant Banks, Ant Diddley Dog, Father Dom, FM Blue, Mhisani, Pee Wee, Rappin' Ron, Ronese Levias and Spice 1.

<i>Blow the Whistle</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Too Short

Blow the Whistle is the sixteenth studio album by American rapper Too Short. It was released on August 29, 2006, via Jive Records. It features artists such as Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Tha Dogg Pound,, Mistah F.A.B. and David Banner. It features music production by Lil Jon, Jazze Pha and of The Black Eyed Peas. The cover art for the album was revealed on August 8, 2006. The tracklisting was released on the 19th.

<i>Shorty the Pimp</i> 1992 studio album by Too Short

Shorty the Pimp is the seventh studio album by American rapper Too Short, released on July 14, 1992, by Jive Records. Five songs were produced by Ant Banks, four by Too Short himself and one song by D'wayne Wiggins.

<i>Chase the Cat</i> 2001 studio album by Too Short

Chase the Cat is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Too Short. It was released on November 20, 2001, through Jive Records. The album found moderate success, peaking at #71 on the Billboard 200 and #14 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

<i>Underground Kingz</i> 2007 studio album by UGK

Underground Kingz is the fifth studio album by American hip hop duo UGK. The album was released on August 7, 2007, by Jive Records. The album includes collaborations with Z-RO, T.I., Talib Kweli, Rick Ross, Jazze Pha, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Slim Thug, Dizzee Rascal, Too Short, Charlie Wilson, Middle Fingaz, OutKast, Three 6 Mafia, and many more. Production mainly came from Pimp C, N.O. Joe, Lil Jon, Jazze Pha, Swizz Beatz, DJ Paul & Juicy J, Scarface and Marley Marl.

The Ghetto (Too Short song) 1990 single by Too $hort

"The Ghetto" is a song by American Oakland-based rapper Too $hort. It was released on October 8, 1990 via Jive Records as the lead single from his sixth studio album Short Dog's in the House. Recorded at One Little Indian Studios in El Cerrito, California, it was produced and mixed by Al Eaton and Too $hort. The instrumental is based on the Donny Hathaway's song of the same name.

<i>Still Pimping</i> 2011 studio album by Pimp C

Still Pimping is the fourth solo studio album by American rapper Pimp C. It was released through Rap-A-Lot Records on July 12, 2011, making it his second posthumous solo release. The album features guest appearances from Bun B, Da Underdawgz, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Smoke D, Big K.R.I.T., Brooke Valentine, C-Bo, Cory Mo, Hezeleo, Killa Kyleon, Lil' Keke, Too $hort and Vicious.

<i>No Trespassing</i> (album) 2012 studio album by Too Short

No Trespassing is the nineteenth studio album by American rapper Too Short. It was released on February 28, 2012, under Dangerous Music, owned by Too Short. The album's production was handled by Vincent VT Tolan, Exclusive, DJ Klypso, and various others with guest features from 50 Cent, E-40, Kokane and Snoop Dogg.

<i>History: Mob Music</i> 2012 studio album by E-40 and Too Short

History: Mob Music is a collaborative studio album by American rappers E-40 and Too Short. The album was released on November 6, 2012, by Heavy on the Grind Entertainment and EMI. The album was released in two pairs: History: Mob Music and History: Function Music. The album features guest appearances from Knotch, B-Legit, Kurupt, DJ Battlecat, T. Nelson, Beeda Weeda, Stressmatic and Rankin Scroo.

<i>Suffering from Success</i> 2013 studio album by DJ Khaled

Suffering from Success is the seventh studio album by American disc jockey and producer DJ Khaled. It was released on October 22, 2013, by We the Best Music Group, Terror Squad Entertainment, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records. The album has guest appearances from Future, Diddy, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, T.I., 2 Chainz, French Montana, Timbaland, Lil Wayne, Drake, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj and Jeremih. Producers include DJ Khaled, Boi-1da, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Arthur McArthur, Timbaland, Streetrunner, Young Chop and Lee on the Beats.

Isaiah Rashad American rapper

Isaiah Rashad McClain is an American rapper from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Rashad began taking rapping seriously in the tenth grade, where he and his friends would record on laptops. He spent the next few years recording at local recording studios. His first big break would be touring with rappers Juicy J, Joey Badass and Smoke DZA among others, on the 2012 Smoker's Club Tour. He is also a founding member of the Chattanooga hip hop collective The House along with fellow Chattanooga rappers YGTUT, Michael Da Vinci (MikeyD), Chris P, and Brian Brown.

<i>OKE: Operation Kill Everything</i> 2013 mixtape by The Game

OKE: Operation Kill Everything is the fourteenth mixtape by American rapper The Game, which was hosted by DJ Skee. The mixtape was released on October 8, 2013, and serves as his first project since leaving the Interscope Records, following the release of his fifth album Jesus Piece (2012). It was also released in promotion of his upcoming sixth studio album. The mixtape features guest appearances from Too Short, Schoolboy Q, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Problem, Nipsey Hussle, Juicy J, Young Jeezy, Clyde Carson, Skeme, Stat Quo and Ty Dolla $ign; as well as the production provided by Cardiak, DJ Mustard, SAP and Cool & Dre, among others.

<i>The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 5</i> 2013 studio album by E-40

The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 5 is the nineteenth studio album by American rapper E-40. The album was released on December 10, 2013, by Heavy on the Grind Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from 2 Chainz, Young Bari, Roach Gigz, Iamsu!, Kool John, Gucci Mane, Young Scooter, Z-Ro, Big K.R.I.T., Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, B-Legit, Mike Marshall, Too Short, Work Dirty, Laroo T.H.H., Stressmatic and J. Banks.

Clyde Carson American rapper from California

Nyle Kalin Parrish, better known by the stage name Clyde Carson, is an American rapper from Oakland, California. He was originally known as a member of the hip hop group The Team. After the group went on hiatus, he was the one member of the group to break out as a solo artist. He was signed to rapper The Game's The Black Wall Street Records and Capitol Records in 2006. While signed there he released the EP Doin' That. However, he wasn't signed to them for long, before deciding to go back to releasing music independently via Moe Doe Entertainment. After returning to just that label, he has released two EPs: Bass Rock and Playboy. He also released the song "Slow Down", which was featured on the video game Grand Theft Auto V.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Too Short Biography". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Bush, John. "Too $hort: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  3. John Bush. "Too Short". AllMusic . Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  5. "Too $hort".
  6. "Too Short On Mother Finding His Dirty Rap Book And "The Hip Hop Dance Experience" Video Game". 8 November 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  7. "Couples Therapy: Cast: Todd "Too Short" Shaw And Monica Payne". VH1. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  8. Johnson, Chip (December 26, 2006). "Too $hort singing a new tune". San Francisco Chronicle .
  9. "Too Short".
  10. Bush, John. Too Short - Biography. AllMusic. Retrieved Sept. 16, 2007.
  11. TWDY - "Player's Holiday", AllMusic.
  12. Wilson, MacKenzie. "Nuthin' but a Gangsta Party" - Overview, AllMusic.
  13. 1 2 Too $hort Adds Puffy Track To Upcoming LP. MTV: June 29, 1999.
  14. "Can't Stay Away - Too $hort | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic .
  15. 1 2 3 Too Short > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  16. "Hip Hop Pioneers Honored". Save The Music. VH1. August 12, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  17. "Too Short Says His Greatest Verse Is The Dr. Dre "Detox" Sessions, Talks Vh1 "Couples Therapy"". HipHopDX. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  18. "Lady Gaga Raps, Rages And Shares Sex Dreams At iTunes Festival". Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  19. "Dumbfoundead - We Might Die". Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  20. Montgomery, James; Richards, Yasmine. You Hear It First: The Pack. MTV: October 10, 2006.
  21. "Get In Where You Fit In 1 (2003)". Internet Adult Film Database. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  22. "Too $hort". IMDb. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  23. "Too Short Gives Disgusting Fatherly Advice About Girls to Middle School Boys". 10 February 2012.
  24. Staff, X. X. L. "XXL Editor-in-Chief Speaks about Too $hort Video - XXL".
  25. Maniego, Charles. "Revisiting Jay-Z, LeBron James, and the Nets' 2010 Free Agency". Retrieved May 14, 2018.