Rapper Too $hort talks Tupac and MC Hammer with Jalen Rose

Rapper Too $hort talks Tupac and MC Hammer with Jalen Rose

In case you have been writing the hip-hop dictionary, this Bay Space legend could be accountable for a big portion it. And listening to Todd Shaw, also called Too $hort, on this “Renaissance Man” episode is like taking in a historical past lecture on the rap tradition and the slang that simply rolls off the tongue in the present day.

He got here round within the ’80s, when he planted seeds of inspiration that might present itself within the work of so many large rappers like Snoop Dogg and Outkast.

Naturally, his earliest influences got here from New York Metropolis.

“Proper once I moved to Oakland, that’s when Sugar Hill Information began dropping a number of stuff,” Too $hort informed me. “It was Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, the opposite data after ‘Rapper’s Delight’ … It’s like 1980 … I’m listening to all this hip-hop, and I’m considering to myself, ‘Man, I may do that.’”

Too $hort took what he was listening to from the East Coast and added his East Oakland taste, adopting the language of the colourful pimps in his neighborhood. He coined phrases like “biatch” and “mack,” calling his 1987 album “Born To Mack.”

“The phrase play was essential. You need to be utilizing it or creating it,” he stated of his model.

“The slick OGs within the streets dropping a bit rhyme, the infant liner, a bit slick punch line on you … We interpreted that s–t into hip-hop.”

One other instance: the phrase “heezy fo scheezy,” which he and his fellow Bay Space pioneer E-40 dropped in “Rappers’ Ball” as they have been taking part in round within the studio.

“That was one thing going across the Bay. It was coming from the pimps … Then Snoop Dogg did ‘fo shizzle,’ and it took by itself life. ‘Participant hater’ is a Bay Space phrase.”

I met Too $hort in school and acquired to hold round him and his colourful solid of characters. Let me let you know, he’s dwelling that life. I at all times thought of him the Hugh Hefner of rap, and a sure lyric about toes cemented that. He’s nonetheless churning out these intelligent songs concerning the girls, and simply launched “Huge Horny Thang” with Lil Duval.

“Early on, I spotted that saying one thing actual slick would get you a response if you happen to say one thing humorous … All of these reactions are like reoccurring themes in Too $hort songs.” He thinks “a number of rappers have their robust factors with vocabulary supply.” However wacky lingo and intelligent lyrics grew to become his calling card.

In 1993, because the hip-hop scene was rising in Atlanta round Freaknik events and HBCUs, he moved to the Southeast and introduced his daring Northern Cali life-style.

“I get to Atlanta and I present up, I acquired massive rims on my automotive,” he stated. Guys like Younger Jeezy and T.I. have been youngsters hanging round the place he was, whether or not it was exterior his home or the barbershop.

However again to his roots. There was a time when the Bay Space had a number of the most distinct acts in hip-hop, from MC Hammer to Tupac Shakur and Mac Dre, so I needed to listen to his ideas on them.

And it seems, “Please Hammer Don’t Harm ’Em” wasn’t that far-fetched.

“MC Hammer, man, self-made. Hammer is a advertising and marketing genius, the best way he got here within the recreation. He actually invented himself as a celebrity. [He didn’t start] as a star. [He] performed the position earlier than it occurred.”

Too $hort added that Hammer is “typically mistaken to be like ‘the dancing dude’ … However [he’s] positively not the man you wish to disrespect, face-to-face or, actually, again within the day, step to his crew and deal with them like R&B singers or one thing. The Oakland was going to immediately come out, and also you have been going to seek out out, ‘Oh, Hammer isn’t taking part in round.’”

As for Tupac, Too $hort felt nervous he’d burn too vivid too quick.

“This dude … If I take this dude to the deep Oakland hood, he’s going to die … And he did precisely that.”

“He dug too deep,” Too $hort stated of the late legend. “He needed to be all of it. He was 100% for the women. He was 100% activist. He was a 100% gangster. He was a 100% poet. He was 100% every part he did … I felt like his expertise was going to get sidetracked … I felt very protecting of him. And when he acquired to LA, we wasn’t defending him like this. However you couldn’t maintain him again … Once we acquired to LA, he was already there. He discovered his personal manner down.”

As for Mac Dre, who died in 2004, Too $hort needs he may have seen him attain his full potential. “I at all times felt like Dre was the individuals’s champ.”

And I think about Too $hort to be the rapper’s champ. He’s a godfather of the style and an icon who refuses to pump the brakes on his inventive move. He’s nonetheless acquired his, ahem, notorious toes on the gasoline.

Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the College of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab 5, who shook up the faculty hoops world within the early ’90s. He performed 13 seasons within the NBA, earlier than transitioning right into a media persona. Rose is at the moment an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He government produced “The Fab 5” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” collection, is the writer of the best-selling e book, “Bought To Give the Individuals What They Need,” a style tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Management Academy, a public constitution faculty in his hometown.

About Muji Sakawari

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