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Hip Hop History Lesson: Too $hort

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Hip Hop History Lesson: Too $hort

By Hardcore Critic
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer

Many rappers are credited for the longevity, standing the test of time. There have been many rappers who entered the game, made a name for themselves, but their run ended after five to seven years. In Too $hort’s career, he has never been “that rapper,” as others, such as LL Cool J and Jay-Z have been. However, Too $hort has been relevant ever since he released his 1983 debut album, Don’t Stop Rappin’.

Ice T, followed by Eazy-E and NWA are credited for bringing the West Coast hip hop scene to the forefront. Those who consider themselves “real hip hop fans” often credit them as true pioneers in the game. However, many of those “real hip hop fans” have overlooked the only veteran to remain relevant in the rap game in the time since the West Coast hip hop decline, Too $hort. Throughout his career, Too $hort has probably collaborated with every fan’s favorite rapper.

During the 1997-1999 period, Too $hort began collaborating with Jay-Z. At the time, Jay-Z was still considered a relative newcomer and was one of the most-popular rappers in the game. Rappers have come and gone, along with their movements. In the early 2000s, Atlanta became the central hub of the hip hop community. Being from Atlanta meant rappers were already destined for success. Lil Jon would rise to prominence during this time, enjoying a run from 2002 until 2006. One of the most-notable songs from Lil Jon during his run was the “Bia Bia (remix),” which notably featured a verse from Too $hort.

One rapper many often spotlight as overlooked is Geto Boyz frontman, Scarface, representing Houston, Texas. For well over twenty years, he has released classic material. But, when he was still considered new to the game, he turned to Too $hort for a verse. Too $hort appeared alongside former NWA members, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on Scarface’s “Game Over” track. There are several rappers who have remained relevant, even in the top ten, for over ten, sometimes over fifteen years. Each of these rappers, at one point or another, have either worked with Too $hort, or have been influenced by his music.

As the Atlanta hip hop scene rose to prominence and fell to the background, Too $hort maintained his buzz. Following the renaissance in the hip hop scenes in New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta appears to be making a run back to the top. Former Maybach Music representative, Pill, is among the new breed of rappers leading this surge in Atlanta. During a recent interview, Pill discussed sampling Too $hort, being influenced by his music, and even said he plans to reach out to the Bay Area legend for a collaboration. No other rapper in the history of hip hop has enjoyed a run like Too $hort, remaining one of the most-influential rappers for nearly thirty years.

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