Exploring Too $hort Albums
Welcome to our comprehensive review of the discography of one of the most influential figures in West Coast hip-hop, Too $hort. If you’re a hip-hop fan or just curious about Too $hort’s influence in hip-hop, you’re in the right place. The amount of Too $hort albums is daunting, so we’ll cover his solo albums. So, dive into the discography of Too $hort, a titan of Bay Area rap whose influence reverberates through the industry.
Who is Too $hort?
Born Todd Anthony Shaw in 1966, Too $hort is a renowned figure in hip-hop. Known for his explicit storytelling and raw lyrics, he has carved a niche in the industry. Understanding Too $hort’s music is quite the task. The Bay Area legend has been around for decades and shows no signs of slowing. However, this article is a fantastic start to exploring Too $hort’s musical journey.
For a broader view of Bay Area rap, read out guide to the Best Hyphy Albums
Too $hort Discography
Rappin’ Without Pause: Don’t Stop Rappin’
Released in 1983 under the label 75 Girls, Don’t Stop Rappin’ was Too $hort’s debut album. It set the stage for his unique style of rap. The album is entirely produced by Too $hort and Dean Hodges, 75 Girls’ founder. It’s not widely available on streaming platforms, but you can hear it on YouTube.
Game of Tones: Players
Players, released in 1985, further established Too $hort’s reputation in the industry. It was also released under the 75 Girls label. Dean Hodges, who also served as executive producer, produced the entire record.
Unfiltered Beats: Raw, Uncut and X-Rated
Raw, Uncut and X-Rated offers proof of Too $hort’s unfiltered style. The 1986 album was released on cassette to mixed reviews. However, it’s a must-listen for any hardcore Bay Area fan. You won’t find it on Spotify like many of his early albums. Listen on Youtube.
Explore the best hyphy tracks in our The Ultimate Guide to the Best Hyphy Songs of All Time | 35 Tracks
Mack Attack: Born to Mack
The fourth studio album by American rapper Too Short, Born to Mack, marked his major label debut. Originally released in 1987 via Dangerous Music, the album was re-released by Jive Records/RCA the following year after the success of Life Is…Too Short. However, the Jive Records logos didn’t appear on the album until its compact disc release in 1989. Interestingly, most of the album was recorded from 1986 to 1987, except “Mack Attack,” which was laid down in 1988.
In many ways, Born to Mack stands as the genesis of the Too Short legend. It’s the sound of an artist stepping onto the stage with raw talent and a unique voice, commanding attention from the get-go. Indeed, Too Short’s innovative marketing tactics included selling around 50,000 copies of the album directly from the trunk of his car, an unconventional approach that earned him a dedicated fan base, particularly in and around Oakland, California.
Born to Mack includes the hit single “Freaky Tales,” a track that has since become synonymous with Too Short’s distinctive style. The album garnered generally positive reviews, with RapReviews and Spin Alternative Record Guide awarding it a commendable 7 out of 10.
Over the years, Born to Mack has seen several reissues, demonstrating its enduring relevance. These include a remastered 180-gram LP in 2015 and a limited edition green LP to commemorate its 35th anniversary 2022. From its initial release sold from car trunks to coveted anniversary editions, Born to Mack solidifies Too Short’s footprint in the hip-hop arena.
Explore this classic further in our Born to Mack retrospective.
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Life Lessons: Life Is…Too Short
Life Is…Too Short is a standout album in Too $hort’s discography. Released in 1988, it’s often considered one of his best works. The album’s title track became a hit single, further cementing Too $hort’s place in the hip-hop industry. This album is often mentioned when discussing Too $hort’s best-selling album.
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House Party: Short Dog’s in the House
Short Dog’s in the House, released in 1990, is another classic Too $hort album. It features a mix of party anthems and socially conscious tracks, showcasing Too $hort’s versatility as an artist.
Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Shorty the Pimp
Imagine yourself back in 1992, sitting in a cozy room, the thumping beats of Too Short’s seventh studio album, “Shorty the Pimp,” filling your ears. This album, an homage to the 1973 blaxploitation film of the same name, doesn’t just share the title — the first track creatively samples the film’s theme song. And this isn’t just any album: it’s Too Short’s most popular one to date, debuting at number 6 on the US Billboard 200 chart and selling a whopping 82,000 copies in its first week alone!
Notably, it features Anthony “Ant” Banks’ first credited productions on a Too $hort album, adding a fresh layer to the rapper’s distinct style. “Shorty the Pimp” is a masterwork of artistic collaboration and musical innovation, offering listeners an experience.
Fit for a Bay King: Get in Where You Fit In
Step into a time machine back to October 26, 1993, when Too Short dropped his eighth solo studio album, “Get in Where You Fit In.” This iconic release, brought to you by Jive Records, still holds its ground today. Featuring an impressive roster of guest appearances from Ant Banks, Ant Diddley Dog, Father Dom, FM Blue, Mhisani, Pee Wee, Rappin’ Ron, Ronese Levias, and Spice 1, it’s a collaboration dream come true.
The album’s lead single, “I’m a Player,” with its infectious sample of Bootsy Collins’ “Hollywood Squares,” instantly grabs your attention. Rolling Stone awarded it a stellar 4 out of 5 stars, praising Too Short’s blaxploitation-inspired persona, claiming he surpasses the influences of Shaft, Sweet Sweetback, and Superfly combined. The album, expertly produced by The Dangerous Crew and Quincy Jones III, was recorded at Dangerous Studios, ensuring a top-notch sound.
It’s Bitch, Bitch is his Favorite Word: What’s My Favorite Word?
Undeniably audacious, the album captivates listeners from the very start, its title daringly posing a question that is brashly answered within the title track – the response being, you guessed it, “bitch”.
It’s an opus showcasing the collective brilliance of a myriad of artists; Roger Troutman Jr., Twista, V-White, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Pimp C, E-40, and B-Legit have all lent their distinct talents, creating a tapestry of musical collaboration and exploration.
RapReviews, a reputable and discerning critic in the industry, didn’t hold back their praise, awarding the album a commendable 7.5 out of 10.
Yes, Even More Too $hort Albums
Love and Hip-Hop: Married to the Game
“Married to the Game,” the fifteenth studio album from the American rapper Too Short, is an ode to an enduring passion for hip hop. Masterfully produced by Dez, the album takes listeners on a journey with its raw and real narratives.
The album saw substantial success, reaching number 49 on the US Billboard 200 and soaring to number 7 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard) chart. Its influence rippled through the industry, with artists like Ace Hood sampling its tunes. Packed with explicit language and themes, “Married to the Game” is a collection of tracks and a statement of Too Short’s loyalty and love for hip-hop.
Mixology Master: Cocktails
Too Short’s ninth studio album, Cocktails, dropped on January 24, 1995, via Jive Records, marking his sixth record with the label. With the entire album produced by Ant Banks, Cocktails showcases guest performances by the likes of 2Pac and The Dangerous Crew.
The release of Cocktails brought groovy, funky, and jazzy beats underpinning tales of the pimping life, a lyrical tradition for Too Short influenced by Iceberg Slim. The album kicked-off with an impressive debut at number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 101,000 copies in its first week alone. It was Too Short’s second album to reach the top of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and it narrowly missed the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. With over a million copies sold, Cocktails was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Decade of Decadence: Gettin’ It (Album Number Ten)
Marking his tenth studio outing, Gettin’ It (Album Number Ten) is a milestone in the discography of American rapper Too Short. The record was an instant hit, receiving platinum certification by July 26, 1996, just over two months after its release.
Gettin’ It performed admirably on the charts, peaking within the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. It became Too Short’s third album to clinch the number-one spot on the Top R&B Albums chart, underscoring his sustained appeal and the consistent quality of his output.
While much of Too Short’s previous work was grounded in sex and pimping themes, Gettin’ It took a different route. Reflecting the West Coast’s dominance of gangsta rap and G-funk during this period, the album’s production and lyrical content deviated from Too Short’s typical fare. This divergence only showcased the breadth of Too Short’s artistic capabilities, adding another dimension to his impressive catalog.
The title track, “Gettin’ It,” stands out particularly, featuring Parliament-Funkadelic, the iconic collective renowned for its influential contributions to the funk genre. From chart-topping triumphs to stylistic evolution, Gettin’ It (Album Number Ten) firmly positions Too Short as a dynamic force.
Can’t Resist the Bay: Can’t Stay Away
Released on July 13, 1999, via Jive Records, Can’t Stay Away represents the eleventh studio album by American rapper Too Short. This musical offering showcases an impressive array of collaborators, including Lil’ Jon & the Eastside Boyz, Lil’ Kim, Eightball, MJG, and Murda One. The production, handled by Jay Mac, Jazze Pha, and Mo-Suave, infuses the album with a distinct sonic character that sets it apart in Too Short’s extensive discography.
Nasty Beats: You Nasty
On September 12, 2000, American rapper Too $hort dropped his twelfth studio album, You Nasty, under the Jive Records banner. The album, produced by the illustrious trio of Ant Banks, Erick Sermon, and Jazze Pha, was a commercial triumph. It ascended to the 12th spot on the Billboard 200 and seized the 4th position on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, earning a Gold certification.
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Cat’s Out of the Bag: Chase the Cat
Chase the Cat, the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Too $hort, hit the airwaves on November 20, 2001, under the aegis of Jive Records. Despite the rap maestro’s entry into his second decade of album releases, Chase the Cat demonstrated that Too Short’s innovative spirit and distinctive lyrical flow remained as compelling as ever.
The album enjoyed a respectable degree of commercial success, peaking at number 71 on the Billboard 200 and 14 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. This achievement underlined Too Short’s enduring relevance in a music industry marked by rapid shifts in style and preference.
Whistle While You Hustle: Blow the Whistle
Blow the Whistle is a classic Too $hort album. It’s filled with the raw, explicit lyrics that fans have come to expect from him. This album is often mentioned when discussing the “Too $hort blow the whistle album.”
Exit Stage Left: Get off the Stage
Released on December 4, 2007, through Jive Records, Get off the Stage is the seventeenth studio album by the American rapper Too $hort. This record marked his fourteenth and final journey with the label, a fitting finale to their long-standing collaboration.
Recording sessions for Get off the Stage took place across multiple locations, including Blue Basement Recordings, PatchWerk Recording Studios in Atlanta, and Young L Productions Studio. The production duties were shared amongst a team of seasoned producers – Traxamillion, Cooly C, DJ Kizzy Rock, Spec, Anthony Taylor, Gennessee, and Young L. Too $hort himself helmed the project as the executive producer, ensuring his unique creative vision permeated the album.
Get off the Stage welcomed guest artists, from Dolla Will, E-40, Ginger, Kool-Ace, Mistah F.A.B., and Ms. Hollywood to The Pack. Their unique styles are interwoven with Too $hort’s own flow, enriching the album’s sonic tapestry.
Upon its release, the album achieved moderate commercial success, peaking at number 160 on the Billboard 200 and number 21 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in the United States. As Too $hort’s final work with Jive Records, Get off the Stage is an impactful conclusion to a defining chapter in his illustrious hip-hop career.
Still Got the Flow: Still Blowin’
Still Blowin’ is another standout album in Too $hort’s discography. It’s a testament to his longevity in the industry.
No Entry for Mediocrity: No Trespassing
No Trespassing is a classic Too $hort album. It’s filled with the raw, explicit lyrics that fans have come to expect from him.
Pimpin’ Ain’t Dead: The Pimp Tape
On November 9, 2018, a riveting new album debuted in the vibrant hip-hop world through Dangerous Music and EMPIRE. This album, which features an impressive tally of 20 tracks, hails from the creative repertoire of American rapper Too Short.
The record is nothing short of a hip-hop summit, boasting a star-studded lineup of guest artists that contribute their unique flair to the album’s diverse soundscape. This illustrious roll-call includes heavyweights like 2 Chainz, Adrian Marcel, Chanel West Coast, DJ Khaled, E-40, French Montana, G-Eazy, Jeremih, Joyner Lucas, Legado 7, Mistah F.A.B., Mozzy, Nef the Pharaoh, Philthy Rich, Richie Rich, Schoolboy Q, Snoop Dogg, T.I., The-Dream, Ty Dolla Sign, and YMTK.
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Unlocking the Scratch: The Vault
The Vault is the latest addition to Too $hort’s impressive discography. It’s a testament to his longevity in the industry and is often referred to when discussing “Too $hort new album.”
Too $hort Albums Conclusion
Too $hort’s discography proves his longevity and influence in the hip-hop industry. His music resonates with fans worldwide, from early albums to recent releases. His album sales have been consistently high, with Life Is…Too Short is his best-selling album.
For those interested in Too $hort albums in order, we recommend starting from his debut and working your way to his latest release. The Too $hort album release dates span over four decades, showcasing his enduring relevance in the industry. Embark on a journey through Too $hort’s discography and experience the raw storytelling and unique beats that have cemented his place in hip-hop history.
FAQs About Too $hort Albums
- When did Too $hort start his career?
- Too $hort started his career in the early 1980s.
- What is Too $hort’s most successful album?
- One of his most successful albums is Life Is…Too Short.
- What is Too $hort’s latest album?
- As of the time of writing, Too $hort’s latest album is The Vault.
- What is Too $hort’s real name?
- Too $hort’s real name is Todd Anthony Shaw.
- How many albums has Too $hort released?
- Too $hort has released 21 solo studio albums as of the time of writing.