We last heard from Too Short in 1990 with the release of his third official album release, Short Dog’s In The House. The album earned Short his second platinum plaque and tons of critical acclaim, as many critics and fans considered it one of the best albums in his lengthy catalog. Too Short would return in 1992 with his fourth official release, Shorty The Pimp.
Too Short would use the same formula on Shorty The Pimp that he used on his previous works: simple rhyme schemes over funk beats. Shorty The Pimp would also mark the beginning of Short’s relationship with Oakland native Ant Banks, who at the time was a new producer on the scene. He would be responsible for about half of the production on Shorty The Pimp. The album didn’t sell as well as his previous two projects and it received mixed reviews from the critics.
Is it just me or do all the chicks lined up on the album cover look like they have STD’s living in condos inside their vaginas? I wouldn’t touch any of them with your dick.
Intro: Shorty The Pimp – This intro is the intro of the theme song of the Blaxploitation movie of the same title.
In The Trunk – Too Short will never be known as a prolific lyricist, but he spits arguably his best rhymes on this one. Over the course of one long verse (like the opening song on Short Dog’s In The House), Short Dog raps like he’s got a chip on his shoulder, as he addresses his haters, the sucka emcees, the bitches, and drops an occasional boast, for good measure. SD is also credited for the instrumental and he hooks up a funky bass line that drives the instrumental. This was dope.
I Ain’t Nothin’ But A Dog – What would a Too-Short album be without a song calling women bitches? On this one he explains why he’s a dog and discusses the only thing he needs from a
bitch woman, dropping simple but hi-larious lines like “I be a player for life, forget about a wife, she just aint my type” and “most brothers try to take freaks out, I get a room and stick my dick in her mouth”. Ant Bank’s slow funk instrumental is a bit too slow for my liking and kind of drags this song down a bit.
Hoes – The same thing stated in the previous song can be applied to this one. Only, Too Short himself is responsible for the mediocre backdrop instead of Ant Banks.
No Love From Oakland – Short’s rhymes are all over the place on this one. I think his main goal was to highlight how tough it is to escape the mean streets of Oakland without ending up incarcerated or even worse, dead. Along the way, he takes the listener on quite a few side trips, including some random story about Tonya, Jack, Mike and Lynn. Banks’ instrumental is pretty nice, but it’s not nice enough to justify the song’s 8 and a half-minute run time.
I Want To Be Free (That’s The Truth) – This was the second single released from Shorty the Pimp. Too Short is notoriously known for his abundance of misogyny, but he has always managed to include a bit of substance on his each of his albums. On this one Short addresses the timeless issue of the volatile relationship between young black men and law enforcement. Ant’s always bass heavy backdrop, sounds solid behind Too Short conscious rhymes (now there’s an adjective you’ve probably never heard to describe Too Short rhymes).
Hoochie – This was terrible. Short dives deeper into his misogynistic rhyme book, while DeWayne Wiggins (from Tony! Toni! Tone!) gets the production credit and sings the godawful hook. Everything about this was bad.
Step Daddy – SD uses this one to discuss his bangin’ out of random baby mamma’s when their man is not around. Yes. It’s very corny. Ant Banks’ instrumental deviates away from his signature funky bass line driven formula and goes for a more traditional nineties west coast sound. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
It Don’t Stop – Too Short takes a, um, short break from his misogyny to break off the sucka emcees. Unfortunately, neither his rhymes or his generic backdrop get the job done.
So You Want To Be A Gangster – This was on the Juice Soundtrack that I reviewed a few months ago. You can read my thoughts on it here.
Something To Ride To – This is another instrumental that I looped from tape to tape for my boys and I to spit over back in the day. Ant Banks and Short are credited for the funky instrumental. Short invites Ant Banks, his copy cat protégé, Pooh Man, and Mhisani to each spit a verse during this cipher session. No, you won’t hear superb lyricism on this record, but all 4 Dangerous crew members sound like their having fun, which radiates to the listener and makes for an enjoyable listen. After a short rank session by one of Short’s uncredited crew members (which will make you chuckle, at least the first time you listen to it) the instrumental plays on for an additional 5 minutes, pushing the song’s total run time to a few second short of 12 minutes (which made the whole tape to tape looping process easier for me), so feel free to use the extended ending instrumental to brush up on your freestyle.
Extra Dangerous Thanks – Over a funky Too Short produced instrumental, that sounds slightly similar to the Too Short/Ant Banks produced instrumental on the previous song, Short gives his parting shoutouts. After shouting out his mom, Short strangely gives a shoutout to an Art Brooks, which is followed by “whoever the fuck that is”. Was he running through his list of people to shoutout and when he saw the name he completely forgot who Art Brooks was? Or is that his absentee dad (which would make sense, being he’s mentioned right after his mother) that he only mentioned as a shot at him? Whatever the case, it was good for a quick chuckle.
Too Short does what he does best on Shorty The Pimp: funk beats, with a sprinkle of boastful and conscious rhymes mixed into oodles of misogyny. As long as you don’t take his rhymes too serious, Short Dog’s content is comical and entertaining, even if it does become a bit repetitive and juvenile at times. My biggest issue with Shorty The Pimp is the lackluster production. While I’m a fan of some of the production work Ant Banks has done for other artist (i.e. Pooh Man and Spice 1), he misses just as often as he hits on Shorty The Pimp. Which must have rubbed off on Short Dog, as even his funk beats sound less intriguing this time around.