Too Short – Life Is…Too Short

Too Short released his second studio album “Life Is…Too Short” on January 31 1988.  It was produced by Too Short, R. Austin, T. Bohanon and Al Eaton and released on Dangerous Music/RCA Records and later on Jive/RCA Records.

Too Short made a splash with “Born to Mack” and had people everywhere wondering what was next for the Oakland MC.  Being that it was the MTV era, we still hadn’t seen a video of Short Dog yet.  We got hit with the title track first, and from there it didn’t let go!

Using a dope sample of  Average White Band’sSchool Boy Crush” (the same Eric B & Rakim used for “Microphone Fiend“), Short goes to work with above all else, a positive message to deliver.  “Life is too short, so we need to make the most of it” is the message.  It was our glimpse of Too Short on video and has him rapping fro the riverbed and at a cemetery.  This is definitely one of Short’s most memorable tracks! Did I mention there are no curse words on this track?  Really!

I remember how it all began
I used to sing dirty raps to my Eastside fans
Back then, I knew you couldn’t stop this rap
No M.C. could rock like that
Then the new style came, the bass got deeper
You gave up the mic and bought you a beeper
Do you wanna rap or sell coke?
Brothers like you ain’t never broke
People wanna say it’s just my time
Brothers like me had to work for mine
Eight years on the mic and I’m not jokin’
Sir Too Short comin’ straight from Oakland
California, home of the rock
Eight woofers in the trunk, beatin’ down the block
Short Dog, I’m that rappin’ man
I said it before and I ‘ll say it again

Talking about cuss words, Short get’s nasty on his infamous track, “Cusswords“.  The song has no hook or bridge, just Too Short rapping until the song ends.  The track is slow and funky and goes perfectly with Short Dogs slow flow.  He even goes to the White House and gives then president Ronald Reagan a lesson or two.

Ronald Reagan came up to me and said, “Do you have the answer
To the U.S. economy and a cure for cancer?”
I said, “What are you doing in the White House if you’re not selling cocaine?
Ask your wife, Nancy Reagan, I know she’ll spit that game
Like one night, she came to my house, and gave me a blow job
She licked my dick, up and down, like it was corn on the cob”
What is life? Life is Too $hort
I play young bitches like it’s a sport

On “Don’t Fight The Feeling“, he gets joined by Danger Zone & Rappin’ 4-Tay for an 8 minute banger that will have you pushing the volume past 10.  The track samples “Don’t Fight The Feeling” by One Way, and it was the first time a west coast artist had sampled that track.  Trying to imagine Big Daddy Kane or Rakim trying to flow on this track sounds impossible.  This track was made for the west!

I saw you walking down the street, and I had to stop
Turn up the radio and drop the top
I see you look so good, and you’re so fine
Young tender, would you be mine
I get you in my car, drive you to my house
Cuz I’m a mack, I cold turn you out
I won’t ask, and I sure won’t beg
Reach right over and rub your leg
I let my hand slide between your miniskirt
Slip a finger in your panties, straight go to work
What time is it? Don’t watch the clock
Lay back baby doll and I’ll rock the cock
Funky Fresh I am, and I always can, Freak Nasty
I’m the man
I take you out to the finest restaurant
Buy you any damn thing that you want
You want flowers? I’ll buy your ass a rose
But later on you’re coming off with them pantyhose
You want gold, girl what’s next
Its me and you, doing the sex
So now you know I’m just a freak
Give it up baby, I can’t wait two weeks
I want it all, Don’t say I won’t
Get it girl, now I’m telling you don’t

I Ain’t Trippin” is that track that will have you turning up the bass to hear that deep bass pound on your back while you’re driving down the 880 freeway.  The song is another one of those bangers that you will put in your Top 10 Too Short tracks of all time.  Mark Curry makes a special appearance in the video, way before his “Hanging with Mr Cooper” days!

I was told not long ago
“Too $hort don’t stop that rap!’
Now every time I grab the mic
I rock it just like that
8 years ago when I started my rap
I used to sell tapes everywhere
It was me and my homeboy Freddy B, y’all
Kickin’ it like big players
Everybody loved my raps like 100 dollar bills
I rocked house parties on 98th
Even rocked in the 6-9 ‘ville
Might find me on the mic at “Hot Lips” house
Or at the East Bay Dragons’ Spot
All the 8-5 boys with their hands in the air
Screaming “Too $hort just don’t stop!’
Like Arroyo Park, like Plymouth Rock
Birch Street and Sunnyside
Like Sobrante Park and Brookfield
East Oakland, yeah, that’s right
5 years ago I continued to rock
And if you haven’t yet heard my name
It was all in the papers, on the evening news
I was stone cold in the game
Around that time a friend of mine
My homeboy Lionel B hooked me up like this, y’all
On the stage just rockin’ the beat
Some say I have a dirty mind
Sometimes that might be true
But these are just some dirty times
I ain’t trippin’ on you…

After a couple of spins, you start to figure out that this album is a sure classic.  “City of Dope” and “Nobody Does It Better” round up the album and you know this is one album that any Hip Hop fan can enjoy and respect.  Even if you’re from New York, Texas or Florida, you know this is a classic LP that will live in infamy.  Since I’m from Los Angeles and have been a fan of Short Dog from the get-go, I knew this album was better than his first and until “Get In Where You Fit In” did I get to see another classic as this album.  Now, don’t get me wrong, all his albums are bangers but this one has a special place in my heart.  I was 17 at the time, and pimp rhymes where gold to m ears!

-Al E.


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