Shorty The Pimp

Shorty The Pimp

By 1992, Todd Shaw had already been releasing rap albums for nine years — he had seen trends rise and fall, all the while sticking to his self-made brand of laconic, bass-heavy street rap. While Too $hort showed no signed of abandoning his original vision, Shorty the Pimp is nonetheless an important point of development for the rapper. It was the first album on which he collaborated with Ant Banks, the Oakland-based producer who would become $hort’s most trusted ally in the years to follow. Banks had an instinctual understanding of $hort’s sound, emphasizing its essential components and bringing a leaned-back rhythm and extra-heavy, naturalistic bass thump to “I Ain’t Nothin’ But a Dog,” “I Want to Be Free (That’s the Truth)” and “So You Want to Be a Gangster.” $hort handled the rest of the tracks himself, including the autobiographical “In the Trunk,” arguably his most anthemic song since “Life Is… Too $hort.” Additional support appears in the form of the Dangerous Crew, $hort’s hand-picked posse of Oakland rappers who trade verses on the extended jam “Something to Ride To.”

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