Too $hort, The Early Years

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 05.22.11 in Reviews

“I get on the mic and I don’t stop rappin,’” Oakland’s Too $hort proclaimed on his low-tech, hyper-local 1985 debut cassette, and nearly 30 years later, he’s outlasted anyone who wanted to get on after him. The long-tail approach has served him well — anyone who tries to distribute their raps independently is nodding in the general direction of the teenage $hort, famous for getting his start by making custom tapes for his classmates and hawking his wares out of his trunk. His unrepentantly graphic tail-chasing makes him a pioneer as well, though this aspect of the persona only seems more regrettable as the years mount.