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Todd Anthony Shaw (born April 28, 1966), better known by the stage name Too $hort, is an American rapper who started his career at the age of fourteen in East Oakland, Oakland, California. Too $hort has sold about 11 million albums in the US alone with 18 albums released and an average of 600,000 copies per album.
In 1985, Too $hort released his first album, “Don’t Stop Rappin’,” on the local label 75 Girls. In With his 1988 release, “Life Is…Too Short,” he began infusing replayed established funk riffs (rather than samples) with his beats. Subsequent work was primarily collaborative, including work with Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Scarface, UGK, Jay-Z, E-40, Snoop Dogg, and Diddy.
After these appearances, he began working on his eleventh album, “Can’t Stay Away.” The album included guest appearances by 8Ball & MJG, Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Sean Combs, E-40, Daz Dillinger, Lil’ Jon, Soopafly, Scarface and B-Legit.
Too $hort relocated to Atlanta in 1994, but he did not begin working with a more diverse variety of Southern artists until 2000, when he collaborated with Lil Jon. With the 1999 release of “Can’t Stay Away,” Too $hort fully came out of retirement and released a number of new albums within the next few years, most of them taking on a crunk or Dirty South type sound, as he had become involved in the Southern rap scene. However, he didn’t totally give up on his trademark funk grooves or sexually explicit style. New albums released 2000-2003 were “You Nasty” (2000), “Chase the Cat” (2001), “What’s My Favorite Word?” (2002), and “Married to the Game” (2003). These albums all charted fairly well, as they all were in the top 71 of the Billboard Hot 200, but they didn’t do quite as well as Too $hort’s earlier 1990s releases as none of them reached the top 10.
For his next album, 2006’s “Blow the Whistle,” Too $hort now took advantage of the new hyphy rap music that was emerging out of his original home base in Oakland. This saw somewhat of a resurgence for Too $hort as it peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 200, much better than each of his previous three releases.
On October 7, 2008 Too $hort was honored by VH1 at the fifth annual “Hip-Hop Honors” along with Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Slick Rick and Naughty By Nature.