Born: April 28, 1966
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Todd Anthony Shaw aka Too Short (stylized as Too $hort), is an American rapper, record producer, and actor. He is best known for his hit songs, such as "The Ghetto" and "Blow the Whistle".
Too Short is credited as being one of the pioneer rappers of West Coast hip hop. He first began recording in 1985, becoming one of Oakland's better known underground emcees, before he signed a deal with Jive Records in 1987, releasing his mainstream debut album Born to Mack. He experienced his first widespread success with his 1989 follow-up album Life Is...Too Short, and remained one of the most popular rappers into the 1990s. His rap lyrics are primarily about pimping, drug use, surviving and promiscuity.
In the mid-1980s, Shaw produced custom songs (called "special requests") for people with a high school friend, Freddy B. On October 24, 1983, Too Short had his first release, Don't Stop Rappin' which, along with the following three releases, featured raw, simple drum beats from a LinnDrum drum machine. This was also one of the first hip hop records to use the word "bitch" - a word which became one of the rapper's trademarks and was the focus of subsequent raps such as Ain't Nothin' but a Word to Me."
In the early 1990s his beats came from mostly a TR-808 and from mid-to-late 2000s, a TR-909 was used. In 1985, Too Short and Freddie B. formed the label Dangerous Music to regionally distribute his music, and with others formed rap group The Dangerous Crew. Dangerous Music became Short Records, and then Up All Nite Records. With his 1989 release, Life Is...Too Short, he began using 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, and Pimp C. One of his notable collaborations during this period was on the track "The World Is Filled..." on the classic Notorious B.I.G. album Life After Death; he comes in on the third verse after Diddy and Biggie. Being featured on the album introduced him to a wider audience as well, due to his typical style contrasting greatly with the Mafioso theme of the album. He also appeared on TWDY's hit single "Player's Holiday" from their 1999 debut album Derty Werk as well as the Priority Records compilation Nuthin but a Gangsta Party. 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 Short 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 Short 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 200, but they didn't do quite as well as Too Short's earlier 1990s releases as none of them reached the top 10.
Too Short runs his own record label—Up All Nite Records. Artists on the label include The Pack, Dolla Will, Boo Ski, Li'l J & Boi Payton, FX. In addition to creating Up All Nite Records, Too Short has been a mentor at Youth UpRising, a group serving at-risk youths for several years.
Too Short played the role of Lew-Loc in the film Menace II Society. Too Short has also worked in the adult film industry, with the 2003 film Get In Where You Fit In. Too Short was an interviewee in American Pimp. Too Short starred in and performed the music for America's Sexiest Girls 2003. Too Short has also appeared in an episode of The Game. Too Short made a cameo appearance in Jay-Z's video for the hit single Big Pimpin'. Too Short was in VH1's Rock Doc, "Planet Rock". Too Short made a cameo in the feature film Stop Pepper Palmer with Scott Schwartz. Too Short released two straight-to-DVD films as well, 2001's Too Short Uncensored, produced by Jarrod Donoman and Terrell Taylor, the DVD Live Nationwide, and 2003's Too Short Presents....Titty City again produced by Taylor & partner Co Garrett. Source.