Über Too Short
A hip-hop pioneer and living legend, Too Short (aka Todd Shaw) practically invented West Coast rap. He began his career slinging tapes out of his car in the early 1980s in Oakland, Calif. Merging pimp game philosophies, thick funk, and hardcore tales of freaky sexcapades, his music was made for players, macks, and gangsters -- of which Oaktown had no shortage. His following grew quickly: at one point he reportedly sold 15,000 tapes in a week. After cutting three records on a small label, Too Short released Born To Mack in 1986, which featured one of his biggest hits, "Freaky Tales," and expanded his already sizable fan base. His success continued throughout the '90s, and in 1996, after more than a dozen years in the game, he announced his retirement. Three years later, to the delight of his devoted following, he returned with Can't Stay Away. Too Short remains a hugely successful and influential figure in the industry, with frequent cameos on records by everyone from Biggie and Jay-Z to E-40 and Scarface. Very few artists approach his longevity; fewer have done so without compromising their style. After nearly twenty years and over ten albums (seven platinum), Too Short is still the Mack.