In true battle rap tradition the cover of Too $hort'
s classic late eighties album Life Is…Too $hort
shows the Oakland rapper, in a now iconic photo by Oakland photographer Victor Hall
, triumphantly posing over the headstone of one of his fictitious fallen rap rivals "Sucker MC John Doe
" who was "Born on Stage" and "Died on Wax. Rest In Peace
." The ten track album was originally released 26 years ago and, of the close to twenty albums that the prolific, pioneering Oakland rapper born (in LA) Todd Shaw
has put out over an illustrious career that dates back to the early eighties and continues up to this day, Life Is...Too Short
(along with Born To Mack
), remains among the most popular Too $hort
albums with diehard fans who identify with the artist's notorious player/mack persona.
Released in January 1988 when he was already "Eight years on the mic and I'm not joking. Sir Too Short coming straight from Oakland
," Life Is...Too Short
was the rapper's fifth album and his second for Jive Records - co-released and first released via the East Bay indie Dangerous Music
. Over rumbling bass-lines and predominantly slowed down BPM booming tracks, mostly produced by Al Eaton
at his now legendary East Bay One Little Indian Studios
, Life is.....
offered up plenty of $hort Dog's trademark "nasty raps" to satisfy fans of his Richard Pryor
inspired sexually explicit rhymes that were personified by the previous album's (Born To Mack
) underground hit "Freaky Tales." $hort continued that theme on such tracks as "Pimp Tha Hoe," the sexually charged "Don't Fight The Feeling" (that, along with the Dangerous Crew compilation - also via Dangerous Music - introduced the rap world to a pre "Players Club" Rappin' 4-Tay
), and the self-explanatory "Cuss Words" which, not surprisingly, offered a non-stop barrage of cuss word tales of naughty nastiness that began with $hort rapping, "To all you bitches, hoes, and all that shit. Here's another rap that I'm ready to spit. It goes like this, my name is $hort. I'm tearin shit up like never before Pimp slaps, makin snaps. Cold cash money and Too $hort raps
." The song, which shocked parent groups at the time, went on to include $hort threatening to "fuck your wife
" with the "your
" being anyone who crossed his path.