Oakland, California legend Too Short detailed his upcoming collaboration with Lady Gaga yesterday on AxsTV’s “Skee Live” (August 27). While speaking with DJ Skee, Too Short explained that working on House music with DJ White Shadow, one of Gaga’s producers, led to the alliance with the Pop star.
“That’s kind of how my career was going the whole time,” said the Born To Mack-emcee. “People go, ‘Why is your old-ass always hanging out?’ But a lot of the times when I’m out, somebody will walk up and say, ‘Hey man, I’ll give you [$10,000] if you come and do something next week.’ Networking. I’m doing it for Hip Hop, man. It’s like Hip Hop chose me. 15 years ago I was old. So for the sake of Hip Hop, I’ve had rappers say to me, ‘Guys like you and E-40, y’all should just step down and let us have it.’ I feel like, ‘I hear you, but I don’t feel you because one day, you’re gonna be where I’m at and you’re gonna wish that you could rap at my age.’ The fans will drop you so fast.”
While he says that he has yet to hear the final version of the song, nor knows its title, Too Short described the sound as “kind of gangster” and “not very poppish.”
“I went in the studio and the song was already ready,” Short said, detailing the recording process. “They were like, ‘Here’s your part.’ I sat down and wrote a little something down, did a little something. Got in the [booth], and I walked out and left. I’m the kind of artist to where I don’t care who’s on the show with me tonight. I don’t care what city we’re going to next. You can let me know at any time. I just go. I walked out, I know I left something good behind. I called White Shadow back and said, ‘If you feel like you gotta take me off the song, just give me another shot. Let me put something else on it.’ I didn’t know if it really fit. I guess it worked out.”
When asked by DJ Skee if he can recall how many albums he’s released in his 30-year career, Short said that he “stopped counting after 20,” then explained the irony behind the title of his first release, Don’t Stop Rapping.
“The first time they asked me what I want to name my first album, I said, ‘Don’t Stop Rapping,’” Short said. “The whole significance is that, at that age, I was probably like 18 or 19 [years old] and I intended to never stop rapping on that day. It’s kind of ironic that I still do it now. A lot of the guys that was doing it in my early days aren’t doing it anymore.
“There wasn’t really a dream of fame and money,” he continued, describing how the industry has changed over his career. “Hip Hop was like a dance. It was something you did just around the neighborhood. I look at the game now and it’s really a business. When I was getting it in the early days, it wasn’t that kind of a business to where you could say Rap would be my career. It was just a hobby. I got into the game because of the love of the music and that love never went away. All of the years I was in Oakland. All of the years I was in [Los Angeles]. I love making music.”
Don’t Stop Rapping was released in 1983.