Too Short: Labels Used to Promote Raunchy Rap Over Conscious Message

Short Dog says many major labels had an agenda to endorse explicit hip hop.

Posted: 03/01/2012 11:41 AM EST
Rap, Music News, Hip Hop News, Too Short

Too Short, the West Coast hip hop pioneer known for classics like "Freaky Tales" and "The Ghetto," released his 19th studio album this Tuesday. Reflecting over his 28-year career, Short Dog spoke with HipHopDX about how label pressures influenced his decision to focus on so-called "dirty raps" as opposed to conscious music.

 

"In all of my early albums with Jive [Records], they all had lots of songs that weren’t about sex, that didn’t have curse words in ‘em, and I would pick subjects like crack cocaine, poverty and police harassment and rap about it," Too Short said. 

 

In the late '90s, he said he was asked by Jive president Barry Weiss to do an album that consisted entirely of raunchy material, with the understanding that on the follow-up album he would focus on the conscious side. But after the raunchy album came out, 2000's You Nasty, Too Short said he never got support to record a more enlightened counterpart.

 

"It never got the green light," he said. "Once I did what they wanted, they would never let me do what I wanted."

 

Too Short, an admitted conspiracy theorist, believes there was a concerted effort at this time across major labels to elevate morally questionable content in hip hop while keeping positive artists at bay.

 

"I just feel like there had to be a gathering of the major labels and somebody had to say, like, 'Look, we gotta keep this positive sh*t off the airwaves and let this booty-shaking sh*t take over. It’s time,'" he said. "And after that, it’s like the floodgates just opened with sex and violence."

Read more of Too Short's extensive interview at HipHopDX. His new album, No Trespassing, features appearances by Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, E-40 and more, and is available now on Dangerous Music.

 

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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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