Legendary Hip Hop Rap Icon Too Short ...     

Too Short
Interviewed and written by Dave Frank
4/5/2006 5:38:43 AM
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Legendary Hip Hop Rap Icon Too Short Talks
Oakland rap legend Too Short speaks to RNN about his last solo release and new projects he is involved with.
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Pimpin' Inc. (2006)
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RNN: Was there anyone maybe a family member who first encouraged you to start using your rap skills when you were young?

Nah man, I think I just started rapping because I was just starting to enter 10th grade in the summer time and rap music was a new thing. All my childhood of learning how to play instruments in the school and marching band, I knew I could do this. As a drummer I immediately challenged myself to try it. The first little raps that I did, people liked them so I just kept doing em.

RNN: Who did you admire when you were young and just starting to rap?

Rappers, when I was first starting out I would have to say Melly Mel. I think my favorite rappers when I was first absorbing hip hop was Melly Mel from the Furious 5 and no doubt he was very influential on the type of rapper I wanted to be.

RNN: Any non rappers you looked up to?

Oh deffinately. I come from the 70’s with the funk. That’s what I grew up on as a kid. Before rap music I was in love with the funk. Ohio Players Cameo, (?) Funkadelic, it was my world at the time.

RNN: Was it your parents who exposed you to the funk music in your house growing up?

Actually in my world, I was always on my own page as far as getting music. I was a child who purchased music out of record stores at a very, very young age. I would go purchase every record that I thought I liked. The same money that someone else would be buying candy with, I would spend on a 45. Back then a record was probably didn’t even cost a dollar.

RNN: The album “Gangsters and Strippers” is a CD/DVD combo which features a group called “The Up All Night Crew”. Explain who the “Up All Night Crew” is.

Some of the guys are rappers from groups that I was doing stuff with previously around 1998-2000 with a label called Short Records. And then some of them are new guys that just joined on to the crew since we up-started everything again in this last year. I was taking some down-time on the whole production/label thing because I felt like I needed to regroup before I started an independent label, which was what I truly always wanted to be was an independent label. (I felt ) I should do a little bit of homework and come back the way I really wanted to come back instead of what I was doing before which was just thinking that you had to goto a major label and you get the hook up. They put the records out for you. It was more of a dependency thing than I needed or should have even been try to do like them deals with the major labels. Where I come from, the independent atmosphere. I got with the new guys and put a little crew together early 2005 and we sat in the studio since January and kept recording music all year and now there is a super extensive library of good music. We got producers in the click, singers, musicians. We just sat in there and made a lot of music. To this day, we are still in there each week adding to the extensive library. With this independent label we are going to break a few groups but we are going to consistently put out records as our crew. A crew might put out an album once a year, just like any other group. But I’m gonna put them out like every 2 or 3 months. And I’m not pushing for these albums to go platinum or anything, this is strictly independent, underground music. We are going to put the ads out there, shoot the video and all but after a while people are gonna catch on. People are gonna say, “Damn they keep putting it out and it sounds damn good.” I’m not going to try to hypnotize you with a million dollar marketing campaign where it seems like you are being brainwashed to go get it. We are gonna do a nice decent push of the singles, videos, and albums. I like some of the new cats out there like Young Jeezey with his underground mixtape
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