If you want to get back to Cali, bumpin’ some Too Short is a good way to start. Too Short’s beats emulate funk with the laid back West Coast smooth rhymes. Too Short had hit his high peak with Gettin’ It (Album Number Ten), released in 1996 after a string of classic albums, most notably Life is Too $hort from 1988. But his latest effort, What’s My Favorite Word on Jive Records, goes to show he still has some funk and sweet rhymes left in him yet. Too Short, known for his X-rated lyrics and freaky tales, has also sported a social conscience with such tracks such as “Thangs Change” on 1995’s Cocktails. This album does not disappoint the freak, it also does not delve into the depth of the social conscience that promotes and despises Short’s funky funk.
For the most part this album, in typical Short fashion, is a tribute to the pimp and the player, to the West Coast, and interestingly enough, to the woman. It’s also a tribute to, not in typical Too Short freaky style, the strength not of the ho, but of the lady. “I’m nice to the lady but I’m hard on the hoes,” he says on “Lollypops.” He throws out a song, titled “Female Players,” that proclaims his love for the female that can play the field practically better than Short himself.
And his most sensual song, “She Loves Her,” isn’t actually about his own freaky tale, but a love song to lesbian lovers. “Baby girl youse a natural, you can’t hide it/ The way you put your strap on , and let her ride it/ Give her multiple orgasms with vibrator/ All five flavors tasted like life savers/ I know you love her,” he says. Too Short can surprise even his most ardent fans with his open admiration of lesbian love. Although he may not cease to surprise there are still the typical Short lines, like “then I opened up that ass like a can of sauce.”
His most bumpin’ jam is “Cali-O” with E-40 and Ant Banks, a homage to California’s sweet buds. The good old sound of the E-40 bass line it makes any one from California feel juiced: “Out in Cali you got choices, One hit will make you hear angels voices/ Now Mary Jane’s a small town girl, But Cali-O she’s been all around the world/ She’ll make the oldest player go broke/ You don’t hear me though, that Cali-O ain’t no joke.” If you’ve grown up smoking Cali-O, I can guarantee this album will add a funky beat bounce to your step.
The truth of the matter is either you like it and it makes you laugh and the funky beats got you groovin’ your head while you’re smoking a blunt, or you just don’t get Too Short. If that’s the case, I would not suggest that this be the album to open up your Short repertoire. As he says himself: “The name’s Too Short, I’m addictive like Newports.” If you’ve never smoked a Newport, there’s a good chance you’ll fall short of appreciating this album. Too Short tends to be an acquired taste, and as this album is not one of his better, I’d say leave it to the fans.