It’s been almost 20 years since Too $hort put Oakland, Calif., on the hip-hop map with his raw unadulterated pimping. After 15 albums and a three-year hiatus, the vet returns with Blow the Whistle, a welcome addition to his massive catalog. Splitting production duties equally between Lil Jon and Jazze Pha, $hort Dawg tailors his latest disc more toward the South than the Cali funk that made him famous. Don’t get it twisted, though, he’s still spittin’ that good game.
Playas in training can take note of the flute-laced ode to fellatio, “Nothing Feels Better,” where he brags, “I used to go to L.A. and get sucked by Superhead/When you was just a kid getting sent straight to bed.” Similar mack tutorials are delivered on the brothel-o-bitches banger “16 Hoes” and the Pimp C– and Rick Ross–assisted “Money Maker.” But it’s misogynistic lyrics on songs like the R&B-backed “It’s Time to Go” that are sure to inspire feminists to burn their Vickie’s in protest (“You came to my house with a maxi pad/Bitch, you going home in a taxi cab”).
While there aren’t any socially aware cuts the caliber of “I Want to Be Free (That’s the Truth)” or “The Ghetto,” $hort does offer some food for thought with “Pimpin’ Forever,” where he details the pitfalls that lead some women to prostitution. Although the nice-guy routine ends there, it’s good to hear the notorious pimp adding a new layer to his game. $hort says it best on the grown-woman anthem “Sophisticated.” With Jazze flippin’ Cameo’s “Single Life” for the hook, Dawg fires back at critics with, “Y’all thought I was just about pimpin’/Foulmouth mack that talk bad about women/I guess you really ain’t pay attention.” Ain’t that a biyaaatch. —BRANDEN J. PETERS