Too $hort Talks 2 Chainz, Drake’s “Motto” Video and Bay Area Influence on Hip-Hop
Earlier this month, rapper 2 Chainz referred to Bay Area rapper Too $hort as a “father figure” on a verse off Rick Ross’ Rich Forever mixtape. “Dad wasn’t around/ My father figure was Too $hort,” the Atlanta rapper spits on Rozay’s “Fuck ‘Em” track. Now, the legendary spitter tells XXL he was inspired by the shout-out to reach out to the man formerly known as Tity Boi for a future collaboration.
“The funny thing is, I didn’t hear the song before I heard the line,” $hort says when asked about his reaction to the 2 Chainz verse. “It started blowing up [on] Twitter and the first thing I saw was people hitting it going, ‘I love 2 Chainz for saying Too $hort is his father figure ‘cause Too $hort is my father figure, too!’”
“A lot of grown men never even knew their fathers,” he continues. “I never looked at it like that.”
Thus, the rhymeslinger says he reached out to 2 Chainz for a potential “visual” collabo to accompany the track, tossing a nod to Chainz for setting the tone to become a legend in the future himself. “He might not know this right now, but all that game he spittin’, 2 Chainz, he’s raisin’ a whole generation too,” $hort says. “He gon’ be Too $hort 20 years from now.”
While 2 Chainz name-dropped $hort Dawg on the track, another well-known rapper recently paid homage to the entire Bay Area. Drake’s “The Motto” video was shot in Too $hort’s hometown, a move which $hort credits to Drizzy’s respect for Bay Area music.
“[Drake’s] probably been to some clubs in the Bay and heard that sound,” he explains. “If you’re an out-of-towner and you hear it, it’s like, ‘Wow, I like this shit!’ It’s like when you go down south and you’re not from the south, you’re like, ‘Wow, I got a good vibe. I’m going home to make some music that sounds like that!’ You just wanna dabble in it a little bit. So I figure folks wanna dabble in a little bit. In my opinion, the Bay is a trendsetting area.”
And, although some viewers expressed confusion about Drake featuring the late Oakland rapper, Mac Dre’s mother in the clip, Too $hort commends the Take Care MC for the move.
“[Mac Dre] is an icon,” he shares. “In the Bay, they celebrate his birthday. They mourn on the day he died. It’s like a big deal every year. So, I know where [Drake] got his knowledge from as to how to approach it. It had to come from DJ Franzen.
“When you come to the Bay, we always had this slick talk,” he continues, further explaining the Bay sound.“E-40 made it real famous. We make up words. We talk real funny. When you hang around a bunch of Bay cats, you’re like, ‘You guys are funny.’ But that’s our way. This is the biggest misconception about the Bay – people think that we’re LA… Very different stuff. LA has its swag.”
So different that the Bay has become a “major city” in terms of finding rap talent and succeeding as a rapper, Too $hort says.
“It’s one of those areas as New York is,” he says. “We really don’t need outsiders. You can be in the Bay and sell 10,000 copies of independent records and make 50 grand and that’s your job for the year. The shows you do off of that and them 10,000 sales is gonna feed you and your homies. Wow, imagine that!” —Shamecca Harris