Too Short retired in 1996. For a retired man he sure is busy. The rapper who hails from East Oakland and admittedly sold ‘Coca Cola,’ in the parking lot before A’s games, has come a long way. The 45-year-old rapper sold out four shows in two nights at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco.
Too Short brought a five piece band with him. The new live band approach to rap acts adds a different dimension and turns what could be mediocre performances into good one’s. This may have been the case at Yoshi’s. He was at the tail end of a four show two night stint and the band members were front and center. Guitar riffs and keyboard solos were plentiful and Too Short left the stage multiple times during the 90 minute set.
When the legendary emcee was on stage there was no competition. Too Short out shined every one of his band mates. Although many today know him for “Blow The Whistle,” and his most recent collaboration with 50 Cent and E-40 “Trick,” his material spans decades. His most popular songs, and most memorable music, came from the late eighties. The beginning of his set focused mostly on hits from ‘88 and ‘89.
While audience members up front, who looked to be a little older, were screaming every word of every song, a few younger fans were waiting for the new stuff. The only common thread was bobbing heads. There’s no question all of his songs are catchy, and even though Too Short is older, he can still spit with the best of them.
As Too Short prompted the crowd with “What’s my favorite word?” The beginning notes of “Trick,” were struck. While folks in the mid west might cringe at the answer to that question (Short’s favorite word is bitch, of course.) The audience ate it up. The song began and the crowd went into a frenzy.
Not many artists can get an audience to go crazy like Too Short can. With a few notes he can take a dead silent room and turn it into an unforgettable party. “Blow The Whistle,” is Too Short’s ace in the hole. When the sound of a whistle could be heard from the back of the room, a fan had brought his own whistle to help the band, Too Short couldn’t help but smile.