“NPR Music’s Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month with Tiny Desk (home) concerts featuring legends in the world of R&B, jazz, gospel, and hip-hop. Each artist in this legacy lineup has helped to define Black music as we know it and will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time.

LaTesha Harris | February 17, 2022
In his Tiny Desk (home) concert, Too $hort asks: “How many artists you know that got relevant records in five decades?” The Oakland rapper answers by performing seven songs from his own discography, showcasing his extensive (yet still underrated) contributions to the growth of hip-hop on the West Coast. The expedition opens on a quiet, reflective note with a performance of $hort’s influential 1990 single “The Ghetto” before roaring to life with 1988’s “Life Is… Too $hort.” From his spot in downtown LA, BoomBox Studios, $hort delivers a dynamic, funk-laden performance, seamlessly cycling through scenes of women-chasing debauchery and politically-minded meditation.

Of course, Too $hort’s set list shows off the development of his sound, but it also underscores hip-hop’s evolution from a socially polarizing genre to a touchstone of cultural capital. Combined with an enthralling presence of persona, $hort’s jaw-dropping lyrics and minimal delivery influenced West Coast peers, like Snoop Dogg and Lil B, and beyond, like Lil Jon and UGK; his career, one of moving cassettes with local independent success to moving multiple platinum albums with national acclaim, established the Bay Area as a credible rapping hotspot, pushing the boundaries of hip-hop. Too $hort honors this history by shouting out his many collaborators over the years and sharing his legacy as a hip-hop titan with a spirited group of musicians – notably Curtis Crump Jr. and Techdizzle who steal the show with, respectively, their sax and drum work on “Gettin’ It” and “Blow The Whistle.” It’s a monumental moment for the Tiny Desk, and for those wondering, there’s more than enough of Too $hort’s favorite word to celebrate with.”



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