This is the story of my very first album, the one CD that lead to all the others, the musical masterpiece that opened my eyes and delivered my naive 8 year old self to the infinite delicacies of music. This musical chef d’oeuvre is no other than ‘$hort Dogs In The House‘ by hip-hip porn-gangsta Too $hort.
I was indeed very naive at the time but couldn’t of cared less. I have memory flashes as if it were yesterday. Me, my brother and my mom had gone shopping for clothes in some shopping mall in Walnut Creek, California. I had probably complained all morning about the whole idea of tearing me away from ‘Duck Hunt’ while I was clearly on the brink of showing those agglomerated piles of pixels who’s boss, just to buy me useless pieces of cloth that I would end up smudging in some pile of mud the same day anyways.
Leaving the GAP store, my hopes were back on track – I was freed from my daily labor and headed towards the safety of home and the pleasures of my NES. On the way out of the mall, my brother, 3 years my elder, had insisted we stop by Tower Records so he could buy the latest Bel Biv Devoe or something. I was shocked and appalled. He was making me loose precious minutes of duck slaughter just to go buy useless music. Everything besides killing ducks was useless to me that day anyways. I resigned my screeching and screaming after a couple of minutes and entered what was to become my Alibaba’s Cavern shortly after.
Since my brother was getting something it was only natural that I too would get something. That was the price my mother had to pay to keep my wrath under control.
‘$hort Dogs In The House’ is what I chose.
Since my bro was opting for a CD where the cover portrayed three black dudes dressed like clowns from outer-space, I just had to get something more poignant, underground and aggressive. I came across Too $hort’s section (actually don’t even know if he had a complete section, probably just in the ‘T’s) and knew right away that ‘$hort Dogs In The House’ was it. You see, at the time I had a labrador named Balthazar and I absolutely loved dogs (still do as you can see with all the doggy references on this blog). This album matched my expectations perfectly as I was convinced this Too Short fellow loved dogs too.
I like to think it was jealousy, but my brother wasn’t happy about my choice. He urged my mom to get me something else, saying that the explicit lyrics weren’t suitable for an 8 year old. This obviously started a fight as I was certain my brother was yet again out to get me for no reason, like he always was when we were kids.
My mom was clearly as naive as I was.
‘$hort Dogs In The House’ is an ode to macho-gangsta-femdom kamasutra. And I loved it. My eyes were on the cover’s dog and my ears were relinquishing Todd Anthony Shaw’s (aka Too $hort) lyrical spittin’. I didn’t understand a single word but I was learning them. I didn’t get why he was wearing over sized golden necklaces but I was freestylin’ wearing my grand ma’s.
Have a listen to what paved the road to my love for music:
Invasion Of The Flat Booty Bitches by Too $hort
Dogs and brotherly controversy weren’t the only reason I got into old school rap. I loved the funk inflicted beats the Dj’s would come up with, and the steady straight forward flows the MC’s rapped to. I remember listening to NWA, Easy-E, The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grand Master Flash, D-Nice, LL Cool J and many others hours on end. At the time hip-hop wasn’t all about synthesizers and minimalistic beats, I was about groove and rhythm.
Now, do I recommend ‘$hort Dogs In The House’?. Tough one. If you want to hear what sexual debauchery sounds like, then yes, listen to this album. If you want to learn how to please a woman in bed, you can always pick-up some pretty cool tips I suppose. If you want to cruise in a Cadillac through Oakland listening to loud music and earn respect from some 40-somethings, then yes get a hold of this album. If you just want to chill to some good honest old school back to back funk infused beats and some genuine rappin’, then yes listen to this album. If you can manage to not intently analyze the lyrics, ‘$hort Dogs In The House’ is a very pleasant rap album that deserves a limited, yet appreciated listen.