"I'm kinda like taking the Too $hort persona and putting my own stamp on it," says Oakland-based rapper Beeda Weeda about his upcoming project. Titled Bass Rock Babies, the album is co-signed by $hort Dog, who contributes guest raps and has allowed Beeda to recreate classic videos of his to promote the project. In the run up to that album's March release date, Beeda dropped the freebie Bass Rock Babies: The Leak mixtape last week. So in the interests of paying deference to the Bay Area's hip-hop pioneer, we asked Beeda to run through his five favorite Too $hort tracks.
5. "Girl (Cocaine)" (1985)
With this song it's just that beat! It's something special about it; I redid this song for my own project, with the same exact beat. When I first heard this ... I was probably like two or three years old, but my cousins used to have tapes and I used to steal tapes and get ass-whoopings for stealing their tapes! Then later I'd take them to elementary school and my grandfather found out and I got an ass-whooping for it!
4. "Playboy Short" (1985)
I just love that beat. I actually sampled that beat and it's going to be one of the first singles off the project called "It's All About Me." I actually have Too $hort on the hook for that. It's a long song, like nine minutes long! I actually made a song about 10 minutes long for my project, to be longer than it.
3. "I'm A Player" (1993)
I like this song because that was my theme song! That's just how I feel, that's just how it is. Every cat that feels like he's a player, that's like their opening theme song. It's that first rhyme, those opening bars when he first comes on that makes it like the anthem. [Raps] "You see I made up my mind when I was 17/ I ain't with no marriage and a wedding ring/ I be a player fo' life, so where's my wife?/ Probably at the rehab stuck on the pipe/ 'Cause she must be smoking and I'm not joking/ Too $hort baby coming straight from Oakland!"
2. "Burn Rubber" (2004)
That was to me a form of the new version of "Freaky Tales." It's basically like the sound I'm trying to create, so it's still the Bay, but it's updated while still keeping that classic authentic West Coast feel to it. Was I surprised that Lil Jon produced it? Actually, I was told the other day it was this Russian cat that produced that, I don't think it was Lil Jon. He did "Shake That Monkey." [Note: The credits to "Burn Rubber" list Lil Jon as the song's producer.]
1. "Freaky Tales" (1988)
That's like the sound as far as the production on that song. That's like the bass and the whole Bay Area sound. It's our sound. That song shaped our sound. At that time East Coast had they hip-hop scene and how they make beats and sound. Actually, I asked Too $hort what inspired that sound and he said he wanted to make beats that sounded like George Clinton and Parliament and he wanted to rap like that. So that song was the beginning of it all.