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Thursday, October 24, 2013

From '93 Til: Revisiting Too $hort's Get In Where You Fit In

Posted By on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM


[You could argue that 1993 was the most formative period for West Coast rap music, especially when it came to the Bay Area. Definitive lists and superlatives aside, we're just gonna take you on a trip. Every week, From '93 Til will dig up something that came out of the Bay Area roughly around the same time, 20 years ago.]

Eight albums and 11 years into his career, Todd Shaw was just getting warmed up. Life is...Too $hort and Short Dog's in the House stormed Billboard charts in the late '80s and landed $hort his first platinum records for Jive, which was catching fire with hip-hop and R&B in '93. Too $hort was the label's illicit East Oakland ambassador, championing dirty raps and signature Oakland funk with the help of collaborators such as Ant Banks, P Funk, G Koop, and the Dangerous Crew. The third of a string of platinum records, Get In Where You Fit In dropped October 26, 1993.

The album is true to $hort's formula, whose mission statement could be summed up by the alternating commentary of album cuts like "Money in the Ghetto" and "I'm a Player." One of the best tracks on Get In Where You Fit In, though, is "Just Another Day." With a beat by Swedish-born L.A. DJ, producer, and filmmaker QDIII (a.k.a. Quincy Jones III), "Just Another Day" is a definitive nod to $hort's fellow West Coast early-'90s innovators. Ringing of both Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride" and even more so Ice Cube's "It Was A Good Day" (which both came out in '92), the song follows $hort waking up in Vacaville, cruising down I-80 smoking strong, and hitting the Golden State game before flying out to Atlanta for Freaknik. In $hort's version, the Supersonics get beat by Warriors instead of Ice Cube's Lakers -- then he goes over to Gary Payton's house to play NBA Jam. It's just another day in Oakland.

The other very well-known slice of Get In is "Blowjob Betty," which, in addition to being in $hort's upper echelon of dirty raps, probably lived on longer than most of his other songs because of it's sampleability. You'll recognize it as soon as you hear $hort say "she's the kinda girl that make ya toes pop," a line which, in hook form, saw maybe more total plays over the last 10 years than the original ever did, as part of the wildly popular beat for Shawnna's 2006 single "Gettin' Some." But back in 1993, $hort was solidifying his image as rap's unrepentant Iceberg Slim, bearing the torch for the pimp icon who had passed in 1992. And it's worth nothing the overlap: Slim was one of the first to bring pimp culture to mainstream audiences with his autobiography Pimp in 1967, the year after $hort was born.

-- @WillkButler

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