Bay Area legend Too $hort (real name Todd Shaw) has been a prominent figure in West Coast hip-hop since the late 1980s. Although Los Angeles was the centre of the Californian rap scene during this period, it is impossible to deny the impact the Oakland native had when he first broke into the mainstream.
Although young talent from Long Beach and Los Angeles was the driving force of Death Row in its heyday, since the mid-2000s, lyricists from the Bay Area and Los Angeles have been collaborating more frequently and in 2015, while he was working on his unreleased album Detox, Dr Dre and Too $hort collaborated on a track.
The track, entitled ‘Man’s Best Friend,’ saw the Dre welcome the Oakland artist with open arms. However, in an interview, Too $hort corroborated the stories of many MCs, including Xzibit and Jim Jones, concerning Dr Dre’s perfectionism in the studio.
Speaking to HipHopDX, $hort revealed that Dre made him repeat the word “pussy” for four hours. Recalling the producer’s perfectionism, Shaw detailed, “I did an eight-hour session to record the verse, then I did an eight-hour session to touch up the verse, and then he called me back for four hours just to say ‘the pussy’ for four hours.”
He continued, “And when he played it back, I had no regrets. I never sounded like that in my life, and I only heard it a few times. I never got to hear it that much anymore. Other people told me about it, but it’s just one of those things, man.”
Dre’s Detox album was never released and has yet to see the light of day. Unveiling how much material The Chronic legend had, Shaw disclosed, “It’s in the universe somewhere. It was for Detox, but he also made 200 plus other songs for Detox, no shit.”
According to Too $hort, he received some advice from Snoop Dogg before linking up with Dr Dre for the first time. Expressing his experiences before entering the studio with the Death Row co-founder, Shaw explained, “People kept saying, ‘It’s hard to work with Dre. It’s hard to work with Dre.’ Then I talked to Snoop, and he said, ‘Most motherfuckers can’t hang with Dr. Dre in the studio. He’ll break you down to your least compound and just shrivel you up, and you just walk out of there with your tail tucked between your fucking legs.'”
He continued, “Snoop said, ‘It’s not going to make sense, some of the shit he tell you. Just do it. Whatever he says do, just do it.’ He said, ‘Don’t argue. Don’t get beside yourself. Just do it.’ So when he had me saying ‘the pussy’ for four hours, I was just like, ‘All right. We going to do this shit, Dre. Whatever the fuck,’ because I’m like, ‘I’m not leaving with my tail between my legs, bro. Whatever you, I’m a say.'”
You can hear Too $hort speaking about Dr Dre below.