Too $hort has been a renowned name within hip-hop since the late 1980s and was one of the first artists from the Bay Area to achieve commercial success and international fame. The lyricist (real name Todd Shaw) is widely considered a pioneer of West Coast hip-hop but was a pioneer of North California.
As a West Coast artist, Too $hort worked with a range of local producers, such as Daz Dillinger, Sir Jinx, DJ Pooh and more. However, as he became more distinguished as an emcee, Shaw began working with beatmakers from all over the US. In the late 1990s, he worked and collaborated with various figures.
However, one figure the Oakland artist refused to work with at the turn of the millennium is Kanye West. During a recent interview with DJ Vlad for VladTV, the Bay Area legend recalled West being brought to his attention by Scarface in 2002 while he was recording his album, The Fix. Unfortunately, at the time, he wasn’t interested.
Recalling his rejection of Kanye, Shaw recounted, “I remember Scarface called me. He was in New York, he was like, ‘I got the coldest muthaf*cking producer.’ He was talking about Kanye West.” He continued, “You know what I told him? I was in Atlanta, I said, ‘Man, we got all the producers with me. I don’t need no new producers.'”
According to Too $hort, Scarface was really pushing him to work with West. Recalling the phone conversation he had with the Texas emcee, Shaw continued, “He was like, ‘I swear to God, he’s the coldest muthafucka in the world out here in New York. He’s from Chicago.’ He told me his name, everything. He said, ‘$2,000 a beat. It’s the shit!’ And I was like, ‘Man, we got producers’… I didn’t even listen to him.”
However, unfortunately for Too $hort, in 2002, Kanye shot to fame as he signed with Roc-a-Fella that year and became a solo star in his own right. The Oakland rhymer has since admitted that shunning Kanye was the stupidest thing he has ever done.
Admitting this, Shaw declared, “I’ve done some dumb shit in my life, but that’s up there at the top of the list of dumb shit. Turning down young Kanye beats before the price went up … But damn, if I would’ve knew! I don’t got no damn psychic around me or a crystal ball. I didn’t know!”
You can watch Too $hort speaking about his rejection of Kanye West in the video below.