Too $hort: Get Off the Stage

Get Off the Stage marks Too $hort's 17th album, not counting compilations and reissues, but it's also the end of an era. It's his last for Jive, the label he's been associated with since 1988. "I'm a legend in the game," he says on "Shittin' on 'Em," adding, "I got the most albums and the most rhymes." Unfortunately, Get Off the Stage isn't one of Too $hort's better records; just compiling his guest appearances over the past two years would make a more interesting record. These ten songs mostly regurgitate past work, or sound like it; it's hard to believe he's never made a song called "Broke Bitch" before. The production switches between hyphy and crunk without adding much to either, but it's great if you like generic strip-club anthems with Lil' Jon-esque beats. Highlights include the title track, notable if for no other reason than $hort applying his signature expression, "Biatch!," to the male gender for perhaps the first time. "This My One," featuring fellow Bay Area legend E-40, finds $hort advocating the legalization of sideshows, while "Dum Ditty Dum" adds the Pack's youthful energy over a rambunctious Young L track. Throughout the rest of Get Off, though, $hort is either mean-spirited, misogynistic or both. It would be nice to hear Todd Shaw reflect on the lessons he's learned over the past two decades; instead we get Too $hort recycling old lines over updated beats. — Eric K. Arnold

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Eric K. Arnold