Before Master P popped his trunk and started distributing his albums direct to the streets, there was Too Short. Before 50 Cent declared, "I'm a motherfucking p-i-m-p," there was Too Short. And before Jay-Z announced his retirement, only to return like the Ghost of Christmas Past, there was Too Short, resurfacing just three years after the release of his "final" album in 1996. Since then, he's released a slew of albums. All praise the Mac. The Oakland-based innovator changed the game in so many ways, from selling tapes out of his car to turning pimping into pop culture fodder, that to imagine contemporary hip-hop without him is to imagine rock without Elvis. Need a primer? He's got 20 years worth of West Coast-style swagger you can study. Press play, take notes, and lock your daughter in her room. All ages.
Sat., Nov. 22, 8 p.m., 2008