Too $hort Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

23. Too $hort "Dope Fiend Beat" (1987)



Producer: Too $hort
Album: Born To Mack
Label: Dangerous/Jive/RCA
Too $hort: “That was a beat that I made on a Casio keyboard and it was called the 'Dope Fiend Beat.' And Freddy B used to act like he was a crack head, and he'd be singing about how he wanted crack and sherm—but we never called it crack, it was like rock cocaine.

“He'd be like, 'I wanna smoke rocks!' and 'I wanna smoke sherm!' and all this shit. And the beat would be playing, and it was like the junkie was supposed to be rapping and talking and shit. It was great. I would play that bassline, like [Sings bassline to 'Dope Fiend Beat'].Then later, when I got in the studio, I brought all that shit back. Everything came back.”

 

Every rap that I wrote before I signed to Jive, I recycled all that sh*t. That's how I was making those albums on Jive so fast. I was putting 'em out every year, every nine months.

 

“Let me say something for the record: Every rap that I wrote before I signed to Jive, I recycled all that shit. That's how I was making those albums on Jive so fast. I was putting 'em out every year, every nine months. That was because I had all the lines already written.

“No one ever really caught on to that shit either. You're the first person to really call me on that, so I never really discussed this with anybody. I had a box full of raps—like a U-haul box full of rhymes that I had wrote—and I would actually dig through the box when I was working on a new album. I'd pick out songs and lyrics, and every time I'd write them over and use them for a new song, I'd scratch it out.

“So I had this box full of rhymes that were like half pages scratched out, sometimes the whole page is scratched out, some pages weren't scratched out at all. So anything that wasn't scratched out, I knew I could recycle. I went through that box until everything was scratched out.

“I think it wasn't probably until album number 10 when I ran out of rhymes. It was eight years of rhymes. Rappers tell me all the time that they threw away their rhymes, like 'I already rapped that shit.' [But] I was like, 'Nobody ever heard it, so....' I've never thrown away a rhyme book.

“The bitch word started back in like '82 when I had a rap partner named Freddy B. We were known for that whole thing. We would DJ parties, and we would put on instrumentals and we would rap for about 30 minutes.

“If Too $hort and Freddy B DJed your party, you were gonna get a rap show during the party. And we always did that: "Everybody say biaaaaatch!" That was part of the whole shit. When I went solo, he [had] went to prison, and that's when I got on the whole solo thing in '85 and started working with 75 Girls. I kind of just carried on the tradition.”

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