Too $hort Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

10. E-40 f/ Too $hort & K-Ci & JoJo "Rappers Ball" (1996)


Producer
: Ant Banks
Album: The Hall of Game
Label: Jive, Sick Wid It

Too $hort: “'Rappers Ball' was born from the whole KMEL trying to ban me [over] me showing up with 40 dudes at Summer Jam and causing all that commotion. When Summer Jam was going on, I showed up with all these motherfuckers. The Luniz' manager got knocked the fuck out, and KMEL cancelled the show.

"Two acts hadn't gone on yet: The Isley Brothers and E-40. And KMEL, the next day, they got on the radio and they had somebody fake like it was me. [They called] into KMEL and said: 'I don't give a fuck about Summer Jam. If I can't perform nobody can perform. I don't care if your name is E-40, E-1000,' all this shit, like it was a big fucking deal.

"I didn't hear the shit on the radio. I just heard all about it cause my fucking phone blew up. And E-40 was one of the people who called me, [and] he was a little upset, like, 'That's how we getting down?' And I was like, 'What you talking about man?' and he's like, 'You know, the shit on the radio.' I said, 'What are you talking about?'

 

If [E-40's] crew would've turned on my crew, and we would've went to war, like, Vallejo against Oakland, people would've got hurt.

 

“He immediately realized that it wasn't me on the radio, but what KMEL didn't know was that long before we rapped, me and E-40 had a lot of mutual friends in the street game, and we knew each other and we hung out a lot. Like we knew each other away from rap.

“So we talked on the phone...and we got down to the heart of what happened at Summer Jam and what happened with the radio station. And me and E-40 on the same conversation go, “You know what man? Let's turn this negative into a positive, let's get in the studio and make a song.” We had never made a song together.

"When we got in the studio we made a hit fucking record, “Rapper's Ball,” all because KMEL tried to make us go to war with each other. They really didn't know how much fire they were playing with. If his crew would've turned on my crew, and we would've went to war, like, Vallejo against Oakland, people would've got hurt. And KMEL was playing a game that was real life to some people. I never really respected them for that.”

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