Bay Area rapper Too Short was honored over the weekend by getting a portion of Foothill Boulevard in Oakland named after him. Ice Cube, Mistah F.A.B., Sway Calloway, were all in attendance.
The three-block stretch of Foothill Boulevard, between High Street and 47th Avenue, which is just outside Fremont High School, where Too Short went after moving to East Oakland from Los Angeles in the 1980s, will be renamed “Too Short Way.”
“I have felt like I owe a debt to Oakland, and that nothing I do will ever repay it because of the life that I was given through Oakland,” Too Short told SFGate. “There’s a few things that happened in my life that, if they didn’t happen, Too Short wouldn’t happen, and going to Fremont High is one of those things. It was like our home base; we’d meet up at school and then we’d go to the house and make tapes, then we’d go out into the neighborhoods and sell the tapes.”
Regarding his legacy in the Bay Area hip-hop scene, Too Short said: “I was standing up on a foundation that was already solid, it was already built. So I really had to uphold the legacy of Oakland and the bay. It wasn’t like it was me who was starting this for the first time — big things had happened in the bay, it had a rich history. I’m not taking it lightly.”
With Oakland having been hit by gentrification, Too Short hopes the street can double as a bridge back to the heart of the city.
“Gentrification came in and it out-priced a lot of people who are already there,” he said. “Communities get displaced, and lifelong friends lose each other, and people’s comfortable way of life becomes very uncomfortable. And you move into a city, into your newly renovated address, and you don’t even realize what all took place for you to get that.”