Too $hort Shares Legendary Stories Working With 2Pac & Biggie


California legend Too $hort needs no introduction. Boasting a prodigious resume including collaborations with both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious Big, as well as a favorite-rapper co-sign from Big Boi, Too $hort’s legacy is quite literally unparalleled. Naturally, the man has amassed a wealth of stories, many of which he was happy to share on Uproxx’s The People’s Party WithTalib Kweli.

Around the halfway point, Too $hort takes a moment to reflect on working with Biggie, explaining how “The World Is Filled” came together. “You’ve been in a situation where you going to do a collaboration song,” begins $hort. “And you second-to-last or you last, and motherfuckers have done they damn thing. As an emcee, at this moment, everybody is in the room oblivious to your thoughts. It’s like ‘fuck, everybody has gassed this track and it’s my turn.’ You can’t go in there mumbling, it’s the moment.” 

“Here I am in the studio,” he continues. “Puffy had already recorded his verse. He probably had a coach or something, somebody wrote it. He didn’t have a lot of experience back then. He was so proud! Puff hit play cause he wanted everyone to hear his verse. So now Biggie do the thing where he don’t touch no pen or paper. Before all the rappers were doing that, only motherfuckers I met that did that were Jay-Z and Big. If I had to describe it they were writing as if there’s a pen and paper inside their forehead, writing it while memorizing it. It ain’t a freestyle. Biggie does his shit. I didn’t write shit. We’re drinking and smoking, laughing and shit.”

Jerod Harris/Getty Images, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

“Biggie goes in there and says ‘I’ma do this shit in one take,'” marvels $hort. “And he fucks up. And he goes ‘watch this.’ And he just runs that shit. Everybody in the studio just goes ouuuu. And now there’s only one verse left.” He laughs. “I’m sitting there, blank paper. Gotta leave with a song, you know how Puff work. I asked my boy what you think I should do.” Ultimately, the advice he received proved valuable: “do what the hook says.” 

At around the one hour mark, Too $hort also opens up about the multifaceted nature of Tupac Shakur, a quality undeniably reflected within his music. “I like to tell people that every time I saw 2pac, he had four or five distinct personas,” explains $hort. “And he’d randomly be one of them. I knew him for a while before I saw him do an interview on BET. He was talking all this militant Black Panther history stuff. I was sitting there like ‘who the fuck is that!” I never seen him do that shit. Other times after that you’d be with him and he’d start dropping knowledge. The other times, he’d walk in with blunts, cigarettes, Hennessy, talking shit. The other times he’d be this spiritual type of brother, real wise, for the ladies and shit.” 

“I hung out with 2Pac one day when he was gangsta 2pac,” laughs $hort. “I was like maaaaaaaaaan!” Qualifying Pac as a “mythical guy,” he can’t help but give credit to the late icon’s game. “2Pac would leave a trail of women who were like, advertising for him. This type of dude, it doesn’t matter who’s in the room. The hierarchy. Let him have the stage.” Check out Too Short’s legendary stories below, and shout out to Talib for conducting a solid interview. 


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