Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

Too $hort with Live Band

When: Sat., March 5, 8 & 10 p.m. 2011

Lascivious lyrics and a larger-than-life pimp persona helped guarantee longevity for Oakland rapper Too $hort, who released his first album in 1985 and has since been the subject of documentaries, tributes, numerous interviews, and many gushing encomia. Yet being a pimp wasn't the only secret to his success. Too $hort also has a distinct, drawly rap cadence, a deadpan sense of humor, and a deep, visceral groove. From the funky snare fills on "Life Is ... Too Short," to the elastic bass line on "I'm a Playa," to the Kool & the Gang sample on "Money in the Ghetto," every song had its own sense of musical integrity. Moreover, Too $hort often performed with a live band instead of just rapping over tracks. He enjoyed being controversial, but still treated hip-hop as a genuine performance art. And just to prove as much, he's dropping by the Bay Area's most famous jazz club, Yoshi's San Francisco (1330 Fillmore St.), on Saturday, Mar. 5, with backup musicians in tow. 8 and 10 p.m., $28. Yoshis.com

Rachel Swan

Price: $28

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