Short Dog's in the House

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Short Dog's in the House
Studio album by Too Short
Released August 27, 1990
Recorded 1989–1990
Genre West Coast hip hop, dirty rap, conscious hip hop
Length 70:36
Label Jive Records, RCA
Producer Too Short, Sir Jinx, Pierre "The Beat Fixer" James, Keenan "The Maestro" Foster, Al Eaton, DJ Pooh
Too Short chronology
Life Is...Too Short
Short Dog's in the House
Shorty the Pimp
Singles from Short Dog's in the House
  1. "Short But Funky"
    Released: 1990
  2. "The Ghetto"
    Released: October 8, 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly B−[2]
RapReviews (8.5/10)[3]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[4]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]

Short Dog's in the House is the third studio album by Too Short on Jive Records, and his 6th studio album overall. The CD contains a number of both socially conscious songs, as well as dirty rap and sexually-explicit songs that have made Too Short famous. The album's production samples a number of classic P-funk records, as well as the heavy use of the Roland TR-808 for instrumentation. The laid-back beats (which Shaw himself dubbed "dope fiend beats") would be a major influence in hip hop years later (and would help cement Too Short's legacy as a pioneer of West coast hip hop), and the album was key in the development of West Coast born G-funk that dominated the charts for the next few years. In fact, the album's cover (as well as Short's drawl-heavy delivery) was an influence for the cover art for Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle.[6] Upon release, the album received a number of positive reviews, making it one of Too Short's more well known albums.

The album featured a guest appearance by Ice Cube, and was the first time 2 major rap artists from Northern and Southern California collaborated on a song. The production of the album was handled mostly by a number of local Oakland-based producers (including Al Eaton, who was also known for his later work with Queen Latifah), but received production from two of Ice Cube's producers, Sir Jinx and DJ Pooh. The edited removes two songs and adds the song "What Rap?" On the edited version, "Ain't Nothin' but a Word to Me" was censored with bleep sound effects. Swearing is removed from others as well.

Background and Conception[edit]

Too Short had received critical acclaim with his release of Life Is... Too Short, which had transformed the Oakland emcee from an underground rapper to one of the West Coast's most notable faces. The album spawned an album-titled single, which had reached #7 on Billboard 200 Hot Rap Singles. The album itself peaked at 37 on the Billboard 200.

After the release of the album, there were a number of rumors that Too Short was killed in a crackhouse while smoking cocaine, and Too Short released this album partly as a response to those rumors,[7] and the rumors would later be addressed on the song "Dead or Alive".

Part of the direction of the album was influenced by Too Short's real surroundings in Oakland. The early 90s were the peak of the crack epidemic, and Oakland was one of the hardest hit cities. The back cover for the album also sponsored the Stop the Violence Movement.[8] Too Short released The Ghetto as a response to the plight of the inner cities, and the song would go on to receive a lot of radio airplay. Donnie Hathaway's friend Roberta Flack actually thanked Too Short for honoring Hathaway's single of the same name.[9]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Short Dog's in the House" (Intro song) Todd Anthony Shaw Pierre James 6:02
2. "It's Your Life" (Featured on the Boyz n the Hood soundtrack) Todd Anthony Shaw Keenan Foster 4:48
3. "The Ghetto" (On the cassette version of the album, "The Ghetto" is extended to 5:58, which features a segment of one of the Last Poets' speeches "Die Nigga". After Too Short's 4th verse, he says "For all you brothas runnin' around here usin' that "n-word", lets the original rappers kick the last verse", for which then the segment comes in.) Todd Anthony Shaw, Al Eaton, Donny Hathaway, I. Hutson Al Eaton 5:59
4. "Short But Funky"   Dame Edwards, Keenan Foster Keenan Foster 4:13
5. "In Tha Oaktown"   Todd Anthony Shaw, Al Eaton Al Eaton 4:38
6. "Dead Or Alive"   Todd Anthony Shaw Too Short 5:46
7. "Punk Bitch"   Todd Anthony Shaw, Al Eaton Too Short, Al Eaton 6:01
8. "Ain't Nothin' but a Word to Me" (featuring Ice Cube) Todd Anthony Shaw, O'Shea Jackson, Anthony Wheat Sir Jinx 4:48
9. "Hard on the Boulevard"   Todd Anthony Shaw Too Short 6:24
10. "Pimpology"   Todd Anthony Shaw, Keenan Foster Too Short 6:07
11. "Paula & Janet"   Todd Anthony Shaw DJ Pooh 2:37
12. "Rap Like Me"   Todd Anthony Shaw Pierre James, Too Short 7:38
13. "The Ghetto (Reprise)" (Instrumental)   Too Short, Al Eaton 5:36


Dead or Alive

Hard on the Boulevard

Short but Funky

  • "High" by Skyy

It's Your Life

Paula & Janet

The Ghetto

In Popular Culture[edit]

The Ghetto would later be featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The song It's Your Life was also featured on the soundtrack for Boyz n the Hood.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Position
Billboard 200 # 20
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums # 3


Short But Funky

Chart Position
Hot R&b/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks # 36
Hot Rap Singles # 14

The Ghetto

Chart Position
Hot Rap Singles # 3
Hot Dance Musica/Maxi-Singles Sales # 23
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks # 12
Billboard Hot 100 # 42