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Today, we say happy birthday to one of the original West Coasters, Too $hort, born on this date in 1966.

As one of Hip Hop’s first self-made businessmen, $hort started off his career pumping his own X-rated mixtapes out of the trunk of his car. Releasing fifteen albums between 1987 and 2012, Too $hort has made tracks with everyone from B.I.G. and 2Pac to Lil Jon and Pimp C. As one of Hip Hop’s most versatile emcees, he’s found himself featured on, and featuring, tracks with the world’s other most respected lyricists.

Hailing from Oakland, he is considered one of the pioneers of the West Coast style, with many of his early works charting several times in the Top 10 for Billboard. Years later, he relocated to Atlanta, experimenting with the “Dirty South” sound for several years post-2000, resulting in his most well known party starter, and recent hit, “Blow The Whistle”.

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