Saturday’s unveiling of “Too $hort Way” brought together celebrities, community leaders, a marching band and Too $hort himself. But the real star of the event was the city of Oakland.
At 3 p.m. inside Fremont High School’s gymnasium, as the Pittsburg High School marching band performed a lively version of “Life Is Too Short,” the crowd erupted in cheers as hip hop artists Sway Calloway, Ice Cube, Mistah F.A.B. and Too $hort stepped to the stage.
One by one, each paid tribute to Too $hort. Sway remembered being “a kid” when he first saw Too $hort, in the back of a bus, playing his own music from a boombox. He said he was startled — he hadn’t yet witnessed someone producing and selling their own songs like $hort did.
When Ice Cube first met Too $hort in 1988, they were both opening acts for bigger artists, not headliners. (“Yes! I was there!” a crowd goer shouted, laughing.)
“He's always giving. He's always trying to show you how to do something, telling you about something, giving you some game,” Ice Cube continued. “So, we gonna love Too $hort. Give respect to Too $hort because he put Oakland on the map.”
The artists were joined by Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and councilmember Noel Gallo, who both cited the rapper’s legacy and cultural importance while presenting their official proclamation.