By the time Jive Records released Born to Mack, Too Short's major-label debut, the young rapper was already a music industry veteran, having released several albums on the independent 75 Girls label. With Born to Mack Too Short continued the formula that had already made him a regional star -- sexually explicit lyrics over sparse, bass-heavy rhythm tracks. What is missing from this album, though, is any levity, humor, or musical exploration. Without the benefit of a lyrical wink or nod, and without any sign of his future head-nodding, funk workouts, Too Short's trademark "pimp" tales were stripped bare, revealing themselves too misogynist to be enjoyable. Even so, due to the success of the nearly ten-minute, underground smash "Freaky Tales," Born to Mack expanded Too Short's fan base past his Oakland, CA, hometown, eventually selling past gold status. Many of Short's later efforts, such as Life Is...Too Short and Shorty the Pimp were funnier, funkier, and plain better, but Born to Mack stands as most of the world's introduction to one of rap's most enduring, and best-selling, artists ever.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mtume Salaam