Too $hort

Married to the Game

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For his umpteenth album, Married to the Game, the original player, Too Short, keeps on keeping on, spitting pimp game over well-produced tracks, never breaking a sweat. As with his past few albums -- What's My Favorite Word? (2002), Chase the Cat (2001), and You Nasty (2000) -- Married to the Game doesn't offer anything longtime (or relatively new) Too Short fans haven't heard before. Yet the well-produced tracks (by the usual roll call of impressive collaborators: Jazze Pha, Ant Banks, Lil Jon, and Dez) may be reason enough for many listeners to add yet another Too Short album to their collection. There are a few really good songs that get the album off to a promising start ("Choosin'," "What She Gonna Do?," and "That's How It Goes Down" especially), but by the time the hourlong album reaches its midway point, it's pretty clear Too Short is lounging yet again, content to stride along with his routine, never going out of his way to go above and beyond the call of duty. As a result, most listeners should stick with Too Short's golden age (1988-1993), when he did go above and beyond the call of duty, making some of the most creative (albeit sex-minded) rap the industry had yet produced. Regardless, no other rapper does it quite like Too Short does, and even if he is taking it easy on Married to the Game, he still sounds phenomenal, especially if you're keen to well-produced Atlanta-style tracks with an old-school pimp's touch to them.

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