The west coast was in full effect this past Tuesday (June 25), when rappers Too Short and E-40 performed at Mohawk. The former is, arguably, a Bay Area legend, most known for his popular mainstream single, “Tell Me When to Go.” The latter is credited as being one of the pioneer rappers of West Coast hip hop, having created popular songs such as “The Ghetto” and “Blow the Whistle,” and collaborating with artists such as Kelis and Wiz Khalifa.
As with most rap concerts, shows usually begin with several rappers you have probably never heard of, interspersed with DJs playing old school rap music that anyone over 30 describes as “the golden age of rap,” before the headliners actually take the stage.
This was absolutely the case with Too Short and E-40’s show. Cool Nutz, Kinnfolkk, Philly Phill Mane, Sons Of Funk, Ronnie Blaze — one after one, each rapper performed no more than 30 minutes, a compact display of freestyles, charisma and warming up the crowd for the night’s special guests. Sons Of Funk stood out most from the opening performers. The R&B and hip hop group were formerly of No Limit Records (the American hip hop label founded by rapper Master P), and were known for their popular single, “Pushin Inside You,” which they performed. Aside from Sons Of Funk, most of the other openers were lesser known acts but still enjoyable. Cool Nutz, who has promoted Bay Area and Portland, OR hip-hop since the ’90s, went through some upbeat tracks of his own. And Thuggizzle, a San Antonio-based rapper with, hands down, the best stage name out of anyone from Tuesday night, performed songs from his latest release, No Pen & Pad.
Finally, as the night began to settle in, E-40 took the stage. Big and with a wide grin, E-40 was welcomed to the stage with cheers and applause. It was to be expected — how could we not give the man who taught an entire nation how to ghost ride their whip a warm and inviting introduction? Of course the rapper did “Tell Me When to Go,” which created a frenzy within the crowd. But he also did his verse from the “I Got 5 On It” remix, as well as a bunch of his older material.
Once E-40 finished his set, the audience managed to take a short breather before Too Short took the stage. Where E-40 brought the hyphy, Too Short delivered that laid back, West Coast vibe, performing both classics and contemporary hits alike. With age, Too Short has only gotten better with age, and yes, he’s still as inappropriate as when he first made a name for himself in rap music. During his set he said the following: “Any ladies on they period tonight? It don’t matter I just wanna get my dick sucked.” Vulgar? Absolutely. But, well, it’s Too Short. Plus, he kind of made up for it when he performed his verse from Kelis’ “Bossy,” which most of the women in the audience sung along to. Aside from “Bossy,” he did “The Ghetto,” “Blow the Whistle,” “Gettin’ It” and others.
By the end of the night, the air was filled with weed smoke, alcohol-tainted breath and cigarette smoke. In other words: it was a good show. Too Short and E-40 took over the Mohawk, and it was great.