How Did Todd Anthony Shaw aka Too Short - West Coast Rap Legend - Get His Name???

We here at get emails from all over the world. We publish the stories that we think people would like to know about. Too Short has been a consistent hit maker throughout the world. His impact is most felt on the West Coast though. Northern California to be more precise. From “Cuss Words”….just let em’ roll, mothafuckin bitch god damn asshole….To “I Aint Trippin” …really aint worth my time….To, “Freaky Tales”….I met this girl, her name was Rhonda. Y’all know the rest.

Anyway, Too Short is most definitely a West Coast Legend in the game of rap. Most people however don’t really know the story of how he got his name. We here at received an email from one of Too Shorts childhood friends, Mr. Pete Johnson.

Most people from Oakland know him as Petey Mack. Mr. Johnson still lives in Oakland and works for the County of Oakland. Matter of fact he sits on the Board of Supervisors. He ran across while reading some off the wall story about Ice Cube and Willie Washington (We’ll get to that story later). Anyway, we posted his email below….check it out.

This is easily one of the best songs ever made in the history of rap…and he said no cuss words in the cut!!!! This is truly a West Coast Classic.

From Pete Johnson aka Petey Mack –


I just wanted to let your readers know a lil history behind the name of my childhood friend Todd Anthony Shaw. Most people throughout the world know him as Too Short. It’s funny how we get nicknames and monikers in our youth. Well this tale involves the Oakland County Fair and a bunch of our folx from the neighborhood. See, back in the day, around 1979 a bunch of us used to walk to the Oakland County Fairgrounds to ride the rides and act mannish. It was about 10 of us, all from the same hood. One of the older dudes used to make fun of us little dudes, but not in a bad way…he was just having fun. Anyway every time we tried to ride on a ride Todd would have problems.

They had these measuring stands…I don’t know if that’s what they are really called, but you had to be a certain height to ride some of the rides. Now, most of us could get on, but Todd, he had to sideline it and wait for us to get done.

The one thing about Todd was that he would always talk to the girls while we were riding the rides. I guess that’s where he got a lot of his macking skills from!!!! At the end of the day, we were leaving and Raymond, we called him Ray Ray (he was one of the older dudes) said lets go shorty…talking to Todd. I remember this part clearly.

Todd was over at one of those water gun shooting galleries talking to some lil cutie pie. Darrel Baker we called him Books because he always got good grades. He said let’s go Too Short….we were all laughing and crackin’ up!!! From that day on, we all called him Too Short. He didn’t really like the name, but kids in the neighborhood wouldn’t let it go. Little did we know….A Legend Was Born. We earned our nicknames when we were kids. Overall, I guess Too Short really was Born to Mack. The rest as they say is history.

I bet the readers of never heard that one! Now you know.


Pete Johnson aka Petey Mack

Pete Johnson aka Petey Mack
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Mainstream Media

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