The deafening buzz around Mt. Westmore (the supergroup comprised of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Too $hort and E-40) was at a fever pitch in August when the West Coast rap luminaries delivered their debut album BAD MFs.
The problem? It was only available in the metaverse, meaning fans had to pay astronomical prices to get their hands on a copy. But while speaking to ROCK THE BELLS earlier this month, $hort Dawg more or less confirmed the project would arrive on all digital streaming platforms on December 9, although he coyly insisted he “wasn’t a numbers guy.” Less than a week later, Mt. Westmore officially unveiled the release date via Instagram and, sure enough, it is December 9. With the drop inching closer, Too $hort explained their intentions were never to upset their loyal fans—it was simply business.
“We all are businessmen and each one of us brings something to the table that makes the group better,” $hort told ROCK THE BELLS. “That particular decision was made by Snoop Dogg at the time. He’d been very active in the metaverse and doing all kinds of NFT stuff and he had what we call a play in motion. He had a business deal that was easy to make happen. Some of the fans were expressing they were offended that we would drop music that they couldn’t get ahold of because they’ve been supporting us so long, but Snoop Dogg is a numbers kind of guy and he doesn’t really waste his time unless he’s getting paid good.
“He doesn’t even consider doing deals with people unless it comes in the door looking very lucrative to him. So even in this situation, he’s like, ‘I can get us a lot of money real quick.’ And it was just a decision made. Like, literally, if anybody was in my shoes, you would understand why it went down like that. We actually just worked the money play. The money was great. It had nothing to do with trying to frustrate the fans.”
[Snoop] had been very active in the metaverse and doing all kinds of NFT stuff and he had what we call a play in motion. He had a business deal that was easy to make happen."
- Too $hort
But even fans who managed to snag a download of Bad MFs are in for a funkadelic treat. As $hort explained, some of the 13-tracks on the metaverse version will make it to the final iteration, but expect some surprises and a mini-doc from Ice Cube.
“It’s pretty much a completely different project,” he said. “It has a different title. We’ve been shooting visuals for months for it. There’s a film that’s going to go with it. I think Ice Cube is putting together some kind of documentary. I really don’t know what it is he’s doing, but he’s putting together a bunch of visuals to be released with the project. It’s going to be fun. Next year, we’ll probably do some shows. It’s different levels.
“Everything we do—from merch to touring to any appearance we’ve ever made—it’s all been Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40 big money plays. As a fan, you gotta understand, this is why we came together is to take our careers...I’m not going to say to a higher level—give it another twist. You see us all out here. Snoop Dogg’s a baby of the group and he’s 50 years old. Whatever we’re doing is amazing for Hip-Hop.”
You see us all out here. Snoop Dogg’s a baby of the group and he’s 50 years old. Whatever we’re doing is amazing for Hip-Hop.”
- Too $hort
The song “I Quit” has a certain je ne sais quoi. Just like the title suggests, it’s an anthem specifically made for anyone wanting to bid adieu to their current place of employment. Initially a Too $hort solo song, Cube, Snoop and Forty Water thought it was a “funny concept” and decided to add their own colorful tales of workplace blues.
“When I conceived the idea, it was to make a song that as you’re quitting your job, you could literally play this out loud or you could email it to the boss or you could text it to the boss,” $hort said. “I was trying to give you a voice for you to quit your job.”
While $hort said it wasn’t necessarily inspired by one of his jobs pre-rap infamy, he did say he had one particular boss that he would’ve gladly played it for if given the chance. As a high school student, $hort—né Todd Anthony Shaw—copped an after-school gig working at Jack In The Box on 22nd Avenue in East Oakland.
“I had very few jobs before I was a rapper,” he said. “I worked at the Oakland A’s baseball games selling soda pops in the crowd and the only other job I had was at Jack In The Box. I was just a regular little Jack In The Box worker for like four or five months, and I was working the evening shift for the kids. The kids worked that 4 to 8 swing shift, and a lot of kids on my shift were fuck ups. One day, I look at the schedule and it was 6 a.m. on a Saturday. We all know. Here I come in, 6 in the morning, on time, I caught the bus up there. As soon as I get there, I could sense his energy. He’s like, ‘I know you one of the fuck up boys.’ He’s not saying this, but I can sense his energy. And I never even get to go inside the restaurant.
“He hands me a Brillo pad with a handle and this solution and he goes, ‘There’s a chisel, a Brillo pad and two different solutions. Now this one, you pour on the oil stains and you hit it with this brush. He gives me a little example of how to do it, and then he goes back inside. I literally just laid all four of those things on the ground, walked across the street, jumped on the bus and left. If I had that song, he would have heard that song. If I had that moment where I could have just said, ‘Fuck you, I quit,’ he would have got it. At one point, he must have come out and the four items were just laying there. I wish I could have seen that.”