Salute the $hort Dog.

There are living legends who gave the state of California rap legitimacy. Too $hort is one of them. The rapper born Todd Anthony Shaw turns 51 today (April 28).

Too $hort's rude and crude lyrics famously focused on pimping and were made to ride atop funky grooves. A key example and hip-hop essential is "Freaky Tales." These aren't Aesop Fables -- Too $hort doesn't move away from talking about his vices -- but the instrumental is still instantly recognizable.

Born to Mack (also known for its borderline iconic cover) and Life Is...Too Short went gold and double platinum, respectively. $hort Dog also went on to release well over a dozen albums in his career.

On the flip side, the MC is also controversial outside of the recording booth. He was arrested for carrying a loaded gun into the the airport last year and caught giving terrible sexual advice to middle-school boys in 2012. However, his controversies don't override his influence.

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