Froback Friday: "Shake That Monkey"

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Froback Friday is a weekly feature of a music video from the platinum age of hip hop. 1998-2003, when rap was truly crossing over into the mainstream and I was regularly attending middle school dances.

For one reason or another, the Bay Area has never been a staple of mainstream rap music. Besides Hammer, “The Humpty Dance” and Luniz’s standard “I Got 5 on It” (which went platinum but only hit number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100), the biggest crossover for the Bay was mid-aughts hyphy music. Its highest charting hit was 2006’s “Tell Me When to Go” (#35 on the Hot 100)1, which featured the legend E-40 and arguable hyphy creator Keak da Sneak, but was produced by “crunk” mad scientist Lil Jon. It’s unfortunate that the only way hyphy could really catch on across the country was once it was dipped in crunk juice. But it also wasn’t the first time Lil Jon worked with a Bay Area artist.

Uncle Too $hort moved to Atlanta in the mid-90s. He started to work with Lil Jon after the turn of the millennia and their collaboration most likely to get asses to the dance floor is 2003’s “Shake That Monkey.” Distinctly crunk, it also bumped into every house party in the Bay. Short Dog references the Freaknik and wonders how a girl from the West Coast can twerk like a Southern belle. It resonates. It also features the classic line, “All them skinny hoes let Bruce Bruce hit it,” plus “I bet she can’t wiggle like that with a dick in her” a whole decade before Ty $ and 2 Chainz said it.

The video features Too $hort, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz generally fucking things up at a diner, in a city bus and then by a hotel pool. All the while, random a-ha cartoon effects run through the rappers. The quality is shit because this was not getting play anywhere on television. RIP The Box.

Even if Lil Jon killed hyphy, he still got more people to know at least one Too $hort or E-40 song, right?

1. There is also 1996’s “Rapper’s Ball” by E-40 and Too $hort which got to number 29 on the Hot 100. This 

would be E-40’s highest charting single besides the T-Pain song “U and Dat,” and would also be Too $hort’s

were it not for “Bossy.” And while “Rapper’s Ball” continues to be a Bay classic, it (along with The Mac,

Oaktown’s 3.5.7.RBL Posse, Spice 1, The Coup, C-BoDru DownMac Dre, the Jacka, Husalah, Roach Gigz

and iamsu!remains hardly loved outside of Northern California. (Maybe Kansas City and lightweight Akron)


Tags: Classic Froback Friday Lil Jon Too Short

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