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Issue: January 2011

Emotions, Rhymes and Beats

Shorty B (Independent)
Shorty B

Shorty B hails from Bedford, Indiana, and introduces her brand of rap-meets-pop via her self-titled debut EP, six songs strong and filled with some pretty raw emotions.

And Shorty – who, based on the cover appears to be a diminutive female, probably in her 30s, and rocking some librarian glasses – brings the hurt like you wouldn’t believe. Many if not most songwriters, rappers included, spin their tales metaphorically, but Shorty tells it like it is. The first two tracks here, “Tell Me Why” and “Be Strong,” go for the jugular with a blend of heartbreak and full-on anger.

“Summertime” is a bit cooler, and features some nice slide guitar and a breezy melody and some sweet vocal arrangements. “You’re the Boss” is a shout-out to everyone working the nine-to-five shift in corporate hell. “You’re the boss/I gotta do what you say/I don’t have to like it/But I want my pay.”

Again, this is dialogue put to R&B beats – the soliloquy we’d all say if only we could. Ah, if only.

“The Down Low” and “The War is Over” round out the disc, the former being a plea for a break, with a none-too-subtle dis to her southern Indiana small town and the work-a-day life of which she clearly has had enough. In the song, she also addresses the misconceptions about the rap genre.

“People look at me like I’m strange/when I tell ’em I’m doing the hip hop thing … I like the music and the chorus/and other things you might find in your thesaurus.”

The album closer slows things down to protest America’s involvement in the Middle East and even samples George W. Bush. That could be unprecedented.

The production on this disc is actually impressive, considering it’s a rap album from … Bedford, Indiana. Shorty believes in what she sings, there’s no doubt, and she clearly went the extra mile to make this recording sound the best it possibly could. While finding an audience might be a challenge, kudos to Shorty for that much at the very least.

Find out more at myspace.com/shorty-b.

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