Shad Moss, better known as Bow Wow, is an anomaly. Sometimes he confesses his desire to be the next Will Smith then other times he’s caught faking the funk leading to hilarity (#BowWowChallenge).
In hip hop it’s a very ‘what have you done for me lately’ culture. Artists can be recognized as legends but dismissed as washed after a few lackluster releases.
For Grammy nominated stars like The Game & Snoop Dogg have moved to independent labels to make up for recently released albums failing to receive Platinum or Gold certifications.
Bow Wow is in limbo in his career. Though he resume is throughly impressive reception for his retirement announcement was mixed. On one hand he was praised for accomplishing so much at a young age but others joked about no one caring or even asking for any updates.
In 2010 he made a similar retirement admitting a desire to focus on television and movie roles.
As an actor he has earned respect starring and being featured in works like The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Like Mike, Roll Bounce, & Entourage.
At the height of his popularity Like Mike, a movie about an orphan finding sneakers that give him magical basketball prowess met expectations opening fifth at the box office and grossed over 60 million.
Not since Kriss Kross had a teenage rap act make such an impact in the music industry.
At the tender age of 6 he was apart of the Death Row family. Appearing as a younger Snoop Doggy Dogg in the Class Room Intro then being featured in the Gin & Juice video.
Originally he was supposed to be featured on the Murder Was The Case soundtrack with a track written by Dogg Pound’s Kurupt and recorded with Dr. Dre.
Snoop himself gave Shad his name because he was the smaller version ‘Big Bow Wow’ so he went from Kid Gangsta to Lil Bow Wow.
After Dogg left Death Row he felt it was an unsafe environment and gave him to Jermaine Dupri.
JD had experience with younger acts and was a prodigy himself so it was a match made in heaven.
His first album went multi platinum with singles like Bounce With Me & What’s My Name achieving Billboard success.
Each of his albums have debuted in the Top 20 of the US Billboard charts.
He has sold over 10 million albums with Wanted & Price of Fame having Platinum and Gold singles like Let Me Hold You, Like You featuring then girlfriend Ciara, Fresh Azimiz, Shortie Like Mike, Outta My System, and I’m a Flirt and standout verses on the remixes of I Think They Like Me & Teach Me How To Dougie.
His touring resume is impressive with The Scream Tours teen acts Bow Wow, IMX, B2K and later Omarion & Marques Houston traveled the country selling out the entire 50 date tour.
He’s in a very exclusive list of hip hop acts who sold out Madison Square Garden. Others who have? Hip hop star J Cole & legends Run DMC, Jay Z & Eminem. And he’s done it 5 separate times.
So why doesn’t he get the proper respect?
Many dismiss his accomplishments because he was the most popular as a child and similar to child stars in the video and television industry it’s hard for consumers to accept the evolution.
He can be problematic at times, claiming indifference to the last election because he didn’t identify as Black.
He can be corny at times, his desire to ‘keep up with Joneses’ & maintain appearances has led to him seeming delusional on his current popularity.
But he’s also taken what was given and flourished.
As Mr. 106 & Park he ruled the BET show as the man who retired the most #1 videos on the program.
When he was tapped as the newest host he gave opportunity to bring in fresh faces to the platform.
As an executive he sat on meetings and recognized battle rap’s mainstream potential bringing Smack from URL to revitalize Freestyle Fridays.
After the show ended he moved back to television first joining the CSI family with Academy Award winner Patricia Arquette for CSI:Cyber.
Now he’s aiming to shift into mogul status. He’s following in the footsteps of people like Nick Cannon who went from Nickelodeon’s All That to creating Wild N Out and producing Real Husbands of Hollywood.
Shad Moss signed on to star and executive produce Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta along with his co-ownership of NDI Vodka & his S. Moss Vape Pen through Caviar Gold.
The spinoff show premiers on May 25th and airs Thursdays on WeTV.