Bow Wow has been in the rap game since elementary school. The Atlanta native dropped his debut album Beware Of Dog in 2000 at the ripe age of 13 when he was still known as Lil Bow Wow — and he’s been in the public spotlight ever since. Jermaine Dupri, who signed Bow Wow to his So So Def imprint in the late 90s, has helped mold Bow Wow’s formidable career since inception and decided to show his once young protégé some love on the 20th anniversary of his inaugural project.
On Sunday (September 27), Dupri shared the Beware Of Dog cover art and wrote in the caption, “20 years wow!! I introduced @shadmoss to the world, 13 years old, selling 101,000 copies in its first week, now 3 X Platinum #SoSoDef.”
Bow Wow dropped the “Lil” from his name in 2003 when he unleashed his third studio album Unleashed and simultaneously started to embrace his career in film. He made a cameo in the 2002 film All About The Benjamins but soared to notoriety when he took his first lead role in the film Like Mike that same year. Subsequent roles have included Johnson Family Vacation (2004), Roll Bounce (2005) and Lottery Ticket (2010).
Musically, the Atlanta native has released six studio albums, culminating with 2009’s New Jack City II. In addition to the 3x-platinum Beware Of Dog album, his sophomore effort Doggy Bag was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after its 2001 release, while 2003’s Unleashed was certified gold. Bow Wow went on to earn one more platinum-selling record with Wanted in 2005.
Over the years, Bow Wow has continued to take movie and television roles. Since 2017, he’s starred as himself in the WE tv reality television series Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta. More recently, he made it to the final episode of the Nick Cannon-hosted competition show The Masked Singer, which he talked about in an interview with The Grio in May.
“I think that Hip Hop has always been transcendent,” he said of his appearance on the FOX show. “It’s always been able to camouflage different you know avenues,” he remarks. “Guys like myself and Wayne, hopefully, by people seeing me make it to the finals, gives a lot of other rappers the courage to want to get on the show and compete. I know a lot of people have their say so, you know, ‘How did he get to the finals?’ At the end of the day, it is still a form of entertainment.
He continues, “I’ll put a million dollars up to anyone who says that they couldn’t do what I did, or even get close, probably could try and compete with anybody else. I just make it look like that, but I’m having fun when I’m doing [it]. At the same time, hopefully, it does open up some doors and get other guys on. I think season four will big season for that show because of what this season was. It’s only going to get bigger. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there were two of us the last time, don’t be surprised, there might be five or four.”
Bow Wow, who was the “frog” in the show, finished in third place.