He was one Mr. 106 and Park because he dominated BET’s music video show as a teenage rap star. Now in a genius BET casting move, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss is the show’s host. It only makes sense. He’ll also appear as part of the So So Def 20th Anniversary crew at theTom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Florida’s Gaylord Resort August 29 – September 2.
The Columbus, Ohio native was discovered when he was 10 years old. Although he was initially Snoop’s protégé, when Death Row started falling apart, Snoop thought his young charge would do better at So So Def, where Jermaine Dupri had not just discovered young acts on his roster but was producing many of Atlanta’s hitmakers as well.
“When the whole Death Row thing folded being that Snoop discovered me first, he just felt that I’d be in a better position with Jermaine being that he had the success with Kris Kross, TLC, Da Brat and all the other young artists,” Bow Wow told the Tom Joyner Morning Show. “He felt that the only person who could bring Bow Wow to the masses was Jermaine Dupri and thank God he was right.”
His reign on the “106 and Park” charts ended some years ago, but the now 26-year-old Bow Wow is the beneficiary of creative casting by BET execs who offered him a hosting gig. It’s been a tremendous success, with Bow Wow displaying the charisma that made him a rap star and a easy rapport with artists he’s grown up with.
“It’s rare at this age that you get a chance to start moving in with the big dogs and start learning corporate America and seeing the other side of the business. It’s cool being an artist but if you look at guys like Jay-Z, guys like 50, that want to be bigger than hip-hop, nowadays you’ve got to do it all. It’s not cool to me to be one-dimensional. I’m loving it, I’m having a ball doing it. This is like college for me.”
Bow Wow is a also father now and he says he’s enjoying it. Balancing his schedule to accommodate his daughter, Shai, who turned 2 earlier this summer, has been easy. “Nothing’s hard if you’ve got the time,” he says. “I’m at the point in my career where I can map out how I want it structured so I can make sure I do the things that mean the most to me. Me and my daughter Face Time every day. She’s at the point where if she even sees the Cash Money or ‘106 and Park’ logo, she just goes ‘Daddy.’ I make sure I see her all the time.”
As for his now kiss with Tyra Banks, the most viral moment on ‘106’ since Janet Jackson gave former host AJ Calloway a lap dance, Bow Wow says that was as real as it gets.
“It messed me up. It messed me up for a week. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I got the Daily News cover sitting right here on my mantle, no lie. Front page, me and Tyra Banks, it don’t get no bigger than that.”