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Lil' Bow Wow - Arsenio Hall Show 1993

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Published on 28 Mar 2021 / In Film & Animation

Insta @lilbowwowclub - Shad Gregory Moss a.k.a. Lil' Bow Wow at the Arsenio Hall Show in 1993. A story of a six-year-old who made it till these days...

Snoop was coming to Columbus. Shad begged his mom to take him to the concert. Along with former NWA member Dr. Dre, Snoop was promoting The Chronic Tour. Named after Snoop's latest album, a celebration of a protent form of the illegal drug marijuanna, The Chronic Tour wasn't a place most parents would consider taking their six-year-old.

Then again, Theresa wasn't most parents. She took Shad everywhere. During a pause in the show, the announcer's voice carried over the crowd. Did anyone to come up and rap? Shad's hand shot up. That moment, his life changed.

The crowd began to cheer. Shad felt himself being lifted up - over his mother's head, over the heads of the fans. Suddenly he was on stage. Looking out into the audience, he saw the thousands of people there for his heroes, for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Now they were all waiting, waiting for him.

During a break between sets for musicians, fans were asked if they wanted to get up on stage and rap. Most of them weren't very good. So when Shad approached the microphone, nobody was expecting much.

They were about to be surprised. He wasn't very nervous. He'd done this before, at local talent shows and in his living room. Now it was Shad's time to shine.

By that evening in 1993, Shad was ready. He freestyled, making up the rhymes as he went along. Soon the audience began to clap, keeping the beat set by the kid with the microphone. After his set, Shad was rushed backstage. The headliner wanted to meet him.

Snoop had heard Shad's performance. He was impressed. Until then Shad's stage name had been Kid Gangsta. Backstage the older hip-hop star looked at Shad and saw something familiar. He saw the same energy, the same stage confidence, and the same skills he had.

He looked at Shad and gave him a new name; Lil' Bow Wow. Snoop had just one question for the new kid: Would he like to join the tour? Theresa agreed.

For the rest of the summer, Shad (now known as Lil' Bow Wow) played before packed stadiums. When the summer ended, so did the tour. It was time to go back to school and play with kids his age. Except Shad still wanted to rap. He wasnted to follow in the footsteps of his hero Snoop Dogg. Soon he'd follow him all the way to Death Row.

Finally, Shad got the call he'd been waiting for. Snoop Dogg wanted him to record a song for his next album 'Doggystyle'. With luck, maybe he could sign a contract with the label Snoop performed for, Death Row Records.

For Shad, rapping on Snoop's album was a word apart from freestyling on stage. He had to memorize someone else's words, and them say them again and again, perfectly. This wasn't easy. ''I was in the studio with Snoop, and he had written something for me,'' Shad explained to Billboard.com. ''I really couldn't get it. They were yelling at me and I did't like. I wanted to quit. I went back home and studied that rap. I went back the next day and showed them I could do it.''

Los Angeles gave Shad more than just recording experience. Another Ohio native gave Lil' Bow Wow his next big break. At the time, Arsenio Hall hosted on of the most popular talk shows on late-night television.

When Shad performed, he was seen by millions. People were beginning to recognize his name. This is where it all started. The rest is history...

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