Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, 36, may have begun his career with rap after being discovered by Snoop Dogg in 1993 at an L, A. performance, but he eventually established an acting career after gaining momentum through the music industry. Taking on multifaceted roles in over 20 films and television, Moss typically personifies his personal character in his acting roles, making him a character not to be missed, as his sociable, tender spirit is lighthearted and brings guaranteed laughter.
Taking on roles in movies alongside Tyler Perry, Loretta Devine, Ice Cube, and Taraji P. Henson, Moss was quickly able to epitomize any role he took on. From comedy to action, and drama, his versatility is embodied by his effortless and natural acting ability. With roles in Madea's Big Happy Family, Scary Movie 5, Lottery Ticket, Hurricane Season, and more, Moss has shown nothing but genuine passion and skill in his acting career.
Bow Wow products hit series Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Not only has Moss dipped his toes into acting with both leading and supporting roles, but he has also produced. He produced and appeared in the reality tv series Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta. Premiering in 2017, the show revolves around Moss returning to Atlanta to release his first studio album since 2009. The show serves as the second installment to Growing Up Hip Hop. It gives insight into how the rap and hip-hop game moves. It exhibits the lives of artists and family members of music legends.
Bow Wow Debuts His Acting Career Alongside Ice Cube
Taking on his first role in the 2002 film, All About the Benjamins, Moss posed as Kelly "Lil J", a con artist who was caught in the middle of a bounty hunt for a stash of diamonds and lottery tickets. Though his acting premiere was a short cameo, as his character was arrested by the bounty hunter before the movie gained momentum, he debuted his skills beside actors Ice Cube and Mike Epps.
Lands His First Leading Role
Moss' next role would be the one to catapult him into the acting world with many roles to come. In the same year he appeared in All About the Benjamins, Moss was in the sports comedy film, Like Mike. Moss' character, Calvin Cambridge, is a young orphan with an interest in basketball. He and his friends are to sell chocolates for the orphanage's director and upon their sales. Calvin meets and impresses an NBA coach with his basketball knowledge. The coach gives him tickets to the next game of the L.A. Knights (a parody of the L.A. Clippers). He had a winning number to participate in a halftime contest where he won with a wildly impressive slam dunk.
However, had it not been for the pair of Michael Jordan basketball shoes he found on a power line, which ended up electrocuting him, giving the boy magical powers to perform like MJ, he likely would not have been able to win the contest being that he only stands at 4 feet and 8 inches tall.
When Calvin astonished the team's coach with his "Jumpman" skill, he was signed to a full-season contract with the Knights. He later has his MJ shoes stolen before his team's last game to make the playoffs. Managing to retrieve them, he makes it to the game just in time to give the Knights a comeback against the Toronto Raptors. Though he ended his time competing with the Knights and was eventually adopted, the shoes gave Calvin a purpose that transpired into a confidence that would teach him and the team lessons of dignity, hope, and how to believe in yourself.
And the Comedies Keep Coming...
Moss' next lead role would be in the 2004 film, Johnson Family Vacation. Moss' character DJ, who wants to be a rapper, and his comedic father Nate, played by Cedric the Entertainer, embark on a family road trip. But before they could leave, Nate goes to the auto shop to pick up what he thought would be the same vehicle he dropped off, but finds that his 4Runner had been pimped out with hydraulics and spinning rims. The new effects of the car end up causing hilarious obstacles for the family as they travel to a reunion with other family members.
Though the trip was costly, DJ was able to prove to his father at the reunion that he was indeed a skillful rapper when he performed in the music category during the "Family of the Year" competition. This causes DJ and his family to win, and ultimately bond even more as Nate decided to give the winning trophy to his family opponent, saying that family was the only trophy he needed. This proves to DJ that he and his father do in fact relate, as the approval and pride his dad showed when he won their family the trophy were all each of them needed during their road trip.
First Drama Film Evokes Emotion from Him That had yet to be seen
Bow Wow would star a year later in the 2005 dramedy film, Roll Bounce alongside Nick Cannon, Maegan Good, and again, Mike Epps. Leading his roller-skating crew "The Garden Boys", Moss' character Xavier "X" Smith hurdles through a rough life at home after his mother dies and his father loses his job. Though his dad, Curtis played by Chi McBride, falls short of supporting his family through his own sorrow, Curtis ends up buying X a new pair of roller skates just in time for him and his team to compete in the new rink.
Though the "Sweetwater Rollers" stole their performing song, X and his crew tied their rivals. But there had to be a winner, so X faced off against Sweetness from the Sweetwater Rollers for the title. He ended up losing when he fails his attempt at a triple-lutz jump. But, he ends up bringing his family back together after tragedy and forms an unbreakable bond with his roller-skating crew, instilling a feeling of lifelong prosperity.
Stars in Drama War Film, Continues to Move Fans with Emotional Roles
Starring in the 2012 war film, Allegiance, Bow Wow takes on one of his most serious roles yet. In this moving drama, Bow Wow serves as a combat medic. He is supposed to deploy to Iraq with his New York National Guard Unit. His character, Specialist Reyes, has a son with lung cancer and applied for compassionate reassignment, but was denied. He flees the base on multiple occurrences before deployment in hopes of remaining with his son. Though Reyes is arrested for failing to serve his term, all charges are dropped for fear of exploiting the National Guard poorly. He eventually is granted leave and reunites indefinitely with his son. This makes for a happy ending to a rollercoaster of emotions evoked by Moss.
Becomes Part of the Fast And Furious Franchise
Taking on one of his best-supporting roles in the Fast and Furious franchise, Bow Wow appeared as a standout character in two of its nine movies, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and F9. His character "Twinkie" is an established drifter that moved to Tokyo when his family was relocated for the army. He sells stolen goods to provide for himself. He ends up meeting Dom Toretto when he sets him up to race his friend Sean.
Twinkie eventually moves to Germany to build cars for the government. But, he stays in contact with Toretto by selling him weapons, gear, and cars. Moss' character may not make a return for the two-part Fast and Furious final chapter. But, F9 director Justin Lin opened up to Entertainment Weekly about Moss' role in the saga. He said that , "I remember Lucas and Jason and Bow talking to Sung about a conversation they had when we were shooting 'Tokyo Drift' and it was just a continuation of it, and that kind of connection was great."
What to Expect Next from Shad 'Bow Wow' Moss
When Bow Wow went on the 2022 Millenium Tour with singer and actress Keri Hilson, they teamed up. He is now in the sequel to Hip Hop Family Christmas. The upcoming film, Hip Hop Family Christmas Wedding has yet to release its debut. But, the VH1 film will most likely be available this winter. Moss appeared in the saga's first film as Blair. But, the sequel is to include more about Blair's love life and street sense. As for other works from Moss, he confirms with 105.1 FM that something is on the way with BET. Until then, grab a flick or kick back with your boo to some of his hip-hop classics like Like You, You Can Get It All, and Shortie Like Mine.