Though he has since dropped the age restrictive "Lil'" for the more mature Bow Wow, this rapper-turned-actor stands tall on both stage and screen no matter what moniker he assumes. Born Shad Gregory Moss in Reynoldsburg, OH, Lil' Bow Wow dropped his first rhymes at the tender age of three, and after hooking up with producer Jermaine Dupri, the young rapper released his debut album, Beware of Dog, in 2000. The following year, he brought his vocal talents to the small screen in Carmen: A Hip Hopera. After releasing his 2001 sophomore album, Doggy Bag, Lil' Bow Wow made his feature debut in the action comedy All About the Benjamins. Leading-man status followed with a starring role as an orphan who discovers a pair of magical basketball shoes in Like Mike (2002), showing that the pint-sized rapper's skills in front of the camera rivaled those behind the microphone.
Following the release of his third album, Unleashed (2003), he returned to the screen in 2004 for the comedy Johnson Family Vacation; snagging the lead role in Director Malcolm D. Lee's nostalgic coming-of-age tale Roll Bounce the following year. Strapping on a pair of roller skates for the '70s-set family drama, Bow Wow's first leading role snagged impressive box-office totals in its first-weekend, indicating good things to come for the young rapper-actor hyphenate. 2006 would find the actor/hip-hopper adding the title of wheelman to his credits when he buckled-in for the rubber-burning sequel The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.