Happy Birthday to Bow Wow, AZ, Chingy, YG and Domo Genesis!
Today, March 9, is the birthday of five big names in hip-hop. Although they were all born in different years and have left different marks on the culture, these rap quints have all made their name in the game one way or another.
Shad Moss (Bow Wow)
Born Shad Moss, the Columbus, Ohio native became a young rap protege at the age of six when he was discovered by Snoop Dogg at a Los Angeles concert. Lil Bow Wow dropped his debut album Beware of Dog at just 13-years-old in 2000. Thanks to chart-climbing singles like "Bounce with Me" and "Bow Wow (That's My Name)," Beware of Dog went double platinum by 2001. Since then, Bow Wow has released five more albums, worked with the likes of Mario, Birdman and Amerie and successfully transitioned his career into the acting realm. From 2013 to 2014, Bow Wow was a co-host on BET's daily music countdown show, 106 & Park and currently stars in the CSI spinoff show, CSI: Cyber. He turns 30 years old today.
Widely considered one of the most underrated MC's in the game is Brooklyn-born Anthony Cruz, better known as AZ. AZ is a member of the New York hip-hop group The Firm and longtime collaborator of famed Queens' lyricist, Nas. Fans first noticed AZ's skills when he was featured on Nas' 1994 album Illmatic as a featured rapper on the song "Life's A Bitch." His debut album, 1995's Doe or Die, birthed AZ's most successful single, "Sugarhill." The Miss Jones-assisted "Sugarhill" reached No. 25 on the year's Billboard Hot 100. Though he was never able to match the commercial success of "Sugarhill," AZ continued to make music, dropping eight albums to date and collaborating with Statik Selektah, Styles P and Wu-Tang Clan. AZ's currently working on his ninth studio album, Do or Die 2, due out this year. AZ turns 45 today.
This St. Louis rapper was first taken under the wing of Ludacris and his label, Disturbing the Peace in 2002. In 2003, Chingy burst onto the scene with the summer smash "Right Thurr" off his debut album, Jackpot. He followed up Jackpot with his second album, Powerballin' in 2004 and Hood Star in 2006. Though he was never able to duplicate his musical success of his debut, Chingy has been back in the news this past year for his outspoken point of views on politics and the music industry. Chingy turns 37 this year.
Happy B-day to Bompton's own Keenon Jackson, better known as YG. This former XXL Freshman started making waves in 2010 with his hit single, "Toot It and Boot It" featuring Ty Dolla $ign. The Def Jam signee has worked with the likes of DJ Mustard, Nipsey Hu$$le and Tyga and also has his own record label, Pu$haz Ink, which houses the careers of Reem Riches, Ty Dolla $ign and more. In June 2015, the West Coast rapper was shot in the thigh, a hit YG believes to be an inside job. As he recovered, the "Who Do You Love" rapper is dropped his sophomore album Still Brazy in 2016. The album was fueled by the infectious political rap "FDT (F*#k Donald Trump)." YG celebrates his 27th birthday today.
Last but not least, L.A. based rapper and Odd Future member Domo Genesis celebrates his 26th birthday today. Born Dominique Marquis Cole in Hawthorne, Calif., Genesis attended Arizona State University before dropping out to rap full time in 2009. His first mixtape, titled Rolling Papers dropped in 2010 with production help from Odd Future founder Tyler the Creator. Domo followed this up with Under the Influence in 2011, No Idols in 2012 and Under the Influence 2. Though Genesis has hung back as an OF group member for the last couple of years, he stepped into the spotlight in 2016 by dropping his debut album Genesis.
Happy birthday, guys!
40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2017