Bow Wow, for the first time, is out protesting on the front lines for racial justice and equality. Four years ago, he rapped a different tune.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the May 25 death of #GeorgeFloyd helped shift the 33-year-old rapper-turned-actor’s perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustices that continue to plague America.
“This is the first time I’ve been affected by anything that’s happened in our nation,” Bow candidly told ET during an interview promoting Thursday’s special episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta, “Bow in the Q.” “It made me want to get out and get involved,” he said, referencing to the tragic death of George Floyd.
For the first time, the former rapper joined protesters to stand for the Black community.
“By me looking out the window and seeing all races, all colors, protesting, marching for the cause, I felt like, ‘Yo, I gotta get down there and walk with them.’ That’s what I did. It’s right in front of me… something has affected me here in our country,” he said. “I got a 9-year-old daughter that I’m raising during this crazy time, asking Dad questions, and I’m making sure I got the answers. You get the answers by getting out there, getting active, watching the news.”
“For me, that’s been the biggest change,” he added.
In 2016, Bow Wow, legally Shad Moss, was blasted for his random tweets in which he implied that he could not relate to civil rights issues because of his mixed-race and said he only believed “what the eyes see.” He blamed those statements on his success as a celebrity who has been in the spotlight since a young age, claiming his race never hindered him during his career.
“[Racism] definitely lives in our business, but I haven’t been a victim of it,” he said.
Bow Wow now claims his statements were “misconstrued” and that things have changed for him and many others. He has found the courage to use his platform to address BLM by watching other celebrities and aims to encourage others to be safe and active in the movement for racial justice and equality.
After his harsh 2016 critiques, he feared he would not express himself correctly, which was another reason why he took a backseat on being vocal for the cause.
“I’m not a politician, I understand I have a platform, but a couple years ago I said, ‘Listen, I’m just going to stay away. I’m going to vote, and if I vote, then I did my part,'” he said. “I was younger, self-centered, and didn’t know all the facts. I’m 33 years old now. It’s time to change.”
The reality star and producer notably pointed out the importance of understanding his roles in society. “As you get older and you’re a father, and your child comes to you for information… how can you give out information if you don’t know? For me, it was understanding what was going on,” he explained. “I’m at a different place in my life, and when this whole thing happened with George Floyd, it just hit differently.” He said, openly discussing his daughter Shai Moss, adding that she knows what is going on in the world today.
He recalled the time they were pulled over by police two years ago. “My little girl thinks police are bad,” he said. “I don’t know at the time if she saw a movie or where it came from, but she’s definitely aware. She’s watching movies, she’s digging up on her history. She just played Harriet Tubman in her school play right before the pandemic… so she’s very aware of what’s going on with Black Lives Matter and what it means.”
“As a father, I couldn’t be more proud,” he proudly stated.
As for the future of America, Bow Wow is hopeful that the movement will not let up, and America will progress in the right direction. “I think we’ve reached a point for our country where people are just tired of it,” he said. “We watch so many senseless killings happen year after year after year. All Americans have taken action now… and we need each other to make this thing move forward.”
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, but I believe we’re going about things the right way,” he said. “We have to be happy, it’s bigger than anything else. It’s the cause that matters, it’s the people that matter. And we just have to act accordingly.”
Bow noted that “it’s never too late” to start getting involved and fighting for what’s right. “It is a critical time. I’m involved,” he declared. “The people got me in the past, let’s X that out. I’m with you guys, and I’m marching.”