Bow Wow is at the airport attempting to catch a flight just days after his 35th birthday. His voice is noticeably gruff, as if he’d been shouting at a club all night as he celebrated. But who could blame him? The So So Def alum has been working tirelessly to become a star since he first starting rapping at age 6.
After Snoop Dogg caught him performing at a show in 1993, his career took off and by 13, he’d dropped his debut album Beware Of The Dog with So So Def. Over 20 years later, Bow Wow has sold millions of albums, stars in the WEtv reality series Growing Up Hip Hop and launched a lucrative movie career, starring in films such as Lottery Ticket alongside Ice Cube and Madea’s Big Happy Family with Tyler Perry.
Now, Bow Wow is the face of the Polaris Make Your Mark campaign. In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Bow Wow explained why he wanted to get behind the brand.
“I’ve always been a fan of Polaris Slingshot,” he says. “It was a vehicle I always wanted, and when I got the chance to get my hands on one, I was admiring everything about it. I’m really a fan of that stuff. Next thing we know, we chopped it up, put something together and I’ve been in one of them cool little two-year partnerships with them.
“For me, it was a no brainer to get down with them. Anything they need they know they can call me and I’m there for them.”
In a video promoting the Polaris Slingshot, Bow Wow talked about his journey in the music industry and how the “look” of the vehicle is what pulled him in.
“It’s an experience you’ve never experienced,” he says of the Slingshot. “It’s not just a typical fast car. It’s not a motorcycle. It’s its own thing. When you’re given one and you hit the gas, it’s a F1 formula one race car type of feel. It’s an extreme go-kart, that’s the way I look at it. It’s a monstrous, over-the-top go-kart.”
With speeds up to 125 miles per hour, Bow Wow is able to take the Slingshot “wherever” he wants. “I take it on the freeway, the streets, everywhere,” he says. “I’m all over the place. They push. For me, it’s the closest thing to a race car. For sure.”
Bow Wow joins the ever-evolving list of rappers endorsing big brands — from Fat Joe and White Castle to Big Boi and Realtor.com. During a 2021 interview with DX, Ice-T credited Snoop Dogg for showing him it could be done. After all, the D-O-Double-G has a growing portfolio that includes endorsements with Corona, Tostitos, General Insurance, Dunkin’ Donuts and Overstock.
“He’s definitely one of the [firsts],” he says. “I think what Ice-T probably means is this was the first gangster rapper; somebody who came up gang-banging and all of a sudden, everybody in America loves him. And we can credit him for that. But for, me JAY-Z and Puff as rappers in Hip Hop were the first to do the business thing.
“You only need that one person to open up that door. So to me, those two guys are the first, but if you’re talking about from a gangster rapper perspective, Ice-T’s a West Coast legend. He’s a legend, period.”
Ice-T, who’s currently the face of Cheerio’s Pour Your Heart Into It campaign, has landed gigs with GEICO, Tide and CarShield. Bow Wow thinks that only shows how far Hip Hop has come.
“He plays a detective on Law & Order,” he continues. “I never thought I’d see the day. I think even Ice will probably tell you that he could never see himself playing a cop. But it just shows growth. It just shows we really are here to expand, and we have the time to do whatever we want to do.
“That’s why I never disrespect those who cam before me in this business because it weren’t for them, I would have no guidance, no GPS, no navigation to get to where I’m trying to get to.”
Check back for Part II of the HipHopDX interview with Bow Wow later this week.