Bow Wow‘s antics have become somewhat beloved, albeit reluctantly, by the hip-hop community. Yet for many, the triumphant run of his “Lil” counterpart might feel like ancient history. In a way, it was. Lil Bow Wow first rose to prominence in 2000 with his debut album Beware Of Dog. Though child rappers weren’t entirely uncommon, Lil Bow Wow was a cut above the rest, perhaps thanks to the tutelage of veteran artists Jermaine Dupri and his Uncle Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Bow Wow Watches Old Home Movies From The Beloved "Lil" Era

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In any case, Lil Bow Wow quickly became a fan favorite, particularly among the demographic of girls his same age. The combination of mildly infectious hits and a legion of young pre-teen admirers helped secure him his first BET Award, a moment immortalized through a recently shared Instagram clip. “1st ever to win it!” reflects an older Bow Wow, in the accompanying caption. “I remember telling jd to stand up before they was done announcing the nominees. i knew i had it in the bag!” 

The clip is memorable for a variety of reasons. For one, Jermaine Dupri being seemingly trapped in an eternal cycle of tepid applause. Second, Bow Wow’s hair, a relic of the times no doubt. And three, Bow Wow’s courageously confident decision to shout out Jay-Z at the end of his acceptance speech. It’s a testament to a simpler time, long before our hero found himself cast out from the Tycoon Weekend festivities. Do you have any love for Bow Wow, Lil or otherwise?