Today, March 9, is the birthday of five big names in hip-hop. Although they were all born in different years and 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 is set to star in the upcoming CSI spinoff show, CSI: Cyber.
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 seven albums to date and collaborating with Statik Selektah, Styles P and Wu-Tang Clan. AZ’s currently working on his eighth studio album, Do or Die 2.
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 lately for his outspoken point of views on politics, the music business and society.
Happy G-day to Compton’s own Keenon Jackson, better known as YG. This former XXL Freshmen 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.
Last but not least, L.A. based rapper and Odd Future member Domo Genesis celebrates his 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 most recently, last year’s Under the Influence 2. Though Genesis has hung back as an OF group member for the last couple of years, with his most recent single releases and his debut album set to drop in 2015, it seems he’s ready to stake his claim in the forefront.