I chose the album Doggy Bag by Bow Wow. This album came out when I was in 8th grade. I played soccer and basketball growing up, and 2001 was a big sports year for me.
When you're a "young lesbian" and other kids start to go to boy/girl parties, you're like, "Ah, I can't make it, I gotta stay home and juggle a soccer ball until I can hit all 14 surfaces of my body without it touching the ground! You guys have fun though!"
If anyone is curious what those surfaces are its both shoulders, your chest, both knees, both heels, the top of each foot, the outside/inside of each foot and your head. I got pretty good at it. I'd also always listen to music when I practiced.
I knew of Lil Bow Wow already because of his hit song "Bounce With Me". He was discovered at the age of 6 when he was freestyle rapping by Snoop Dog (who gave him his name), and that was big news on TRL. He was a member of So So Def, which managed other artists I liked like TLC and Da Brat. I saw "Doggy Bag" at Target and picked it up.
I was obsessed. The whole album screams cockiness and confidence, and it samples (as pop-rap tends to do) some fun songs. The lead single, "Thank You," samples The Cars, "Up in Here" is a rehash of DMX's "Party Up (Up in Here)" and "All I Know" mixes in New Edition's "Candy Girl".
It came out on Dec. 18th, right in the middle of my AAU basketball season. I listened to it all day on game days. I guess I felt like I could relate to him. Lil Bow Wow and I were the same age, both loved bball/ice cream/chillin, and were both confident pieces of shit. I got over this cockiness in high school, but in 8th grade I was a tiny point guard running circles around everybody and hitting every 3 I threw up. I showboated. I wore my hair in a braided ponytail. I ate a full snickers bar before every game. On the court. During warm ups. I'd go in for a layup with my right hand and have the half eaten snickers in my left. I blame So So Def for this.
I can honestly say I have no idea how the album is holding up in the rap world. I just listened to most of it last night before my indoor soccer game and we won 11-2 so I'd say for me it still holds up. My favorite song on the album is "Pick of the Litter", because it has ROC and Tigah in it and ROC just keeps saying that he's 38 years old for no reason.
There's also a fun interlude (I miss those) called "Jiminy Cricket", where Lil Bow Wow says Jiminy Cricket's name and laughs, because hey, we're just all kids having fun here.
Bye guys!! 👋🏼