Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Teen rapper Lil' Bow Wow was raped by his bodyguard or limousine driver.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
Did such an assault take place? We have to believe it did not because nothing of this nature appeared in the news, and the media is not overly squeamish about reporting such matters. Moreover, a rumor of this nature fits all too well one of the two main types of harmful tales routinely aimed at those deemed too good to be true. Success breeds envy, and where genuine cause for criticism or pity cannot be found, cause will be invented.
Lil' Bow Wow is the stage name taken by Shad Moss, a kid who began rapping when he was five. It was at the tender age of six that he climbed on stage at a Snoop Dogg concert and amazed the hardened West Coast pros with his amazing rhyming talent. Snoop promptly gave "Kid Gangsta" (as Moss then called himself) his new name and signed Bow Wow for the rest of the Chronic Tour.
The 14-year-old Moss has since struck out on his own as a solo artist: His "Beware of Dog" debut went double platinum, and he is currently headlining his first major U.S. tour. The youngster
That much wealth, talent, youth, and fame draws envy as well as admiration, because another person's wild success is often viewed as threatening. Usually the green-eyed monster can be somewhat mollified by a bit of gossip about one of the celebrity's foibles. But what to do when there are no obvious foibles, nothing that can be pointed to as a particular failing of that person, a shortcoming that a lesser achiever might take comfort in decrying?
In the world of gossip, squeaky-clean overachievers will generally get tagged with one of two types of rumors. The first can be described as sour graping and will be expressed as "Ah, he's not so wonderful
The second sort of rumor
Lil' Bow Wow's meteoric rise would make him the target of envy. An additional factor beyond the acclaim accorded his debut album would have been the announcement that the then-13-year-old rapper would appear with Madonna in the opening act of the Grammys awards show on
Yet a rumor, no matter how begun, does not get very far unless others are willing to further it. Lil' Bow Wow's violation was received by many as a vindication of their non-rapper, non-famous lifestyles. Spreading such a tale made them feel better about themselves. Yes, the rumor was shocking, but it's true appeal rested on its "punishment for being too famous and successful" theme.
We like to see our heroes succeed. We just don't like to see them succeed too well.
Barbara "best mind your succeed and cues" Mikkelson
Last updated: 5 May 2007
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