In Bow Wow’s 2001 hit “Take Ya Home,” he crowned himself as Mr. 106 & Park and it turns out, the show that he named himself after was in fact created for him.
Yesterday (Dec. 15), Jermaine Dupri, his former So So Def label boss, made an appearance on “The GAUDS Show,” a podcast hosted by Ray Daniels, where he revealed that the popular 90-minute countdown music video show was his idea and made for his then-artist Lil Bow Wow. He also said that the hip hop culture needed a platform to promote our music just as “TRL” promoted the music of pop culture.
“‘106 &Park’ was created by me,” he said. “I created the show for Bow Wow. I was watching MTV and they had ‘TRL.’ They catered to NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and anything white that was coming out. They were allowing the kids to scream and holler at them.”
Dupri said he wanted a similar segment that catered to young Black audiences, so he approached Stephen Hill, who was the president of programming for BET at the time.
“I called Stephen Hill and told him that we needed a show like TRL because they wouldn’t put a 12-year-old Black boy on rapping. Nobody was on TV at 12 years old causing that kind of ‘fandomonium.'”
I didn’t know Jermaine Dupri created 106 n Park. 👏🏾👏🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/YquO20jTJb
— E___🤷🏽♀️ (@Ed_naaa) December 15, 2022
“106 & Park,” named after the original studio location at East 106th Street and Park Avenue in New York City, made its debut on Sept. 11, 2000 with hosts AJ Calloway and Marie “Free” Wright. On Nov. 8, the then-13-year-old rapper Shad “Lil Bow Wow” Moss came on to the show to drop off his latest album, Beware of Dog. Then the young emcee made history. His first 10 videos all reached No. 1 on the “106 & Park” countdown.
Lil’ Bow Wow would go on to have the most retired videos in the “106’s” history. “That’s My Name,” “Take Ya Home,” “Puppy Love,” “Thank You,” “Let’s Get Down,” “My Baby” and “Let Me Hold You” were all retired. If what Dupri said about his plan to promote his artist is true, the scheme definitely worked.
After AJ and Free’s departure, “106 & Park” had multiple hosts, including Terrence J and Rocsi, as well as Bow Wow and Keisha Chanté. The show ended in 2014.