In the second part of this exclusive interview with Bow Wow, AllHipHop.com talked to the young rapper about many of his affiliations and peers. The new Cash Money Millionaire was open and candid.
AllHipHop.com: Youre an artist that has been in the music industry since birth. What has it been like growing in that atmosphere?
Bow Wow: Everyone already knows my story. Snoop discovered me at the age of five. The reason why Im different than a lot of other rappers is because of my upbringing. I have always had people like Jermaine Dupri and Snoop in my corner to guide me and teach me the fundamentals about Hip Hop. I always credit that to why I am here and able to do what I do. Theres no telling where I would be if I hadnt have met these guys early on in my career. I was on The Chronic tour with Snoop, Dre, and Tha Dogg Pound. Not to be cocky but people should check my resume. I was around when Onyx was hot and not too many people can say that. Its a blessing for me to be young then and to still be young now. Its amazing and a blessing.
When it came time to sign again I didnt know if I could trust another major. I had a lot of deals on the table but I wanted to go in a different route. I, not only, wanted to be surrounded by people who want to win, but to also bring what I do to the table and help make everything bigger. I felt comfortable signing with them. I know them. They are good guys and right now we are number one.
1993: When Lil Bow Wow appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show
AllHipHop.com: You and Lil Wayne both started your rap careers at relatively young ages. He, however, is not pigeonholed into the box of child rapper. Do you feel Cash Money will be the label to help you reach that broader audience?
Bow Wow: Oh most definitely. If you just look at the rooster thats on Cash Money you can see that we are a label like no other. We have Kevin Rudolph who had the Let It Rock record. We have the number one pop record. By having that on board and so accessible I feel that Cash Money will be able to help me reach an audience that I never had. Given that we have these different genres of music over here at Cash Money, I definitely believe that can help expand my audience. Id like to help bring the Hollywood side to Cash Money. I have a new movie with Ice Cube and Im in and out of Hollywood so in a way its a win-win for me and the label.
AllHipHop.com: Looking at the acting side of your career, are there any other movies besides the Ice Cube one coming out?
Bow Wow: Right now the big thing is just Lottery Ticket with Ice Cube which Im going to start shooting in October. Right after that I plan on releasing some singles. Im already in the studio recording with Cool and Dre but right now Im just messing around. Im going to officially drop something in the fall so expect something big from me.
AllHipHop.com: On a side note, the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident is back in the news because of the Larry King interview. You were one of the first artists to come forward in with him and you were even in a youtube video with him afterwards. What is your take on how the situation is progressing?
Bow Wow: Chris is my brother. I hold him down. Even on the Larry King interview he spoke about his real friends and Ive always been there for him. Right now I feel like the situation is kind of old. And I feel like I can speak for Chris fans when I say we just want to see him do what he is good at, and known for doing, which is entertaining. Hes in the studio working hard. Hes got his head up high. I speak to him every other day and its cool. We understand the circumstance and well deal with him but Chris will overcome everything. Hes grinding right now and these things will only make him stronger. Hes gonna turn all the negative energy into positive energy.
AllHipHop.com: Lets move from that relationship over to yours. Youve been linked with a few people, most notably Ciara and Angela Simmons, so whats going on in the personal life now?
Bow Wow: As of right now I am totally dedicated to my career. For me it is all about music, studio, and acting. I cant tell you the last time I went to the club or anything. Its only about shows, the studio, or reading a script. I feel like I have a lot to prove signing with Cash Money and I dont have time to be running around with chicks and being on blog sites. I have no room for errors. I have no room for f**k ups. I signing with one of the greatest teams and I feel I need to work hard to be apart of it. Im only 22 so I have a long career ahead of me and Im married to music.
AllHipHop.com: Can you elaborate more on the situation that happened with Im A Flirt? Was it your record or R. Kellys record? It appeared to be R Kellys record.
Bow Wow: Exactly. Thats what Im saying. I delivered the record. I told them this would be my second single. I told them this would be a number one record. They laughed and told me that it wasnt going to work. Really even before I was signed Columbia Records had some issues with R. Kelly. It was some business issues where I guess R. Kelly didnt get paid for a track or at least thats what I heard. The only reason Kellz went out of his way and did that record was for me. I dropped my verse. The label didnt like it because they wanted something more pop. Kellz called me up and said he loved the record and wanted it for his Double Up album.
He said he would keep me on it and give me the points. I said cool, as long as I got to keep my writing credit. Thats what we did because I didnt want to record to go to waste either. So I gave it to Kellz, Kellz did it, and the next thing you know its a number one record. Just like I told Columbia. That was just me knowing me, knowing my music, and knowing where I needed to be and they could not see eye to eye. That was four years ago that they dropped the ball on that record. They dropped the ball on the Face Off project [collaboration with Omarion]. Even though we did do 500,000 on that project I still feel like a ball was dropped on the radio side. It has been like this every album. Every album is nonstop going through s**t and I just got tired of it.
AllHipHop.com: You had the Face Off album you had with Omarion. As you move over to Cash Money he is leaving Young Money. Any insight as to why that is occurring?
Bow Wow: As of right now Im signed to Cash Money. As far as Os situation, I have no idea. I wish him the best of luck. Thats my dude. I heard some of the music and I just wish him the best. I try not to get too involved in other artists situations.
AllHipHop.com: Now, when you started out your name was Kid Gangsta. Then you became Lil Bow Wow. Now you go by Bow Wow and youre talking about using your real name in an album title. Are you trying to totally shed the Bow Wow image?
Bow Wow: I thought about it. Ill say it. I was thinking about naming the album Who is Shad Moss? I want people to get familiar with who I am. I mean, people know my real name because when I do movies I go by it. Thats because I like to keep the movies and the music separate. Well see about the album title. I might just call it my name.
AllHipHop.com: Cash Money and Young Money both have an extensive rooster which includes artists like Lil Wayne, Drake, and Nicki Minaj. With so many people coming out of that system when can we expect to hear an album from you?
Bow Wow: Oh, I dont want to put my album out until next year. I told Baby that I felt like the New Jack City II album was rushed and he agreed. He told me the same thing I said earlier. I didnt need to put out an album. I didnt need any money. They needed to put out an album. They needed money. He knew it. So if it takes me a year if it takes me two years..Im not putting out an album until its right. I know what Im capable of doing. This situation is going to prove that Columbia was wrong and just didnt know what they were doing. Cash Money likes to win and they are not going to put out anything that is not a winner.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel Cash Money will help you evolve from child star to more of an adult rapper?
Bow Wow: I think that is all up to me. Its a look but it all starts with me and what I need to do as an artist. There are different things that I need to do, such as picking the right movies, in order to help me get to that point. I definitely believe I will get there but I am not going to depend on the label for a look. Im just looking to make good music where people can hear the maturity and growth. Thats why Im doing the youtubes and dropping the mixtapes so people can see more of me and get use to the growth. I think it all starts off with the person getting the respect so thats what Im going for in whatever I do.
The situation has me just as excited as my fans and Im just as anxious as the people who say it might not work. The one thing I can say about Baby is that he is a very intelligent dude when it comes to music. They do not like to lose so please believe that if it aint right then it aint coming out. And hopefully Ill be able to bring more to the label.