Since dropping the “Lil’,” Bow Wow appears bent on turning the tables on his image and his skills. As a new year unfolds, that industry-wide memorandum seems to reach the masses based on his potent closing verse on the remix to Dem Franchise Boyz's "I Think They Like Me".
A hot verse isn’t all that the people like about Shad Gregory Moss. Fans, including jealous teenage girls, have grown increasingly infatuated with Bow Wow’s very grown up-looking relationship with Ciara. Engagement rumors aside, Bow Wow welcomes the New Year and new possibilities. The 17 year old responds to an AHH editorial about Will Smith with candor. With DMX on Sony, Bow Wow isn't the only "wanted" dog in the building, but he continues to show his bark matches his bite.
AllHipHop.com: I had interviewed you like maybe at the last album, I guess you could say. So it’s good to hear from you
Bow Wow: I hear that, without a doubt man, big things with AllHipHop.com, because I’m always on there.
AllHipHop.com: Thanks, so you know I been following your career and lyrically I’ve noticed you’re maturing, like a lot. Can you explain like how you’ve grown lyrically?
Bow Wow: [Click here to listen to Bow Wow talk about his lyrical growth] Yeah, lyrically I’ve definitely been growin’ man, I feel like it’s only right that I do so. And the reason being is because people want to hear the more mature me. I think that’s the only way that I will gain respect as a maturing MC that way, you know what I’m saying? I think I been gettin a lot of recognition, not only recognition but just a lot of respect from the “I Think They Like Me.” It’s like, “Yeah you murdered that” so, for them just to say that and show that love and for it not to be even female fans which show me a lot of love and I just see my fan base just switching over. It’s just all love and respecting now you know the tables have turned. I think that it’s great.
AllHipHop.com: Did you think of that line, "Swimming pool in the front, in the back yard, I aint gotta act hard I'm under 21 with a black card"...?
Bow Wow: Yeah, it’s crazy, because like somebody asked me the other day like they thought that I was playing like I was doing a radio show and they thought that like I really didn’t have one. We talk about like Jermaine [Dupri], or somebody’ll say like, "He ain’t got no black card," like just messing around with them, because they know I got one. I put it in a freestyle a long time ago when I had first got the card but I mean now you know, I’m gonna put it out there, like this one, this one kill n****s if I say this.
AllHipHop.com: Now you guys decided to re-release your album Wanted [Click here to see videos from Wanted] what made y’all do that?
Bow Wow: We repackaged it and relaunched it, but it’s not out yet. [I'm adding] a new [song to it], which means may have to go the studio do a brand new record and that’d be the very first single off the one that’s called Wanted: Reloaded. Also there’s a music video, a raw video with me and Snoop on there for the “Caviar” record, which is the song that’s on the album. I have like a mini-movie on there like a real raw uncut you know thing that we had shot in New York.
AllHipHop.com: Okay. Now, how would you define the term MC? A lot of people don’t really recognize that too much as a real art form term as far as Hip-Hop’s concerned.
Bow Wow: It is a art form. And myself, I was brought in to Hip-Hop at a young age so MC'ing is just more than just the look, the swagger, how you talk, it is an art form. And it’s also how you carry yourself. And it’s also a talent. Like Hip-Hop is like it’s like our church - for us. This represents us and I think that you know a lot of people really don’t understand that. Lot of people just look at it like, you know tattoos, jewelry and those are just fads. It’s much deeper than that and, with me, like I watch a lot of Hip-Hop like Krush Groove movies, like Breakin’ movies, like I watch that and I study that from Rhyme and Reason to all kind of Hip-Hop movies cause I’m a Hip-Hop guru. And like I told you, I stay on AllHipHop.com website, and this is what it’s about. Man, like this is my church. So I think that the word “MC” means a lot to me and I’m sure it would mean a lot to all my other peers in the Hip-Hop community as well especially some of the guys that were there at the beginning, the originators, you know what I mean like The Doug E. Fresh's, you know and all those guys and Grandmaster Flash. That means everybody, it means a lot.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, that’s speaking of old school cats, I would be phony if I didn’t mention this, one of our columnists illseed wrote a editorial on Will Smith and --
Bow Wow: Yeah I read that, I told you I be on the website, I read that...
AllHipHop.com: What’d you think about the notion that people kinda being upset about Will’s comments.
Bow Wow: [Listen to Bow Wow speak on comparisions to Will Smith] You know one thing about me, is I don’t hold my tongue. You know what I mean, I’m always gonna be real wit you, I’m always gonna say what I feel. And I just happen to be one out of the billions of people in the world, in the United States alone that has an opinion, you know and people always quick to compare me to Will Smith which is not a bad comparison. It’s not, but at the same time on the music side people always saying they compare me and Will Smith on the music side and I don’t see [it]. I can see somebody comparing Nick Cannon with Will Smith on the music side, but not me.
AllHipHop.com: It could be a compliment though, which I think the editorial stressed...
Bow Wow: Would I love to be with Will Smith is on the movie side? Of course, without a doubt. Am I getting there, yeah. I’m 18 years old this summer. I’ll have nine movies under my belt. It's a big blessing, but I feel like people always comparing me to Will Smith and, once again, it’s not a negative thing. It’s not a bad thing, but at the same time they always want to get the music part with me and Will Smith mixed up. You know Will Smith would not even talk about things that I would talk about you know what I’m saying and I’ve got nothing against Will. Me and Will we’ve talked, so that whole situation is cool. Sometimes, I might say things just to get people’s attention at the end of the [original XXL magazine] article that I saw the guy [illseed] wrote [about] the Black Card line. [Illseed was] like “Oh dude killed me with the Black Card line” or whatever but you know at the same time you know dude does have a lot of respect. I have a lot of respect for Will but at the same time, you know if you read the article closely I never mention Will Smith in the movies. My comments was toward the music.
AllHipHop.com: Right, I understand what you are saying.
Bow Wow: Because me and Will Smith are in totally different places in music and the people always ask me all the time well if it’s not Will Smith, well who would you compare yourself to, I always say a younger L.L.Cool J. I always say L.L. Cool J. because this year will be my fifth album you know what I’m saying. I’m doing movies and the ladies love me. I definitely respect Will Smith because he opened up a lot of doors for us to do what we do. For the L.L’s, for myself, for Ice-T, for Ice Cube, everybody the whole nine yards so I definitely respect Will but I at the same time my music is totally different from Will Smith’s music.
AllHipHop.com: Okay. How do you and Ciara work things out? I mean both of y’all seem to be so busy with your schedule and it seems to be really difficult to have a relationship in this, like how do you manage that?
Bow Wow: [Listen to Bow Wow talk about Ciara] Yeah, I mean it’s quite easy, you know what I’m saying because you know at the same time, she knows what I have to do, I know what she has to do. We’re both in the same industry, we do the same work and anything we’re performers and what not, so I understand things, you know what I’m saying.
AllHipHop.com: I heard you weren’t happy with the VIBE cover. Is that true?
Bow Wow: Yeah, I really wasn’t, because you know, a lot of things that I wanted to put in there wasn’t put in there and I even said it like live on TV. Which was you know me - there I am again - like just speaking my mind. They set it up, how they interviewed us at two different times which I thought was kind of awkward. Which is kind of crazy, you’d think that if you was do a cover story like that, you would interview two people together instead of separate. So I thought that was you know, kinda abnormal to me but you know, all I can say is it definitely could have been better and that’s why you know I praise Ebony magazine because we’re on the cover of that and I felt like that article was on another level and the article was great.
AllHipHop.com: Any truth that yall are engaged?
Bow Wow: Nah, I ain’t gonna speak on that, nah, nah.
AllHipHop.com: All right. Was there ever any beef between you and J.D. like I heard a little comments kinda like a beef here and there or rivalry or things of that nature? Nothing like that?
Bow Wow: Nah, nah, nah. That’s not true, I been on the website so much that I be reading everything. I guess [illseed] said that me and J.D. got in a fight or something like that. And, [it was rumored] we fell out, I wanted to do my label whatnot or you know something [like] I beat up J.D. Nah, nah, nah none of that. Me and J.D. - we brothers man, we love each other man and we would never do that man. Jermaine is my mentor, so I been watching J.D. ever since I was ten years old. Jermaine would never do that. He always listens to my ideas and I do have artists of my own and Jermaine listen to the artists so I mean it’s all love man, none of that nonsense is true.
AllHipHop.com: You been doing it so long, do you get tired?
Bow Wow: Like, nah. Not tired of what I do but just tired you know physically, other than that no, never tired about what I do. I love what I do man. I been wanting to do this since I was five years old, so this is like a dream come true to me.