Artist: Bow WowTitle: The Price Of FameRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Latifah Muhammad
Barely legal but already talking like he's been around for years, Bow Wow's fifth album, The Price of Fame (Sony/Columbia) is a step in the right direction from bubble gum sweet rap lyrics to the world of pending adulthood
The self-proclaimed "Prince of Hip-Hop" speaks on what most teenage boys care about: girls and money. Each track on his album is age appropriate so as to not to leave his loyal fans behind, but also commands the attention of a more mature audience. "Shortie Like Mine" the sugar coated single, featuring Chris Brown, is the perfect hybrid, with a catchy beat. But the game soon changes on "How You Move It" which dares to discuss a more adult physical attraction. Almost unrecognizable on the songs "On Fiya" and "Bet That" yet playfully curious on "Tell Me" featuring Da Brat, it's hard to remember that Bow Wow is still a teenager.
"Don't Know About That" is a clever track, allowing Bow Wow to gloat: "Being broke? Naw n**** I don't know about that." Apparently, the price of fame is more bankable than ever. Meanwhile, Jermaine Dupri's production, and all around mentoring presence, is felt heavily throughout Price Of Fame, perhaps influencing Bow Wow to step his game up. However the album does lose its consistency on the song "Give it to You" which sports a horrible hook and beat to match.
Continuously approaching the line from appropriate pre-teen friendly lyrics to borderline sexual explicitness but never completely crossing it, his music is the perfect representation of his transformation into young adulthood. Yet it doesn't sound too forced. Since not many artists can say they've stayed afloat in the game for over 10 years, he's not afraid to put his money where his mouth is, and gloat while doing it.