Bow Wow: My Way

On his new album with Omarion, this former kiddie rapper is manning up. Can he make a hit without Jermaine Dupri behind him?

Ten years in the rap game, a multitude of platinum plaques, several feature roles on the silver screen…one would think these accolades were those of a weathered vet, and you’d be right; they are. It just happens that this veteran’s not old enough to buy a drink, but his financials tell a much different tale. Shad Moss, commonly known as Bow Wow, grabbed the microphone for the first time almost 15 years ago on the Chronic Tour, kicked some rhymes that impressed Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and was deemed Lil’ Bow Wow. Subsequently, he met Jermaine Dupri who signed the young upstart to his label, So So Def. The hit-maker supplied Bow Wow with a familiar formula that was proven to be profitable over and over again; making radio-friendly tracks that targeted adolescent women. In 2004, he finally started getting some respect as a grown-up artist with his “Under 21 with a Black Card” verse on the remix to Dem Franchize Boyz’s “I Think They Like Me.” But after cashing in on his teen-oriented pop one more time on 2006’s The Prince of Fame, Bow Weezy is ready for a change. His new duet album with Omarion, Face Off, is his first without Jermaine Dupri. Beware of the dog!

You’ve been hinting at it for a while, but is this the record where Bow Wow finally gets to grow up?
This album is one of the biggest highlights of my career as far as music goes because I’m now free. I can talk about things I’ve been dying to talk about for so long. Now that I’m of age, I don’t have to feel bad about it when I leave the studio. It’s me raw and uncut. I got the opportunity to step away from JD and do my own thing and be an executive producer. [I want to] prove to the people and prove to the world we can do this without Jermaine. That’s really the big thing about it. It’s totally different.

How much did the R. Kelly and Jay-Z album inspire you to team up with Omarion?
The last tour that we did together was the Scream IV tour. When we first came onto the stage, we performed “The Best of Both Worlds.” Jay had heard about it when the tour came to Madison Square Garden. I remember watching Hov in the front row watching the entire show and he was like “This shit is crazy” [laughs]. On top of that we had a number one record together —“Let Me Hold You.” It’s just smart business knowing that we cater to the same demographic. Any artist can do an album every year with 13 tracks on it. It gets boring after awhile. I feel like I would be cheating my fans if I just went in the studio and did just another album all over again. I want to give them something different; something they could remember; something that I haven’t done. I salute the ones who did it before us. We actually had the chance to work with Kells—he did three records for us.

Since Jermaine was out of the picture, who else did you work with?
We worked with T-Pain, R. Kelly, one of my up-and-coming producers, Lil Ronnie, who actually produced the first record with me and R. Kelly [“I’m A Flirt”]. He actually produced the “Same Girl” with Kells and Usher too. On top of that we worked with The Dream. We had the opportunity to work with my man Jim Jonsin out of Miami, who’s crazy with it. We’re working with all the hot, up-and-coming producers. When you work with a lot of experienced producers, they always feel like, “Oh, this the kind of record you need,” and you end up giving them a $150,000 for it. It comes out to be something wack but you forced to go ahead and pay. The thing about working with cats like Lil Ronnie is you go in there and have a chemistry with your producer and you can tell them what you need. Actually, Lil Ronnie got like six tracks—damn near half the album.

What’s your relationship with Jermaine Dupri like now?
The relationship with me and JD is kind of crazy [laughs]. I haven’t seen Jermaine in like two months. Last time I actually spoke to Jermaine was the first time in a long time. It’s just different with me and him right now. I’m in my own world right now. I’m tired of people always wanting to do things for me. I have a passion for music. I love what I do. It’s kind of hard to be at a distance and you can’t really touch it. My whole entire career with Jermaine, he’s always laid out everything and never really made me work for mine. Everything really came easy and I’m at a point in my career now that I’m not just willing to take that. I’m ready to work for mine. I’m ready to write records and if niggas walk in the studio and be like, “That’s wack, scratch it, re-do it,” all it’s gonna do is push me harder. We really not even on talking terms; I don’t really talk to him, he don’t talk to me. I just had a real deep conversation with Snoop last night. We was talking about personal things. He gave me a lot of advice, telling me what I should do. As of right now, that’s my big brother. Me and Snoop talk everyday. As far as Jermaine is concerned, I have no affiliation with So So Def and no affiliation with him. That’s just what it is. It’s nothing negative towards him. I just wanted to branch off and do my own thing. I’m a grown man now. I’ve learned all I can learn from him. I don’t take nothing away from him. I even got the afro man on my arm because I know without dude, I wouldn’t even be where I’m at right now. I probably wouldn’t be talking to you. That’s how I look at it. When I see him, it’s funny, but that’s life.

Was there a specific event that changed the relationship?
Yeah, it was just a real disagreement. He was supposed to produce the entire Face Off project, but straight up, I didn’t like the record and he dissed us. Simple as that. That’s when you go back to working with cats that are hungry, cats that are willing to hear your input. You know, with Jermaine… I just held my own opinion. I felt that the record he did for me and O’s album wasn’t a hot record and I told him that and some things were said; a lot of arguing going back and forth. When you’re a family, those things happen. It’s unfortunate that those events had to occur in the studio.

On the internet, your wordplay and flow on some recent tracks like B5’s “Hydrolics” and Paula Deanda’s “Easy” has gotten a lot of comparison to Lil Wayne’s style. Can you see any similarities?
Wayne is actually a really good friend of mine. Every time I’m home in Miami, we kick it like everyday. A lot of these rappers that cats really like or that’s hot, when they see me it’s like, “Man I wish I had one of your records.” When Wayne saw me, he was like, “Yo, that ‘Shorty Like Mine,’ man I wanted that. I needed that!” It’s crazy because it makes me feel like, Damn, sometimes I want to step it up, lyrically. Not necessarily where y’all at, but I would like to step it up and prove to people where I stand as an artist. Me and Wayne, we cool. We mess around in the studio and all that but people can take it how they want to take it. It’s all gravy.

On the remix to Gorilla Zoe’s “Hood Nigga,” Young Jeezy has a line where he says “I’d never let a bitch Lil Bow Wow me.” What did you think when you heard that?
Man, you know’s what crazy about that? When I heard the record, I loved the record. T.I. had an album release party and I was in the parking lot. I saw Jeezy and I said “What’s hap’nen’?” He came over to the car, it was all love, we shake hands or whatever. It wasn’t a diss. Basically, what I think he was trying to say was, when I made the record “Outta My System,” it was for Ciara. I guess he was saying, “Yo, I’ll never let a chick get me down to the point where I’ll make records about her or where I’ll be all hurt about her.” It was just an undercover line, but really it wasn’t. It was just like, “I ain’t never gon let a chick get me down like that. I’m seeing this nigga in the rain.” I didn’t really think it was a diss, and if it was, that night when I saw him in the parking lot he definitely wouldn’t have came over to my car and said what’s up because I already know how real niggas get down.

What can we expect from your next solo joint?
My next solo album will be my last album with Sony. This is where stuff gets good—where I’ll get the chance to go in the office and renegotiate my contract and go and get that big money. My first album was called Beware of the Dog. I want to call my sixth album Still Beware of the Dog. I want to have my sixth album cover to resemble the first album cover with the pitbull. I want to release the album on the same day I released my first album. I’m just in pre-production. I been so focused on this Face Off album. I think I already have the first single for my sixth album though. It’s kind of crazy. I can tell you now. It’s bigger than “Shorty Like Mine,” bigger than “Let Me Hold You.” That’s the thing about me—I stay consistent and I know how to make hit records. I may not be the hottest rapper. I might not be the hardest nigga, but when it comes to making hit records and selling records, nobody can take that away from me. I think my ultimate goal is to deliver this sixth album and just sit back for the next two years and just run my label; just put my artists out. I just signed Short Dawg who is one of coldest lil’ niggas that’s out, period. He’s from Houston. Next year, I’m just gonna sit back and play C.E.O.

  • http://xxlmag.com poet

    lame ass kid

    • BRIAN FANTANA

      MANE THAT JERK WAS ALWAYZ WACK,AND FOREVA BE WACK.DOIN A ALBUM WIT OMARION AINT GON CHANGE NUTHIN’. IF ANYTHANG, OMARION GON BE DA REASON IF THA ALBUM MAKE ANY SELLS.(HONESTLY I DONT THINK DAT IT CAN GO ALUMINUM.)

  • omarion

    yo i got a album wit bow wow???? since when???? somebody get my manager on the phone, dis lil bitch better be jokin around!!!

  • sdot roc 585

    1st money ova bitches

  • Dirty Red

    “That’s the thing about me—I stay consistent and I know how to make hit records.”

    Correction: Jermaine knows how to make hit records for me. This cat is nothing without ghost writers. Remember the one record he did without JD?…Yeah, me either.

    • http://1nme.com K’lajh

      I used to hate on Bow Wow, but that nigga got a mind on his shoulders, and I’m glad to see BLACK MEN making money, period.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    I suppose this just had to be here.

  • The Infamous Mr. P

    if theres anything to take from this its that i should take all the money ive saved for my kids education, and invest it in studio time and or maybe a publicist, and try to introduce him to uncle snoop dogg. i give props to the little nigga, not for makin money or for makin me feel poor, but that he hasnt turned into a hollywood crackhead like most of these child stars. hey, does anyone else think that jermaine is a little wierd, he does like to work with children alot and he did hook up with janet. coincidence i think not, maybe he wanted to get some pointers from michael on how to make some of that jesus juice.

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  • beleedat

    Calling all Rappers: Go to vibe verses dot com for your chance to win 10k and a page in vibe magazine. Last day to enter! Thanks!

  • NewEraKid

    First of all no matter who writes the rhyme’s he still has to say them.Second you can’t deny the fact that the guy is a hustler.He took home a third of the profit from the last scream tour he was on.And third if you name your favorate rapper he has more than likely sold as many if not more records.No matter who is buying them.

  • Loco

    Bow Wow? This site is falling off in it’s interviews.

  • The Truth

    Bow Wow is such an imposter he neva wrote any of his shyt just like lil wayne – and i believe who ever’s writing weezy’s craft is also writtin his -i believe he’ll never be able to write a hit sixteen witout jd or a ghost Writter

  • Amanda

    Wow…who ever wrote that interview is amazing..he should definatly get a full time job there….

  • RISSA

    WOW, I’m suprised and shocked!! Good job on the article.

    Bow WOw is the best man.

  • RISSA

    SHUT YOUR FUCKING ASS UP HATERS. THIS INTERVIEW IS GOOD.
    BOW WOW IS THE SHIT MAN.

  • blackout

    People keep saying the same thing, he didn’t write this, he didn’t write that BUT why give credit to a ghost writer? That’s not how it goes. You pay extra for a ghost writer to be able to say that you wrote it when you didn’t. He hasn’t had ghost writers, cause credit is given to the people that did write on his album. Truth be told, outside of him being short, not writing his own rhymes at first,not being hood and losing ciara…… what else is there to say….outside of….nothing. Gotta respect dude for his grind. A young black man making money, and ain’t nothing wrong with that….unless you are a young black man with no money, then all you do is get on xxlmag.com and hate……

  • john cochran

    I feel bad for Bow wow in a way. Yeah, he has 10x more cake than me and can get any chick on gods green earth, but he’ll never be respected. Youll never hear his name come up in a “top 10″ discusion. Ever. Sure you make hits, but its mainly off the strength of hot beats or features, never your own flow. He has nothing to rap about besides money and girls, and the best hiphop music comes from struggle, something he’s never seen.

  • yoprince

    five years ago, nobody would’ve thought lil wayne’s name would come up in top 10 discussions… the fans change too people!!

  • Trickdd

    T.I. WROTE 80% OF THE FIRST ALBUM LOL

  • FUCK DEM B.W. HATERSS…

    fuck all yall thats hatin on bow wow…i mean he must be doing sumthin to sho yall who he really is or yall wouldnt be hatin and shit…..say wat yall want yall just jealous….he got the money….girls…and albums to show yall niggas how he get down….

    it aint his fault…god made him who is…

    so fuck yall!!!!!!! and get a life….one that dont consits of hatin…its bad for ya heart…bitches….

  • nellz

    even if TI wrote his lyrics….bow wow has always had a better flow…even when ti switched his up

  • Ali

    I respect em 4 tryna do his own thing now…I can’t say I like his music but I’ll give tha new shit a listen since it’s finally HIS music

    lol @ TIP writin’ tha 1st album….maybe he’ll write that solo one too since he’s goin back 2 jail lol

  • esco

    people really need to stop hating, if u aint got nothing better to do with your life than write negative comments about someone on a website then you need to get a life.
    personally i feel that bow wow is improving as an mc he has a few freestlyes that ive heard on the web which are pretty good such as brown paper bag, white girl and my 64, hes only 20 and has years to improve and become a credible mc, people need to give him a chance. i got respect for him hes young rich and talented fuck the haters.

  • aYALL SOME FOOLS

    WHY EVERYBODY HATING ON BOW WOW….ALL YALL BITCH ASS NIGGAS AND CORNY CRACKKKAS USE TO BUMP MIS MUSIC NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN ANYTHING HE DOES IS LAME?…MAN YALL SOME BANWAGON BITCHES

  • JAYSTONE

    Fuck bow wow and omario.them fools sings for bitches.bow wow is wack.shit i did rather listern to T-pain with his robotic voice than this fool.nobody care for him thats while his last albulm flopi predict them niggas willsell 60,000 copies in the first week.

  • JAYSTONE

    Fuck bow wow and omario.them fools sings for bitches.bow wow is wack.shit i did rather listern to T-pain with his robotic voice than this fool.nobody care for him thats while his last albulm flopi predict them niggas will sell 60,000 copies in the first week.

  • ahah

    lil bow wow > 2fag

  • mr blunts

    Fuck Bow wow he a punk he aint thug so stop actin like one. he so wack he makes t.i sound good.its a shame how fake ass niggas get blown up and on main stream if bow wow mamma wasent suckn jermaine dupri monkey dick there would be no bow wow..blow a chop boi. keepn it real u feel.i aint got no love for a shit head bitch!!!!!!!!!

    Free Tha Husalah!!!!!!!!!!!1

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  • Sha M

    You know….this was actually a really good interview. I’m impressed by the interviewer AND what Bow Wow had to say. Think I might actually keep my ear to the radio for him. Not gon buy the album most likely lol.

  • Kate

    jaystone, you must be a fan. because if you don’t like someone, you don’t need to reply to his shit. gay as bitch!!

    I respect bow wow now.

  • laquivia

    Haha ha dnt knock the hustl until yo try it. he just want to branch out and do stuff on his own with having to hear everone say its because of jermaine.. like he said he want to grow up just like everyone else

  • Unfaeable

    FUCK YALL HATERZ IN HERE FUCK YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN @#$%^&*@#$%^&& STUPID BITCHAS UNDERCOVA FANS IF YOU DONT LIKE THE DUDE WHY TAKE YA TIME AND COMMENT ? PLEASE GET A LIFE AND LAY OFF THe DUDES DICK SHIT!!!

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  • T-BONE

    Bow wow is cool, not a real fan of his, but the brother is makin his doe! Never knock the hustle of the next man, cuz you will always sound like a hater! If you dont like em, dont listen! Tuff enuff for brothers out here anyway! Brothers that got doe will always be watched, ask TI, M VICK, TYSON, MIKE JACKSON, damn they even tried to get jordan, allow your fellow brothers to grow and thats what hes tryin to do, but always remember, the man is watchin for your first mistake so they can put ya in their book! Why be a thug, be a man! Be a black man! Damn we always gotta hate on each other!

  • http://www.bebo.com latoya

    LOOK YALL ALL I HAVE TO SAY HIS SHAD MOSS IS THE BADDEST RAPPER THAT THERE IS SO DONT FUCKIN HATE ON MY BIG BRO YOU DIGG IF YOU WOULD HAVE READ THE WHOLE THING AND COMPLETLEY GOT IT AND UNDERSTOOD IT YOU WOULD KNOW THAT HE ISA TRUE RAPPER HE NOES EXACTLY WAT HE IS TALKIN BOUT!!!!I LOVE HIM SO MUCH SO YA THATS WAT I HAVE TO SAY!!!!

  • sho

    that line about the jeezy situation…come on, jeezy still shyt on him wit that weak-ass apology…that shyt need to be in NEGRO PLEASE

  • Sanchez Quilvers

    Even his fans know,he act like a straight hoe, now don’t he though, almost got his ass knocked the fuck out by Romeo. I listen to hip hop, he makin kids bop, kid stop, before ya lame ass getcha wig popped.

  • rob

    bow wow is ok. he aint that wack. he has a good deliver with his raps. he just needs to step up his lyrics, he will get better. stop hatin because you are over 21 without a black card

  • Trickdd

    I AINT GOT NO RESPECT FOR BOW WOW NEW MUSIC BUT HE MAKEN HIS MONEY . BOW WOW LAME LIL BOW WIZZLE WAS TIGHT . BOW WOW JUST DONT SOUND RIGHT HE WAS COMEIN OUT WITH HARDER SHIT WHEN HE WAS A GIT COUSE T.I. WROTE IT BUT HE FUCKT UP HE GOTS THE GIRLS BUT WAIT TELL HE GETS OLDER WHATS HE GUNNA DO SING HE GUNNA FALL OFF LIKE BACKSTREET BOYS AND NSYNC COUSE THEM GIRLS AINT GUNNA STAY YOUNG FOREVER AND NEITHER IS HE

  • Braidy

    Bow is tha man, despite all his mistakes he’s done previously, but obviously he’s gettin it now as he matures as time gose by. People need to stop lookin at his negatives & atleast try to look at the positive he’s done and for Goodness’ sake, he handled fame at the young age ’13!!!’ y’all give him a
    B-R-E-A-K!!!

  • Braidy

    Bow is the man and I think people should stop lookin at his negative side only, but also try to look at the positive he’s done and for
    Goodness’sake he managed to control his fame not ot get at him when he was only 13! Not everyone can do that.Yes it’s true he might not be the hottest rapper nor dopest ni##er! bit I’m dow with him no matter what happens. And I’m likin the whole idea of his doin hi own thing now, not that I’m sayin he should turn his back on his blood causin, but it’s high time he spreads his own wings and fly!!!

  • MrWillDoIt

    It sucks being a kiddie rapper for two very important reasons:

    1. The public will always struggle to see you as a serious artist (see A+, Kriss Kross etc.)

    2. We know you. “I already know how real niggas get down.” <<??? When I read that I laughed and said ‘this lil nigga…’

    Kudos to Bow Wow for making money and committing himself to his craft. He should never, however, burn bridges. JD IS HIS HIP-HOP DADDY!

    You should really follow your ‘friend’ Wayne; give daddy a smooch and make-up.

  • JAYSTONE

    @KATE
    me a fan of bow wow you must be crazy.look how all these bitches here thinks he is coll when all he do is sings for hoes.Ever my 13 year old said bow wow is lame.shit i did listern to T-pain with his funny robot voice .fuck bow wow.he aint shit without dupri.Ever Nas at 19 was able to drop a classic albulm.this bitch is the reason while hiphop is dead

  • http://myspace.com XXL MANIAC

    Yall bow wow tryna grow up
    BUT PRO FINNA KILL Stacy on the beat battle!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/polo_diz POLOdizIZtattedONmyARM

    LMAO AYE FUCC THAT LIL BOW SHIT…FA REAL….he know JD made him…i know yall remember in the magazines he was all cryen about he cant cuss..because JD wont let em…he bout to shoot himself in the neck with this one..They always say when u keep a kid in the house all his life and then let him out when he older he`ll he go crazy… he finna “DO WHAT HE FEEL”…thats rubbish…he gonna become the ringtone king..go platinum and all of that…but uhhhh the bottom line is…he`s like the Brittany Spears of hip hop………or RnB.

  • http://www.myspace.com/krazy_sexxxy_kool king_of_gq

    1st off Bow Wow and Omarion 2gether iz 2 gay…they be on each otherz dick 24/7…has anyone seen access granted…those 2 lil ni99@s looked like fuck buddies…I can imagine Bow being the man and Omarion being da bitch…P.S. Chris Stokes and J.D. have been pimpin dem dudes like pussy whores for most of their teeange life…there’re bound 2 cum out fucked up…lolz

  • http://www.xxlmag.com james p

    bra this nigga so lame man come on man this nigga just start cursing and he still lives wit his moms and he gay this fuckin wit that wack ass niggas omarion and dont say im liein come on we all know them niggas fuckin wit each other da only good thang i can say bout this niggas is he makin money

  • Triple_X

    I honestly don’t like dude’s music, but why all the hate? I love to see (young) brothers making it in this world.

  • KeYoNlY15?

    Think About it like dis…. Da Man is wack… But he must be doin sumthin right, cuz we all stopped to read the article, and comment.

  • http://bf.com myspace.com/the_first_gay_promoter

    Bow wow is sooo sexiii
    guys
    O im the first Gay promoter and i just signed my first artist to HELLA gay ent lol
    check em out
    myspace.com/zoomoney
    But he aint gay. it was for the money ya know lol

  • Ms E.S.Dubah u

    Bow Wow is so whack for doing and album with Omarion. What is he thinking? If you feel inspired to come out with and album with a singer- why not Kells( Is he salty that he didnt get any play on the Ima Flirt remix, when it was orginally their song)Omarion is hot, but with bow wow…………Uhmm I give it two thumbs DoWn!

  • british B

    I CAN SE ANOTHER CHINGY SITUATION ONCE AGAIN..

    THIS NIGGA IS CRAZY.. HE BETTA STICKTO THE FORMULA OR GO SCHOOL WITH ROMEO CAUSE HE AINT GOT A FLAVOUR 2 TALK ABOUT BANGIN, ROBBIN OR JACK SHIT BUT HITTIN PUSSY N SHOPPIN AS THATS BEEN HIS LIFE NO EXPERIENCE TO TAKE INTO THE BOOTH. iMAGINE HIM TALKIN BOUT CEREAL AND WATER, GLOCKS THAT BUSS 3 AND JAMM N ALL THAT SHIT IT AINT FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE A GOOD BIZNESS MOVE WID OMARION GOOD BUSINESS 4 REAL KP IT FOR DA LADIES.

  • Mr.Wang

    Bow Wow a bitch