What Rapper Deserves a Cover But Never Got One? – Conversations With JD

This is NOT an actual XXL Cover

This is NOT an actual XXL Cover

In case any of you missed last night’s discussion on Twitter, @LILife aka Jermaine Dupri asked @XXLStaff, “Why ya’ll never gave Bow Wow a cover any point in his 12 year career?”

Apparently, JD had tweeted the question earlier in the day but my co-worker Ans, who was manning the Twitter account, didn’t see it until much later, following a bevy of RTs. His response: “probably timing and buzz at the moment. If you go back and check his [Bow Wow's] album releases versus who got the cover at that time I assume they [were] bigger, that’s just my guess but really couldn’t tell you since I haven’t been here 12 years.”

Well, as the conversation continued, the So So Def executive proceeded to ask, “has anybody been there in 12 years that can explain why XXL overlooked #ATRUEHIPHOPMOMENT?” Truth is, there’s barely a handful of people who’ve been around these parts that long. In fact, this is officially my second week on the pay roll but I’ve been paying dues for well over a year. Anyway, since none of the OGs were around for this late night conversation we’d just have to get back to JD offline on that one.

Funny thing is, when one of my other co-workers caught wind of the JD Twitter conversation, he pointed out a time where he had a similar discussion with the ATL CEO that was quite different. When asked about Bow Wow’s career and the possibility of him gracing the cover in the March 2007 issue, Dupri had this to say:

“I think [Bow Wow's] career is a strain on his brain… A lot of times he feels like he is stuck in a world and has nowhere to go. He asks me questions all the time, like, ‘When are they going to put me on the cover of XXL?’ and you automatically kind of know, ‘That ain’t going to happen, Bow, because the people that read XXL ain’t really buying your records.’ He thinks about that. He starts feeling like, ‘Shit, I should just do something else until I turn 22, 23.’”

Being as Bow just turned 23 this past March, I’m guessing that’s why JD is singing a different tune. Now, I’m not saying Bow doesn’t have talent—as he was clearly has enough to sign to Cash Money/Young Money and has more than a few hits and plaques under his belt—but is he still focused on music? The rap star has flirted with retirement in recent years and is still racking up those Hollywood checks. Again, that’s not taking anything away from the young man’s catalog and history, but we can’t harp on what could of been when we’re right here in the now.

Still, JD posed an interesting question and I wanted to address it here. So y’all tell me, should Bow Wow have gotten a cover at some point in his career? And what other artist do you think should have gotten one that never did?

This should be interesting. —Amber McKynzie [RT by Anslem Samuel]

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  • http://www.Twitter.com/Pierzy Pierzy

    The Roots


  • http://www.novatribe.com NOVA

    Very early in Bow’s career…a cover made sense…but since that time….many artist have made headway on a larger scope….i think when bow wow was a hip hop prodigy in the sense of being a young talented kid doin what he was doin….an 10 or 11 year old on cover would of made more sense.

    Seeing that since then Bow has contributed to the game almost at a ‘par for the course’ level…simply supplying his fan base demand…and not really spilling into a say cultural phenom or hip hop icon….and since he was WAYYYY TOO EARLY to be considered a hip hop freshman……i don’t know at ANY OTHER POINT in Bow Wow’s career an XXL cover would have been fitting.

    If you want in simplest terms….relevance to audience…..that about nails it. lol!

    Not that Bow isn’t talented necessarily….but XXL covers relate to relavance and impact

    In all honesty…both are things Bow Wow never quite exemplified on a level necessary to grace the cover since his young upstart debut.

    …there’s my 2 copper…

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    XXL Cover “Bloggers Edition”:

    Byron Crawford (Bol)

    • c-money


  • Mario

    OF Course The Brothers Thorton
    The one and only CLIPSE!

  • http://yahoo jason

    put andre 3000 on the cover alone and make him put out a solo rap album, no disrespect to big boi.

  • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

    Guru (collector’s edition)

    producer’s (Premo, Lex, JUSTICE League, 9th Wonder, etc)

    Duck Down (recognize the accomplishment)

    Slaughterhouse (could’ve helped CD sales)

    Saigon (don’t sleep)

    Sha Money XL & the new Def Jam crop

    • Dick B.

      Yeah Guru definitely deserves a cover. In terms of producers, Premier because of what he has meant to hip hop (probably more than 95% of the people who have had a cover on XXL). Did Pete Rock & CL ever get a cover?

      I don’t even think KRS or Rakim have gotten a cover.

  • alderman j


  • El Tico Loco

    If JD wants Bow Wow on the cover, he should do like everyone else and pay for it.

    Adding insult to injury, actually case and point: Shawty lo and OJ the Juice Man have been on the cover of XXL.

  • Anonymous

    Lupe Fiasco (excluding the 9 other people)

  • John Cochran

    I’ve been hating on Bow since Big Momma’s house. Why? Cause he always had the charisma,talent,and oppurtunities that I wish I had at that age. He’s sold more records than most of the artists they’ve put on the cover (freshman class, Gucci,Shawty Lo, Oj). The only real excuse XXL has is he same one for every other artists that have never been on. They don’t take chances. They’re followers, not leaders.

  • Charnelle

    Bow should get a cover for the simple face he has put in work and when you do it for as long as he has why not give hime a cover.

  • Q461

    Not for nothin but JD says some asinine stuff. He said he was a better producer than Dre and Timbaland and now is asking why Bow Wow didn’t get a cover?? Please homey, no disrespect, but theres plenty of more talented rappers than Bow Wow who never got a cover. Bow Wow more suitble for a teen magazine cover. Hes never grew his fan base and isnt considered a great rapper. He’s good for what he is, a nickolodeon type rapper. When he tried to toughen up his image and expand his band, It really never worked. So sorry JD but there’s plenty of better MC’s who never got a cover.

  • http:/www.eiconmediagroup.com Smh!

    Leave it to JD to contradict himself. SMH. On a better note, launching your product,CD,Mix Tape? Small Business? Need launch or promotional event? Consider US- @EiconMediaGroup

  • Hannibal Cannibal

    Ya’ll too busy giving 50 cent all the covers.

  • Dones

    Bow Wow should have a cover. He’s a new Cash Money artist putting his first album out on the label so that’s a story there.

    It’s 2010, he came out in 2000, so he’s been out for ten years. Going from 14- 24 , a decade in this business. That’s a story there.

    I think Bow Wow has been limited by his label. They signed him as a kid and fit him into that mold and didn’t know how or WHEN to leave it behind. Bow Wow was never too “young” acting really. He was saying “nigga” in “Bounce with Me” I think once he hit 18 he should’ve start releasing singles that are more personal instead of going for the track for ladies everytime around. That’s kind of why Fabolous stays in a box because his best work is on mixtapes or non single tracks.

    I’m thinking with Cash Money/Universal Bow Wow can say what he wants. He just put out a female based track but it was more of a “I’m doing me” record instead of love stuff.

    He isn’t the best rapper but Bow Wow has verses, he has lines. He’s more then a “teen fave” rapper because Yung Berg, Lil Zane, Romeo, Huey, etc and a host of other young rappers never had a hit or maintained a hit and Bow Wow has sold 10 million records and gone on major tours several times over including MSG. So he’s doing something the other young boys weren’t/didn’t.

    And THAT’s a story too.

  • LOL





  • Jane

    Put me on the cover!

  • KiNGPiN

    TECH N9NE… nuff said

    • 765

      ^^^^COSIGN!! I think we can keep 50 off the cover at least one time and put tech 9 on.

    • Daze

      ^^^^^ what he said

  • therealjay

    EAZY-E and by the way…. free my nigga tip !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • keetaAmor

    Bow wow never deserve the cover period! I’m not hating and non of that bullshit folks is talkin’ on here. The fact is that lil nigga started out as lil pop rapper for the kids that other niggas was writing for. When he got older he got annoying with tryin’ to be grown and a bad ass and no one believed him. Dissing Will Smith WTF was that about?!….sit ya ass down Bow and JD! Or pay up like SB did! Bottom line he hasn’t been relevant since his nuts dropped. No one gives a damn about your yatchs, bitches, and money and the weed you smoke. Your not relatible and never will be.

  • musicguru6

    bow wow deserves a cover for the simple fact that nearly all of his albums except for one has gone either gold or platinum. Not to mention his last 3 mixtapes “the greenlight series” have been quality music. If only he would drop that auto-tune shit hed be in a good space musically. And the fact that he does movies and shows for extra money shouldnt go against him being on the cover of XXL.

  • Anonymous

    SH! SlaughterHouse! ok bye!

  • mass appeal

    GURU!!!!!!!!!!! one more jay z or 50 cent cover and i’ll kill myself

  • The Vision Radio

    Eh, at that time (age 12) I don’t think it would have benefited xxl’s profitability. While it is hard to say, the highest that t seems bow wow was on the pop charts for 2007 was #25 and that was as a feature with another artist. I think he was on the come up though. Ie, his songs with Omarion and Ciara… But wait, was that 2007? Either way, I am curious to see what happens while on the Cash/ Young money label.

    Great Article A-Mack!

  • lolwut

    max b should get a cover before weak ass bow wow LMAO

  • oskamadison

    given what the man has contributed to Hip-Hop, Guru most definitely should have gotten a posthumous cover. Dude may not have put up Eminem numbers but his impact on this music was unquestionable.

  • Curtis75Black

    If Bow Wow ever recieved a cover from XXL it would’ve been clowned !! No disrespect to the man but he has too many flaws, well one in my eyes and that’s ghostwritten material. Album sales wise, he could’ve gotten it but that’s what VIBE is for. He never really caught on the Hip Hop feel of things, just songs. There are too many other emcees that never recieved a cover.

  • J_D

    Yes, he should definitely be featured at some point. How many artists in todays goldfish attention spans lasted this long? Atleast with out huge scandals, arrests & etc popping up here & there in the media.

  • j

    Will Smith never got a cover on xxl or sauce(oops! source) It says a lot about what we think about talent when a C.O. or Pill Head gets coverage unlimited. It says a lot about what we expect and accept In our culture. There Is really no true talent that gets exposure If you got the numbers you get the press.

  • james


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