Breaking out on the Hip-Hop scene at the age of 13 with the blessing of Jermaine Dupri, Snoop Dogg and many other veterans, Bow Wow, has held his own in the rap game, in addition to starring in movie roles, for over a decade now. Growing up right before our eyes and remaining relevant with hit singles over the years, Bow Wow has found a way to pick up work on the movie scene including well known roles in All About the Benjamins, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Lottery Ticket and now in a new Tyler Perry movie set to hit theaters this Easter. Bow Wow seems to have solidified himself as a mainstay in the entertainment world for years to come.
Check the facts. His first album has gone 3x Platinum now. He’s signed to Cash Money Records, one of the hottest labels in the industry. He has an album projected to drop in September on their label, that his loyal fans have dubbed, “Overrated”. Though it may get delayed, he jokingly admits he’s not worried. He’s partnering with Ice Cube on a new sitcom, he’s still maintaining contact with Jermaine Dupri and he’s still going on tours for his fans in Australia with Snoop, Nelly, and Game. as part of the Supafest.
Bow Wow says this is the busiest year of his life so far. Take an inside look at his life and see just how busy the life of Bow Wow is, as AllHipHop.com gets the inside scoop on everything going on in the world of the one time teen sensation and now full time actor/rapper.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about your new character Madea in the new Tyler Perry Movie.
Bow Wow: I play a character named Byron, he’s is an ex-convict who’s been in and out of jail and basically he’s a young brother just trying to get his life on track. I think him being in jail just kind of struck a light on in him, to let him know he is a man and he has responsibilities. I have a son in the movie. I deal with two women, my girlfriend and my baby mother. Both of them are like the worst possible women that you would want in your life. Its really just that constant struggle with myself in the movie and the moral of it is that, tomorrow is never promised, family is important, always make sure whether its your kid, mother, grandmother or whatever. Make sure you always tell them you love them. You never know if it’s that time to go and you don’t never want to have the burden on you if a person passes. It’s a comedy, but it has a real strong message behind it. I can’t wait for the people to see it
AllHipHop.com: What was it like working with Tyler Perry?
Bow Wow: It was fun. I had a lot of fun working with Tyler. He’s a legend in the game so to work with him early in my career means a lot. I remember when approached him a at Janet Jackson concert and I was like, “Yo man, you gotta put me in one of your movies dog!”
People always talk business to me so I was like, “he’s probably gonna brush me off,” but we got to work right when he called.”
AllHipHop.com: Can you talk about your work and growth as an actor and how it has progressed, from Like Mike, to Roll Bounce, to Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, to Lottery Ticket, to now this Madea movie?
Bow Wow: Yea I mean its dope man, even when I saw the movie the other day. I was even shocked, not to say that because its me, but I guess if you are yourself, who knows you better than yourself. So on camera, I just see little things that I do that are without any training and it’s just a natural thing for me to do. I take it so seriously, but it’s also fun for me. What a lot of people don’t know is that acting is so easy for me because I get to be Shad, not Bow Wow is his own character and they are two totally different people. I get to be the kid from Ohio. I’m myself and I get to have some sort of realism in life. I think that’s what I enjoy way more than rapping and I get to have that in my life.
AllHipHop.com: So are you starting to like acting more than rapping?
Bow Wow: Oh I been liked acting more than rapping, you think?
AllHipHop.com: Oh for real? That’s funny.
Bow Wow: Yea man. I guess a lot of people when they look at my career they might think that acting is something new for me, but “Like Mike” was my second movie and it was the biggest movie for me, and I did that movie when I was 13. I dropped my first album when I was 13. When I dropped my first album, I also dropped my first movie, so I hit the ground running, and now I can choose my fate, because I been doing them both simultaneously together. So it’s not like the first 8 years I had a movie role and then after that I started rapping. I’ve been doing acting as long as I have been doing music. So I can honestly pick between the two. . I love acting way better than rap. I enjoy rapping because it’s a passion, but if I had to drop one to do one, it would be movies. I would do movies all day
AllHipHop.com: You probably get paid more for movies too huh?
Bow Wow: I’m touring artist though too so since a lot of artists don’t tour, they don’t know what that money looks like. So I can’t really say the movie money is better than tour money. It ain’t really about the money though man; it’s more about having a passion for both of them and loving what you doing.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned you hit the ground running at an early age? Can you talk about coming into the game so early and how it’ s influenced your growth and just what it was like as a young kid looking back now.
Bow Wow: Oh man its dope man. A lot of people ask me a lot who my competition is, and I always say myself. JD taught me that. He said, “I don’t know why you feel like you have to battle with n***as, cause you don’t. If anything you have to battle with what Lil’ Bow Wow did. That’s your competition. “ Lil’ Bow Wow sold more than Bow Wow.
I find myself battling within myself and I give myself that self-encouragement. I don’t watch nobody else but me. If I’m not watching what I’m doing, I’m slippin’. I’m not watching what everyone else is doing. So like when I flip my computer open I’m watching old videos of myself, and me on tour, like, “Yea, I really did fill out the Garden.” It just makes me realize who I am and how important I am to my fans and what I do. So I watch myself to get self-encouraged. And that’s a good thing, because most other artists have to watch someone else because the other artists had accomplished more, but I guess by the grace of God I am able to study my own self.
AllHipHop.com: Yea your first album went 3x platinum right?
Bow Wow: Yea it went 3 times. Yup triple platinum on my first album. Yea so its like little stuff like that, like yea I really did sell 3 million. That’s crazy! So its stuff like that, that gives me that energy or spark to do more.
AllHipHop.com: So you had mentioned that Jermaine Dupri kind of talked to you about your growth and selling, what’s your relationship with Jermaine Dupri like right now?
Bow Wow: Yea man I just spoke with JD yesterday and I got him doing the score and he is actually about to do the music for the TV show sitcom that I am doing with Ice Cube. I partnered with Ice Cube and he is producing my sitcom. I told JD when Will [Smith] had his own show, Quincy Jones did all the music so it’s only right that he does mine. So I got him doing all the scores to the TV show. I speak to JD daily.
AllHipHop.com: What’s it called?
Bow Wow: Well we just closed the deal so we are getting writers and stuff like that right now. So once we get that we will have a name and we will definitely be filming this year, you’ll be hearing a lot about that.
AllHipHop.com: Alright man, keep me updated on that man. So are still signed to Cash Money still right?
Bow Wow: Yea yea yea, YMCMB. I ain’t going nowhere.
AllHipHop.com: Can you talk about your expected release date and what the situation is like over at Cash Money. I know there was a calendar that came out this year. What’s up with that?
Bow Wow: Yea to be honest, it’s looking like September. And I know that paper… (Laughs) I don’t even know who did that paper, but even when I saw it, I was like, “aww man,” like “even I was like a little scared, or not scared but like this is the busiest year of my life, like I don’t know about my time. Today I leave for Australia with Game, Nelly, Snoop and we all on tour together. So as soon as I come back from that, I got more movie press to do with Tyler and then after that its another movie. So I don’t even really have time to promote my s**tthe way I want.
By August I should know a real date and it should be September as of right now, but I know that could change, ha ha.
AllHipHop.com: And the title is called “Underrated” right?
Bow Wow: Yea it’s titled “Underrated”, yup.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like you are underrated?
Bow Wow: I feel like that’s a question for my fans. I didn’t really come up with it, but my fans, that’s just how they felt. I think. I voiced my opinion one time and I don’t feel like I really have to talk about it any more. My fans are heavy and strong and they just gravitated to it. And they just felt that enough was enough, and that’s what fans are, they fight for you. You know what I mean? And I guess they analyzed my career and sized it up and they look at it. And they like, “You know what, Bow did whoop whoop whoop….” They feel it and they fight for me. That’s who I make music for. They feel it. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you some of it wasn’t self-inflicted though.
AllHipHop.com: So what’s the situation like with Cash Money man? What’s it like working with all them people and there were rumors Drake was leaving and how does everyone handle that. What’s it like internally in that camp. There’s always rumors going around, but tell me about that.
Bow Wow: Well you know… we deal with rumors all the time. When you the hottest label everybody wants to tear you apart. Especially when you have 5 major superstars in one crew and not only that you have some up and coming stars too, so that’s what they want to do. Just like when the Lakers had Gary Payton, Karl Malone and all them, the media broke them up. Even with the Miami Heat, you see it. We lose 6 games and they think it’s the end of the world. You know but its cool because we a family and so everything on the outside stays on the outside.
We know how to deal with it, we professionals, we all at the top of our game, we love this you know, we tasting victory right now, so we don’t want to pass this plate off no time soon so its kinda like, you just thug it out. It is what it is and some people don’t like what we do, but we know there’s a lot of people that are going to love what we do and respect what we do so that’s what we do it for.
AllHipHop.com: Ok man, well is there anything else you wanna tell the fans or any of the viewers on the site.
Bow Wow: Yea man, just go get ready to see this movie. The 22nd its on. Right out of church, get that soul food and take ya ass to the movies. Hahaha
AllHipHop.com: Haha that’s funny man, we when that album drops we gotta link again.
Bow Wow: Always man, yall show me hella love so it’s on.