Yesterday, Bow Wow made his debut as BET’s 106 & Park host. It was only right since he is Mr. 106 & Park, taking the number 1 spot more times than too many. He is joined by Paigion, Miss Mykie and Shorty Da Prince.
The rap star has seen his share of ups and downs since releasing his first album Beware Of Dog in 2000 at the age of 13. Bow Wow is now making the transition from a young boy to a man in the music industry. He is now signed to Cash Money Records and gearing up to release his Underrated album.
I actually spoke with Bow Wow last year during his promo run for the movie, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. At the time, model Joie had recently gave birth to their now 1 year old daughter, Shai. Bow Wow who was pretty quiet about becoming a father had finally decided to speak out. Check out the interview below where he speaks on fatherhood, Underrated album and signing with YMCMB.
Jazzy F: What made cash money the right label to sign with?
Bow Wow: I knew I wanted to be surrounded by some guys with the same goals and motives as myself. I just wanted to be the best and make the best music. I just wanted to be around people I know. Being signed to a major label sometime you find yourself at times alone on a island because you don’t have a crew. When I was with Jermaine, I was with a crew. We had Jagged, Brat and myself so I was always surrounded by family. So for me I’m back in a comfortable space. Me and Stunna always had a great relationship and I been rocking with him for a long time, so it was time to put the pen to the paper and make it official.
What new things have you learned from YMCMB?
To work harder. I went from wanting to spend more, now all I think about is making more money. It just makes you work harder when you on the same label as Wayne, Nicki or Drizzy. They just push you harder because you want to be better than the people on your team. You know the caliber of artist that you are around and you know what they can do, but at the same time you know what you can do. I think when I switched my style up, that happen when I signed to Cash Money. I knew I had to step it up not 10, but 20 notches. Anytime you sign to a label where they say someone is the best rapper alive, you know that when your music drop it has to be on the level of the bloodline of the label. For me its all about making the best music I can.
How are things with you and JD at the moment?
Me and JD cool, we talk all the time. I just talk to him the other day. Thats my homie, he’s like my pops. He supports me with everything, I just had him in the studio not too long ago. He’s always supportive, no matter what he’s right there. We been through that whole thing where we let the business separate us but i’m never gone let that happen again.
Yeah, I got Dogg on the album so you can definitely expect that. It’s def gone go down.
What other artist can we expect on the album?
We got Lil’ Wayne, Game, Fab, Snoop, Talib Kweli, Chris Brown. I worked with Good Charlotte just to go left on them. Boyz II Men and JD of course. I been working on Underrated for over a year and a half now. I been painting this picture so now its all about making sure its the best art piece I can possibly put out.
What are you going to do different on the Underrated album from your previous releases?
Open up be honest and let people know the story… my story. A lot of people feel like they know me but they don’t. Any kid that is founded by Snoop Dogg got to be a cool dude. I think people know I got what it takes, but they was just waiting for me to make the right move or the right record.
When I started making the Greenlight mixtapes and start telling the truth, I noticed that is what the people wanted. And that was something I never did. Usually most of my music was about boasting bragging and talking about money. A lot of people can’t do that, you might lose a fan because of the connection. Everybody can’t go and buy a bentley. Soon as I switched up my lyrical content, and started being honest. I noticed how much love I was getting. I started listening to what the fans wanted. You can expect the unexpected on this album.
I always had a problem with people trying to tell my life. How can I write, or talk about your life when i’m not you. For me it was all about being comfortable. I knew people were going to report it. If something pop up, I don’t have to talk about it if I don’t want to. But I felt like I could, being that my fans are apart of my life. They are my supporters and I know without a doubt, thats the only crowd I can open up to and I wont get ridiculed. I wanted to let them know the whole time but I just wanted to feel comfortable first.
How has fatherhood changed you?
For the better. It makes you grind and focus on your work more. I use to focus on girls and different things now I just put my focus on being a better person and understand life more. From a artist stand point it just gives me more stuff to talk about and brings me and my fans that got kids closer. I got enough stuff to talk about now where I don’t have to talk about jewelry, cars and all of that non sense. I got enough going on in my life where Underrated will be based off life.