At 25 Bow Wow has experienced more career highs than rappers well out of his age range—yet he still has more to prove. With six No. 1 singles, over 10 million albums sold, and holding the Guinness World Record as the “Youngest Solo Rapper to Ever Hit No. 1,” he could easily retire from the game and focus on his acting career. But music is still a top priority.
A few bumpy years following the release of Face Off , his collaborative album with Omarion, raised speculation that Bow wouldn’t be able to merge from the lane of teen rap star into adult MC. The ill-received project marked a change in the career of the Ohio native; he distanced himself from longtime mentor, and friend, Jermaine Dupri, and eventually cut ties with his label, Columbia Records. Then the bad press started to roll in. Bow was feared to be suicidal after tweeting about dying, publicly blasted his absentee birth father, ran into legal issues, and didn’t put his name on his daughter Shai’s birth certificate.
In the middle of what appeared to be his personal turmoil the young rapper stepped into new territory musically, announcing that he was signing to Cash Money records. The move seemed obvious judging by his long-standing affiliation with the YMCMB crew, but joining the roster that features Nicki Minaj and Drake, was suspected to be an effort to capitalize on the label’s success.
Underrated, his first release under Cash Money, features production from Dupri, and Cool & Dre. The album’s guest list includes appearances from Snoop Dogg, Meek Mill, Talib Kweli, Musiq Soulchild, to name a few, and promises to be an honest account of how life has changed in the three years since he dropped New Jack City Part II. Bow will also head on his first solo tour, kicking off June 1st in Dallas, with “A Milli” rapper Corey Gunz as one of his opening acts.
Hip-Hop Wired caught up with the rapper for his first in-depth interview since announcing his tour, where he spoke on the new album, the suicide rumors, and how having a daughter changed his life.