There’s a sparkle in Bow Wow’s hazel eyes. Maybe it’s the residue of love from his ill-fated relationship with songstress Ciara or perhaps it’s the smell of ink drying on the contract from purchasing his first McDonald’s. It’s more than likely that sparkle stems from the confidence in knowing even if The Price of Fame is his last studio album, Bow Wow has a new label to run, a sneaker chain in the South, and a budding acting career to lean on. With a Halloween colored Billionaire Boys Club hoodie concealing a sleeve of new tattoos, Bow Wow is geared for what’s coming next. Catching up with the broad-shouldered late teenager, he elaborates on life, love, and plans to play Puff’s position by 2016.
Rumor has it The Price of Fame will be your last album. Is this true?
I don’t want to say I’m retiring. I call it stepping back. I know people will still focus on Bow Wow regardless, which I want them to do. By me having a label deal now is a whole other job. Now Sony’s gonna be on me to make sure that my artists’ records are in on time. I’ve gotta do all of this stuff that I’ve been watching Jermaine do for so long. In order to do that, I’ve gotta make sure I give my artists the time that they need with me. I just want to watch them go through everything I did.
Touching on the album title, what do you think was the biggest price for fame you had to pay?
I would have to say being famous is the biggest price of fame. Being so famous that you can’t go anywhere. That’s like the worst.
Would you suggest for another young artist to start as young as you did?
I’ve got him already; he’s signed to my label. Thirteen years old, his name is Young Jinsu. I think that he has the ability to be better than me. He’s very skilled; it’s scary. He’s nicer than a lot of these older cats that are out and he writes himself. It’s a domino effect: Jermaine found me and I made it. Now I’m passing Young Jinsu the torch of Lil’ Bow Wow. He’s gonna run with it too.
Your album is slated for release around the same time as Ciara’s. Do you sense any competition?
Nah, I want them to get her album too.
Do you find it hard to date with your previous relationship in the spotlight?
Just coming out of a relationship a couple of months ago is still kind of new, like a wound that hasn’t healed already. I’m still kind of scarred from that, so right now I’m really not even focusing on getting back into another relationship. If I were to get back into another relationship in the state of mind that I’m in, it would be back with [Ciara]. I’m not out here running around focusing on dating at all whatsoever. So of course if that were the case, I’d rather be back with the one I was with. I’m not really pressing it too much. When you try and find the one, it’s harder.
You’ve spoken about MySpace and how you maintain your personal page. How do you find time to do that?
I always time it out. I have a whole day of work, but then around 9 p.m. I go back to my hotel room and get on MySpace. I get emails from fans like, “Why are you up so late? It’s 3 a.m.? What girl is over there at this time?”Â It’s funny the connection you can have with fans. I talk to them and leave comments on their pages.
A few years back you expressed interest in going for the NBA. Is that still something you’d like to pursue?
It’s always a passion of mine. I try to fight it so bad, but for some reason in the back of my head I still really wanna be a basketball player. I’m gonna always feel like I should be in the NBA.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about Bow Wow?
That I’m cocky. I can be arrogant at times [laughs], but a lot of people won’t admit that. I think there is a difference. Cocky is like, “I’m the boss. I run you.”Â Being cocky is like a swagger, flyboy type of thing. I don’t mean no harm by it. A lot of the best are arrogant. Like Puff; Puff’s got that flyboy type of swagger.
Would you say in the future you’d want to reach Puff status?
I want to be bigger than Puff. I respect Puff, I love Puff’s grind, but I’m making moves at 19. You never heard of anyone owning anything at 19. A person owning a McDonald’s [and sneaker chain] at 19 is huge. I say give me 10 years to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I can be bigger than Puff. And Puff is a real good friend of mine.