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Wanted

Bow Wow

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Album Review

Bow Wow comes back to the house of Jermaine Dupri for Wanted, an album that's solid but not stunning. With Dupri in the producer's chair for every song save one, Wanted is a So So Def release in every way but officially. There's that good old partying and swaggering that made So So Def great, but little of the glitz. For a rapper not known for knocking 'em dead with his lyrics, this could be a problem. Fortunately, Bow Wow gets by on his charisma, cool, and choruses, which are extremely catchy. Even though the album plays off its title too much — pretending that Bow Wow is a much bigger star in 2005 than he really is — it's hard not to appreciate how this scrappy rapper keeps things interesting despite the B-level beats. "Do You" is a "Return of the Mack"-type number that really blows Bow Wow's popularity out of proportion, but it's made for the tweenies and teens who have the rapper's Right On! pinup in their lockers. Everything else here works on a more adult level, often very well. "Let Me Hold You" with Omarion and "Like You" with Ciara are sensual highlights, and "B.O.W." is a surprisingly skeletal number that finds BW bringing it with nothing but a sparse drumbeat to support him. Snoop collectors need not worry about obtaining his minimal appearance here, and there's really nothing necessary enough to push this to anyone but the So So Def and/or Bow Wow faithful. Perhaps Dupri and Bow Wow think this stark production boosts the rapper's thug factor, but he's a pop thug who doesn't swear much and he never claims to be carrying any heat. At the very least, it's an interesting way to develop a child star into an adult star, and a hook-filled one at that.

Biography

Born: 09 March 1987 in Reynoldsburg, OH

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

At only age 13, Bow Wow made his rap debut on Beware of Dog (2000), a double-platinum Top Ten hit, and though he struggled to rival such breakout success in the years that followed, he persevered impressively, maturing as an artist (as well as a man) and releasing a series of albums that met varying degrees of commercial success. In addition to his music career, Bow Wow also found regular work in Hollywood, beginning with Like Mike (2002), a star vehicle for which he recorded...
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Wanted, Bow Wow
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