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New Jack City, Pt. II

Bow Wow

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Album Review

Not that Bow Wow wasn't gradually working his way toward it, but on New Jack City II, the MC, now 22 years old, makes like a younger and slightly cleaner T.I. However, Bow Wow doesn't merely project the kind of smooth toughness/tough smoothness exuded by his obvious inspiration. There are moments where the album sounds exactly like an attempted cloning, as heard in the kicked-back yet insolent flow throughout the opening "Get That Paper," and it even appears that way, as seen in the video for "You Can Get It All," from the mannerisms to choice of eyewear. Though Bow Wow drops a litany of curses from track to track and has transitioned from "Hey Little Momma" to "Pole in My Basement," New Jack City II is nonetheless within the domain of pop-rap, laced with candy-coated hooks and beats that are easy on the ears. Jermaine Dupri's long-running tradition of supplying Bow Wow with productions built on very easily identifiable sources continues (Rick James' "Big Time," TLC's "Baby-Baby-Baby," Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walking," Slick Rick's "La Di Da Di," Bobby Brown's "Roni"), and Swizz Beatz, oddly credited as "Swizz Beatsz," provides a typically noisy and purposefully obnoxious production for the closer, one of Bow Wow's toughest tracks yet. Some of these developments come off a little forced, but Bow Wow knew he had to abandon the PG material or risk irrelevance. It should pay off, yet it has no apparent effect on his output's quality level.

Customer Reviews

I Was Close to giving this 4 stars

This is probably his best album yet and it's still not that good. For the people who gave it one star. It's definitely not that bad. Bow Wow lyrical ability excels on the album. He's gotten better as a rapper. The problem with the album is he seems like he keeps talking about the same thing. Some of the beats on the album aren't good. The best songs on the album are What They Call Me, Roc The Mic, You Can Get It All, and I Ain't Playin. Oh yeah and I heard some songs of the Deluxe edition and some are better than the ones on this album.

Bow Wow-New Jack City Pt. II

Bow’s seventh release sees him reuniting with Jermaine Dupri whom they separated for a brief time after the Face Off album. New Jack City resembles their relationship but has nothing to do with the album content. Get That Paper: Mediocre Nitti beat and a mundane flow from Bow Wow make for an uneventful intro of boasts and average metaphors (“all the girls say he got game like Ray Allen”, “I’m a champ like Kanye”). 2/5 What They Call Me (Big Time): With a fairly celebratory styled production, Ron Browz fails to impress with his autotuned repetitiveness of “big time, big time”. Saving the track is Nelly who drops a charismatic and energetic verse that fits the song, while Bow seems to get lost in the production. 2.5/5 Roc The Mic: JD drops a great beat here that thumps, while lightly twinkling bells ponder and the Slick Rick sample of “La Di Da Di” are cleverly used. Bow and JD show their excellent chemistry, rapping side by side, as student and teacher. One of the best tracks on the album, the reunion between the two is evident here, as JD spits “its just some thangs that ain’t never supposed to change, like when Nicky Barnes switched the name on the blue magic for no reason when it f***ed up a good package”. 4/5 Been Doin’ This: T.I. plays hypeman for Bow, as Bow speaks on how he’s “been doing his thing for years”. Bow sounds all right on the beat composed by DJ Toomp and T.I. 3/5 You Can Get It All: Classy piano keys and synth interjections make for a smooth rolling lady record. JD and Bryan Michael Cox create a solid track, however Bow’s singing isn’t that great and seems a bit strained at times. However, it does show maturity and is another single to add to Bow’s lady numbers. Johnta Austin adds a lot of soul to the track by crooning in the bridge with a more fitting voice. 3.5/5 Sunshine: Bow experiments with a sunny country guitar strumming behind and an awkward hook that goes “I got girls around the world, but I ain’t got one that got, all that, all that, something that’ll make me call home, tell my girl that I love her, but I’m never coming back, what we call that? Sunshine, sunshine”. Attempts a different sound but is out of place. 1.5/5 Like This: Light and smooth track that has Bow pleasing his female audience once again. Newly signed So So Def artist, Dondria and Johnta Austin croon on the hook of never having a girl “like this”. The hook sounds faintly similar to Bow’s ’05 hit “Like You”. 2.5/5 She’s My: T-Pain and Bow collaborate again in hopes of creating another hit like “Outta My System” off the last album. Pain drops his usual chilled out vibe production that allows him to autotune it up with a smooth croon. Bow double times his verse and sounds energized for once on the album, which is mostly mundane. 3/5 I Ain’t Playing: Trey’s vocals really help this track and make it work, as Bow drops some decent verses and boasts his rep with “album number seven, started at eleven, still the youngest n**** killin it, shawty you betta tell em”. The track’s production features some buzzing synths with a down south vibe and pop potential. 3.5/5 Pole In My Basement: With the rise of autotune, Bow joins in on the trend and croons about having a pole in his basement. Describing his perfect dime dropping it and stripping on the pole in his basement. This shows a great lack of creativity for a soft and tender track that is essentially a strip club joint, but instead it’s in his basement. 2.5/5 Shake It: Swizz creates a unique production that features a repetitive looping beat with knocking bass. The energy level never reaches what it should, but it’s a decent club joint. 3/5 Bow Wow’s seventh album suffers from the same curse that has hindered Bow, ever since he dropped the Lil’ off his name, an identity crisis. With Price Of Fame, Bow attempted to get edgy, but couldn’t balance it with his female audience, the album sold fairly well despite being an overall poor product. Here, Bow fans should be satisfied, as there are enough highlights that are good enough for them to like. “Roc The Mic” is the gem of the album, the reuniting of JD and Bow over a smooth beat with a classic Slick Rick sample. The classy and matured “You Can Get It All” features some nice production, but Bow isn’t that great of a singer, either way, females will be swooning, which is what it aims for. The unique concept of “Anything You Can Do” is welcomed, while “I Ain’t Playing” features a strong Trey Songz performance. Other than that, Lamborghini Moss goes through the regular cliches and aims to satisfy the female audience with filler and more filler. “Like This”, awkward “Sunshine”, chill “She’s My”, autotuned and uncreative “Pole In My Basement” and undercooked celebration track of “What They Call Me (Big Time)” are all examples of mediocrity and forgettable tracks. One would wish that Bow would find his lane, but he still struggles, even with his first parental advisory label, Bow isn’t sure if he wants to be loverboy rapper for the ladies or balled out stunner with cash and play into gangster cliches. Rating: 6.5 out of 10

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Biography

Born: March 9, 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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New Jack City, Pt. II, Bow Wow
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