Bow1_0

Stunt Artist: The 10 Strangest Publicity Stunts of Bow Wow's Career

Is it just us, or does Bow Wow make more headlines these days for what he does away from the studio than what he actually does in it? Over the course of the last few years, it feels like the Cash Money rapper has kept his name in the news frequently, despite the fact that he hasn't released an album since 2009's New Jack City II. So, what gives? Are people really that interested in his life away from music—or has he just mastered the art of the publicity stunt?

We'd argue that it's a little bit of both. Most recently, Bow Wow shot to the top of the "Trending Topics" list on Twitter after his account was reportedly hacked and held for ransom for $10,000 by a rapper looking for some publicity of his own (maybe this is karma catching up with Bow Wow?). The hacker uploaded a picture of a man who looked an awful lot like Bow Wow laying in bed next to another man with the tweet, "Me & my dude resting like champs." And, it immediately had thousands of people on Twitter questioning whether or not Bow Wow had staged the whole thing in order to get some extra attention.

In that situation, we're willing to give Bow Wow the benefit of the doubt. All indications are that the man in the photo just looked like Bow Wow and that the "hacker" story was legit. But, you'll have to excuse us for being a little bit skeptical about the whole thing, because Bow Wow has used publicity stunts in the past to drum up interest in himself. And, to prove it, we put together a list of The 10 Strangest Publicity Stunts of Bow Wow's Career. These are just some of the things he's done over the years to make headlines.

The Publicity Stunt: Dropping the "Lil" from his original rap moniker "Lil' Bow Wow"
The Date: April 2002
Did It Work? Yes. At the time, there were a ton of different rappers attaching "Lil" to the front of their names. So, he got out just in time. He was also getting older, so the move made sense. The only unfortunate part was that, over time, the loss of "Lil" also meant the loss of Bow Wow's younger fan base.

The Publicity Stunt: Announcing that he planned to retire after his fifth album, "The Price of Fame"
The Date: June 2006
Did It Work? Not really. At 19, Bow Wow started floating the idea of "retiring" after his fifth album. He said that he wanted to "go out with a bang." But, of course, he's working on album number seven now, so he didn't actually stick with this idea.

The Publicity Stunt: Announcing that he planned to retire (again!) after poor sales of his sixth album, "New Jack City II"
The Date: April 2009
Did It Work? No. In order to try and give his last album a boost, Bow Wow announced that he was finished with music. "This is my last album," he said, "because, for me, there's no more that needs to be done on the music side. I've done everything." Sooooooo, then why are you working on your seventh project, man?

The Publicity Stunt: Having his publicist send out a press release announcing that he had been hospitalized with appendicitis—just hours before he performed on BET's "106 & Park"
The Date: December 2007
Did It Work? Yes. Bow Wow performed with Omarion on the show. And, the following week, their album, "Face Off," sold more than 100,000 copies in stores. Bow Wow's "appendicitis" wasn't really the whole reason it happened. But, the extra press surrounding the project certainly didn't hurt.

The Publicity Stunt: Beefing with Soulja Boy by making weird YouTube videos and diss tracks aimed at him
The Date: February 2009
Did It Work? Yes, but what a weird beef. Initially, we thought these two were kidding when they started talking trash about their Lamborghinis and who would beat who in a race. But, over time, it got a little more "serious." It eventually fizzled. But, not before they both had the Internet going nuts.

The Publicity Stunt: Throwing shots at Chris Brown on Twitter
The Date: April 2010
Did It Work? Sort of. This was a weird time for Bow Wow. After "beefing" with Soulja Boy about, well, nothing, he also took to exchanging jokes with Breezy on Twitter one night. We're pretty sure they were just kidding around. But, it got people talking about Bow Wow again. We just hope he sent Chris Brown a thank-you card. He definitely deserved one for stooping to this level.

The Publicity Stunt: Admitting that he fathered a daughter named Shai with his ex-girlfriend Joie Chavis by writing a letter to his fans
The Date: July 2011
Did It Work? For awhile. After denying that he'd fathered a baby, Bow Wow finally came around to the idea of letting the world know a little bit about his personal life by penning a letter that addressed both his daughter and the "baby mama BS" that came along with having her.

The Publicity Stunt: Sending a subliminal shot at his ex-girlfriend Ciara on Twitter after she called her new single, "Sweat"—the same title Bow Wow used for one of his 2011 singles
The Date: January 2012
Did It Work? No. These two dated, like, 10 years ago (at least, that's what it feels like!) so why should we care about any "beef" between them now?

The Publicity Stunt: Alluding to a relationship he may or may not have had with Kim Kardashian a few years ago during an interview on Power 105's "The Breakfast Club" in New York City
The Date: January 2012
Did It Work? Yes…for about an hour. If you want to get some great free publicity—at least temporarily—just name-drop Kim K and suggest that a sex tape may have been made. It's guaranteed to get at least a few headlines. And, that's exactly what Bow Wow's interview got—a few headlines that didn't last very long.

The Publicity Stunt: Ripping his label Cash Money on Twitter for failing to support his new project, "Underrated," by giving it a release date
The Date: August 2012
Did It Work? This is still TBD. Just days before the "hacker" incident, Bow Wow took a subliminal shot at Cash Money by tweeting, "Sh** is so f****d up maaan…I swear. Im tryna stay focused but its like at this point 'F*** that album' & F*** a release date. Im doin shows…." Will that make Cash Money start supporting him? Not likely. But, for at least a few days, he had people talking about him again. At least, until he got hacked and started up a whole new conversation about his career. So, Bow Wow: what's next?!

From the Web

More on Vibe

Ella Mai Puts The Ball In Your Court With "Shot Clock" Visuals

Kobe, KD, Kyrie, how about Ella Mai?

Marking her third official single from her self-titled debut album, the 24-year-old dropped a new video from her charting project, bringing "Shot Clock" to life in her B-ball themed clip.

The Colin Tilley directed visual captures the essence of the young singer, framing her unique style and iridescent vocal abilities. The clip captures the various parts of Mai's magnetic energy, as she stars in her own thematic love story.

The two-time Grammy nominee goes through the many downs that occur in relationships while the red beams of shot clock shine in the background slowly reaching zero, a neon indicator of her lessening patience, the singer finds herself alone.

This visual was released in the midst of the "Boo'd Up" songstress' first debut tour currently venturing through the United States and Parts of Europe. Check out the tour dates below to see if R&B's new golden child is coming to a city near you and watch her video for "Shot Clock" above.

THE DEBUT TOUR

Jan 18 – Berlin, DE- Festsaal Kreuzberg Jan 20 – Hamburg, DE- Grosse Freiheit Jan 21 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega Main Hall Jan 22 – Stockholm, SE - Berns Jan 24 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller Music Hall Feb 12 - Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom Feb 14 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo Feb 15 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom Feb 17 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades Feb 19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater Feb 20 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Feb 22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee Feb 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues Feb 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre Feb 27 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Feb 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater Mar 2 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall Mar 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall Mar 5 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Mar 6 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Mar 7 – Montreal, QC – Club Soda Mar 9 – Boston, MA - Royale Mar 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts Mar 15 – Silver Spring, M.D. – The Fillmore Silver Spring Mar 16 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Sound Stage Mar 19 – Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle Mar 20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live Mar 21 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live Mar 24 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Mar 26 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues Mar 27 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Mar 28 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre

Continue Reading
Smif N Wessun

9th Wonder Talks Collabo Album With Smif N Wessun And The Soul Council

A few weeks fresh off the 23rd anniversary of their classic debut album, Da Shinin', Brooklyn duo Smif N Wessun (Steele and Tek) have released the video for the soul smacking single, "Testify" produced by Khrysis, off their newest album, The All. The project, produced entirely by Grammy-nominated producer 9th Wonder and his Soul Council team, brings the hardcore feel of SNW's best work to the forefront.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele reveals directly. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of all people; particularly our followers and fans of all ages and ethnicities.”

When artists who rep a certain quality sector of hip-hop music resurface to offer newness to an audience, the longtime fans are looking to bring that old thing back while looking to reflect and push forward at the same time.

"'Testify' is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continues. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena."

9th Wonder took the project on as a lover of the group, "My goal is to make sure that we cement the legacy of the artist, but at the same time update the artist. We came up with the concept of  The All (based on a speech from Louis Farrakhan), you can never underestimate the essence of Islam in Hip-Hop. Given the fact that SNW are both Muslim and so many others are as well, we couldn't forget that part."

Going into new chambers of living is needed when you have been recording albums for over 20 years. 9th explains, "we wanted them to talk about stuff they wouldn't normally talk about on records, as they are in a different point in their lives, very grown man. It gives something to our generation to listen to, appreciate and celebrate without feeling old, without feeling outdated. We also wanted to let them know, the legends can still do it."

As the word legend gets thrown around a lot, it's not a far off title for the duo of Tek and Steele. "Some bestow the 'legend' tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that)," says Steele. "And we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The full project will be dropping on February 22nd, 2019 on Duck Down Records. You can pre-order the album here and group merch here.

Continue Reading
Photo Rob

Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With Khrysis-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from Khrysis, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

Continue Reading

Top Stories