Bow Wow's sophomore album is still a couple of weeks away, but that hasn't stopped the formerly pint-sized rapper from bringing his music to the people. All grown up, Bow Wow is in the middle of a three-week tour to preview his upcoming Unleashed.
The 16-year-old is facing some adult-sized decisions, too, that have added a touch of controversy to his trek. Just before the tour began, Bow Wow excused "Uh Ooh" singer Lumidee from the opening slot, instead choosing to headline the shows solo and use up-and-coming artists from his own label as support.
"I wanted it to be all about my people," Bow Wow explained diplomatically. "It's cool to have other people on tour, but I want my family to eat. I want my people to have a shot."
Recognizing the need to get up close with his fans, Bow Wow is playing smaller stages. "It's more up-close-and-personal this time. In smaller venues, I get a chance to interact with the fans and the fans get a chance to interact with me."
Bow Wow calls the smaller spots "easy sellers," but they're still places that have the capacity to hold a few thousand fans — a testament to his popularity and his new single, "Let's Get Down," featuring Cash Money hurler Baby (see "Bow Wow To Seek Lessons On Macking, Gliding On 22s In New Clip").
"The crowd to me is way crazier inside smaller venues because there's only so much you can do. We got people packed to the cellars, screaming. It's crazy."
The tour wraps up on August 17 in Flint, Michigan, two days before the release of Unleashed.
Those who don't get a chance to see Bow Wow perform live will at least be able to see him in a new commercial for Campbell Soup that begins airing next week. Campbell is one of three organizations Bow Wow has aligned himself with to be a commercial pitchman. The other two are Kraft Foods and Computers for Youth, a foundation that looks to provide computers to disadvantaged inner-city youths (see "Bow Wow To Play Free Concert For Charity").