Holler-lujah: Michael Mauldin — father of Jermaine Dupri, manager of Bow Wow and organizer of the highly successful Scream Tour series — says the outing’s fifth edition is being planned and will ramp up just as kids are heading back to school in the fall.
“Right now we’re working on it, so it’s kind of hard for me to put it all the way out there,” Mauldin began reluctantly, before spilling: “but Bow is someone we’re always looking at. Omarion — because he’s part of the franchise — is definitely somebody we would look at. A lot of people are coming out with new records at that time, but between now and June, we’re gonna try to put our finger on it and figure out who it will be. As we look around now, we see Chris Brown and Ne-Yo are hot. But they’re already doing shows going into the summer. Even though their management and I have been talking, we have yet to solidify a way of bringing them on board. But the Scream Tour will definitely be going on in ’06.”
Mauldin also said he expects to have an alternate version of the Scream Tour, featuring brand-new talent, going out in the next few weeks.
“We are going to have an element of the Scream Tour that will be taking place over the summer,” he explained. “A mini version where we are going to be introducing different artists. It’s a whole different leg where we are going to some big cities, some secondary markets, and have the opportunity to spread the word of what the Scream Tour is about.”
One artist who doesn’t look too promising for either roster is Romeo. After years of being comparing to one another, Bow and Romeo have been engaging in a war of words through the media. Mauldin said he’s trying to steer his client clear of the madness.
“Initially we wanted to leave it alone,” Mauldin said. “We’ve been a little surprised about how much it continued to go on. It’s interesting, because even though Bow is small in stature, he always looked at Rome as a young artist on the come-up. [Master P’s camp] always felt that Rome was on the same page with Bow in some way. I don’t agree with that, and I don’t know that a lot of Bow’s fans would agree with that either. It doesn’t help Bow to go back and forth with them. We feel — looking at the sales, the notoriety, the respect Bow gets — that we’re on a different level than [Romeo].
“On the other hand,” he added, “Bow is a rap artist, and he wants people to understand he’s a real rap artist. We said, ’Bow, let’s not worry about [that], let’s keep rolling on.’ He’s his own person at the end of the day, and I try to advise him to keep him out of trouble. For him to be 19 and Romeo be 16, 17 and be coaxed on because rap is supposed to be confrontational … [that’s] a little crazy to me.”
Mauldin said Bow is in the studio working on an album with Jermaine Dupri right now and expects the project to be out in October.
“It will be a little bit more mature in subject matter. He’s left the little-boy range,” Mauldin said. “[Neither] Jermaine nor I see him taking the turn where his stuff is going to be totally profane, but he’ll be [acting] more his age. Bow is 19 years old; we want to continue to push the envelope. He did ’Fresh Azimiz,’ and it garnered a lot more adult attention for him.”
Bow’s manager said he’s not sure what guest appearances the LP will feature, but he did reveal that Bow and Chris Brown previously did a record together and are making plans to release it.
Besides dealing with Bow Wow’s career and the Scream Tours, Mauldin said he’s starting his own clothing line called Maudlin Apparel.
“We’re going back through my legacy and my family, doing a remix of yesterday and making it for tomorrow,” he said. “The line [will have a] strong focus of motor-sports cars and this whole fast life we live day to day.”