Bow Wow has a confession to make.
Like Usher, the teen rap star has come of age in the public eye and now that he's old enough, Bow finally wants to open up more about his private life — starting with his ex-girlfriend, Ciara (see "Ciara Talks Single Life, Dreams Of Acting Like A Boy On Evolution").
Though he didn't want to name names, Bow Wow was more than forthcoming when he hinted about the material on his upcoming album, The Price of Fame, due December 19 on Sony Urban Music/ Columbia Records.
In particular, the junior rhyme-spitter noted a track called "System," on which he admits to having difficulties getting past a relationship with a girl he once dated. Bow was careful never to reveal her name, but a sly smile crossed his face when Ciara was brought up as the likely subject.
"It's one of the most heartfelt records that I've ever done," Bow explained after appearing on "TRL" last week. "It's about a certain relationship I was in, but how I feel about it now. And this [song] is a letter to that person. I'm finally getting the opportunity to get that off my chest. I look at The Price of Fame as a diary. And I'm just welcoming everybody into what's been going on from a year and a half ago until now with me. That song is the one that really speaks, because it's about me getting someone out of my system to make me feel good, but it's hard to do that when you really like someone."
Aside from tackling relationships, Bow Wow said he is aiming to impress a more diverse, older audience than the largely teen and female set traditionally drawn to his work. His first single, "Shortie Like Mine" featuring Chris Brown (see "Chris Brown Says 'Gimme That' To Bow Wow Reunion, Timberlake Tour"), caters to his existing fanbase, but he said most of the material on this project was recorded to display his lyrical abilities more than play up the heartthrob image he has attained.
Bow did express appreciation for all his fans, but admitted he wanted to open up more in hopes of making this what he's calling his first real rap album (see "Bow Wow Planning A Very Early Retirement After Next Album"). He and Jermaine Dupri recruited a few guests to help achieve this mission, including Lil Wayne and Houston newcomer Shortdog for a track called "Four Corners." Although they've yet to nail down the fourth MC for the song, Bow likened the track to having the youngest and most talented artists from each corner of the map representing for their backyard with their talent.
"JD gave me the green light to do what I want to do," Bow said, noting that he felt the track exemplifies the direction of The Price of Fame. "I told him the type of records I wanted and the type of records I needed. So this album is not only for my fans, but for real rap heads. I'm talking about things, when people hear this record they gonna be like, 'Sh--, I know he didn't just say that! Rewind that.'
"It's new to me and it's gonna be new to my fans," he concluded. "It's just raw and uncut."