Bow Wow Uses Haters' 'Negative Energy' To Fuel New Mixtape

'I have to push it 10 times harder,' he says of proving himself on his new label, Cash Money.

Bow Wow has been making announcements on his Twitter page that his new mixtape, Greenlight 2, did an astounding 2 million downloads in two days. Obviously, it's hard to verify the numbers on various mixtape sites, but nonetheless, Bow's online buzz is huge.

"All the critics who point their finger at me, like, 'They fixed the numbers,' or, 'Aw, man, he's still Lil Bow Wow to me.' I use all that negative energy and I use it in my head like, 'I gotta make these mutha----as eat all this sh-- back,' " Bow said Thursday (January 7) about his drive to put out music. " 'I gotta throw this back in their face.' What other way but to throw out hot-ass records? That's the only way you gonna do that."

Bow recorded his latest mixtape in just two weeks after finishing a new film with Ice Cube called "Lottery Ticket."

"The whole mixtape is different," Bow said, adding that his favorite track is "Dangerous." "It's a conceptual record. I got the idea from watching [the 1989 Eddie Murphy movie] 'Harlem Nights,' watching ole girl Sunshine. I was like, 'This girl is really dangerous if she can make somebody call their wife the next morning and make them say, "It's over. I'm not coming home." ' That's been one of the favorites. As well as the one me and Short [Dog] did over Snoop's 'I Wanna Rock' [beat]."

Being a part of the Cash Money/ Young Money family now (he's officially signed to Cash Money Records, and co-owner Birdman is also his co-manager), Bow knows he can't slack in official releases.

"I tell people one thing about me: Practice makes perfect," he said. "Being signed to Cash Money, you get to see [Lil] Wayne and ... our studios are all right next to each other. Stunna, then my room, then the Wayne room. When you go to the studio, you see the grind. You wanna keep up with what they doing, especially me, 'cause I'm the new guy. I feel like I'm a new artist, 'cause now this is the type of music that I'm about to start making."

Bow said the edgier music we hear on his mixtapes is actually him, not the manicured, cuss-free Bow we've heard most of his career. It was Jermaine Dupri's idea to keep his music clean.

"I have to push it 10 times harder and make people accept it," he said about his evolved music. "My goal is to come with hot sh--. You have no choice but to step it up when you signed to the number-one label. You got [Drake] over there, who I speak to often. I call myself 'The Prince of Hip-Hop.' Drizzy is a newcomer, but he's finnin' to take over the game. You got no choice but to step your sh-- up. So that's basically the approach I took. I been in that studio every single day. That's the Cash Money way. I follow suit and abuse it. If you a rapper and spend time in the studio and go every day, you gonna get better."

The 22 year-old has taken charge of his own career. He's now managing himself, along with the Birdman, and he revealed that before he puts out an official album, he'll release Greenlight 2.5, coming out exclusively on iTunes.

"Stunna and them let me do whatever I wanted to do," he said. "Previously, I dropped two mixtapes with DJ Infamous. That was the beginning of me stepping into the mixtape game. The first one, I did that in my office. F---ed-up microphone, the sound quality wasn't that good. I was gonna quit after that. I was like, 'This sh-- ain't for me.' Then I did the Half Man, Half Dog 2 with Infamous. That got way more downloads. Then when I hooked up with DJ Ill Will to do the Greenlight, the first Greenlight did half a mil overnight. I know if I stayed on this track, then the next couple of joints would be even bigger."