When all the euphorically gawking girls go to Lil' Bow Wow's Scream 2 Tour this summer, they'll have to switch up a "Lil' " when they sing the chorus ("Lil' Bow Wow, you just don't know/ How you move so fast across the floor ...") from "Take Ya Home." The 15-year-old rapper has chosen to distinguish himself from the likes of Lil' Wayne, Lil' Kim, Lil' Cease, Lil' Romeo, Lil' Zane and Lil' J by dropping the first word from his moniker.
"I changed my name because I'm getting older now and it's too many Lil's," Bow Wow said Thursday (April 4) in New York. "All these Lil' rappers, I'm just kind of getting real irritated by it. I said, 'You know what? Drop the Lil'. Forget it. I'm Bow Wow.' Besides, I'm growing up, I'm not little anymore. [I just decided] two weeks ago. I really got irritable. It's all these Lil' cats, forget it. I'm Bow Wow now. Everything is just 'Bow Wow,' no 'Lil' Bow Wow.' "
Duly noted. He's doing big things now. He just finished his first big-screen endeavor, "Like Mike," which he said was not everything he expected.
"It took us a long time to do a lot of things," he said. "It was picky people, very picky. Everything has to be perfect. Just right. That's the only misconception [I had] about it."
In the film, Bow Wow is the poster boy for the old saying "It must be the shoes!" He stars as a kid who stumbles across a pair of Michael Jordan's sneakers and has the ability to play like the future Hall of Famer when he wears the footgear. Although the filmmakers wanted perfection and M.J. never made an appearance in the film as the rapper had hoped, Bow said he still enjoyed himself.
"It was mayhem," he said about living in California while filming. "It was real cool, I liked it a lot. The whole experience of shooting a movie was real fun. It took four months, it was fun filming it and I got tired towards the end. It's different from doing a music video, because doing a music video is two days and that's four months, and all these people running around."
Bow Wow said he's undecided if he'll do another movie but he's still pressing forward with his day job.
"I just recently finished recording the first single off the 'Like Mike' soundtrack," he said. "Me and Fabolous produced by Jermaine Dupri and I wrote [my verse]. I'm real happy about that one. [We did] 'Basketball,' a remake of the Kurtis Blow song. I'm rapping about the game of basketball and all the players. Jermaine is letting me step up my game and I appreciate that. It was real cool recording with Fab. He did everything quick, all my stuff was quick. I'll work with him again."
It was equally as easy working on the video for his current single, "Take Ya Home." He just did what came naturally as they rolled the song on the playback machine.
"The music, it just makes you wanna dance, and I was just wilding out," he explained. "We was just doing crazy stuff, me and JD, and they put it in the video. We did everything [in front of] a green screen, very simple. I was happy with it."
A spokesperson for Bow Wow said his movie will hit theaters on July 12. The Scream 2 Tour is set to kick off on July 25 in Memphis. Only a handful of other dates have been released, and the venues for the outing have not been finalized. Bow Wow's rep said the full itinerary will be ready in the next few weeks.
For a full-length feature on Bow Wow, check out "Lil' Bow Wow: Tear The Woof Off."
Preliminary Scream 2 Tour schedule, according to Bow Wow's spokesperson:
- 7/25 - Memphis, TN
- 7/26 - Nashville, TN
- 7/27 - Atlanta, GA
- 7/28 - Greenville, NC
- 8/1 - Charlotte, NC
- 8/2 - Greensboro, NC
- 8/3 - Washington, DC
- 8/4 - Hampton, VA
- 8/30 - Los Angeles, CA
- 8/31 - Concord, CA
- 9/1 - San Jose, CA