NEW YORK — So why exactly did Bow Wow have to be rushed to the hospital last week after a post-concert collapse? First his reps sent out a press release saying it was most likely due to stress and exhaustion. Earlier this week, a second press release blamed the 20-year-old's fainting on an appendix infection. But on Monday, Bow revealed to MTV News what really plagued him that night: passion. The rapper threw a fit in his dressing room, severely cutting himself in the process.
"Please pardon my left [hand]; my other hand is all stitched up" Bow said Monday evening at Harlem's Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts. He and his Face Off partner Omarion were there talking to kids about the importance of staying in school, listening to your parents and shaking off peer pressure. And of course they were promoting their duet album with a performance of the project's first single, "Girlfriend."
Bow hasn't taken the stage since the December 6 concert in his home state of Ohio. He's currently on tour with Chris Brown, but had to miss the last couple of dates due to his hospitalization.
"I got stitches in my finger," he said calmly, sitting next to Omarion. "It ain't nothing, man. Stress? Yeah, of course, that's normal. But right now, no, I'm not [exhausted]. I just went to the hospital for medical issues. I fainted, fell out. Hopefully everything will get right. I'm taking my medication, everything is gonna be cool. We'll see if I have to have surgery as of right now, [but] I'm feeling fine. I'll probably wind up getting further tested after the tour wraps up. I don't want to get surgery right now if that's not [necessary]. The official medical reason is I lost a lot of blood in my hand. I hit something and cut my hand. It would not stop bleeding. I lost a lot of blood, went onstage, put out a lot of energy, came off, got light-headed. I fainted, went to the hospital, threw up and then they told me my white blood cells were higher than what they're supposed to be. They were looking at my appendix. I've always had stomach issues. I've always had stomach problems. But like I said, we're gonna see if it's that serious that I have to take that surgery. If that's what I gotta do, that's what I gotta do. The appendix is a life- threatening thing."
Bow had his rock-star moment shortly before the Cincinnati performance. He got unruly in his dressing room when he realized that several props for his show were not at the arena.
"A lot of people fail to realize that when it comes to music — I can speak for O about this too — we're very passionate. Anytime you're paying a lot of money, anytime you are serious about what you do, you take it serious. I have fans that appreciate what I do. O has fans that appreciate what he does. I know me, I take it to heart. I was bummed out because a lot of the stuff that I had as part of my show wasn't there. Things that were promised were not there. It's nobody's fault; if it's anybody's fault, it's my team. I was upset nobody made me aware of it, and I threw a tantrum. That's what it is. That's the real reason. It's not because I'm beefing with anybody on the tour, that's not the case. It's not because of exhaustion, either. That's B.S."
Bow Wow and Omarion say they'll have their own Face Off tour next summer (according to his label, O is also slated to join Bow and Chris Brown on some select dates on their current run). Face Off is an unabashed coming-of-age collection of collaborations; "coming-of-age" meaning that we hear them at their most mature, incorporating lines about group sex, a sprinkling of four-letter words and even talk about dating women with kids.
"I don't care if she got a kid, that's life, so hey/ And plus, I like little man, I wanted kids anyway," Bow raps on "Can't Get Tired Of Me," a record they're considering as a single in the near future because of the unanimous positive response it's been getting.
"I would definitely say that's one of the surprise songs. A lot of people don't really know, we do like mature women," Omarion said. "I know myself and Bow have talked to women who may have had kids. That's OK with us. We're allowing the world to see a different side of us."
"When you listen to the album, it's very upbeat and energetic and it's us at our prime. It's different. This is the new Bow Wow and new Omarion. We want people to know we're gonna take it to another level from the lyrical content to the maturity to the topics to the videos. Everything."
The duo's next single and video is "Hey Baby (Jump Off)," and the clip picks up exactly where their to-be-continued "Girlfriend" video ends. The new single samples LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali."
"When I heard it, I didn't jump on it right away," Bow said. "I said, 'That's pop. That's not me, the beat is too fast.' But you never know till you get on something. O loved it as soon as he heard it. He said, 'I got a hit.' "
"Oh my God!" Omarion chipped in. "I was like, 'That's it. It's over.' "
Bow's stance on the song warmed up once he heard the finished version. Then he played the entire album for Uncle L himself.
"I called L, that's my mentor. L is my idol. I invited him to come to the studio and I played it last," Bow described. "When he heard it, he automatically knew what it was. He was like, 'Y'all got my nod. If you need anything from me — remix, anything.' So be expecting that remix. That's one phone call away. You already know what that remix is gonna be like. It's gonna be crazy."
O and Bow celebrated at an album-release party Tuesday night at New York club Home.