A powerful presence in the music and entertainment industry and BET's flagship show, ‘106 & Park’ has been the #1 music variety show on cable for the past 15 consecutive quarters among adults 18-49, according to the Nielsen Company, and has been integral in launching the careers of numerous hip-hop and R&B artists. Hosted by Bow Wow, Paigion, Miss Mykie and Shorty Da Prince, 106 & PARK has become THE destination for today's brightest stars including Denzel Washington, Madonna, Beyonce, Jay Z, Diddy, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Queen Latifah, Will Ferrell, Lady Gaga, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Lebron James, Whitney Houston, 50 Cent, Sienna Miller, Will Smith, Drake, Katie Holmes, Trey Songz, Kirk Franklin, Snoop Dogg, and many, many others. Bow Wow opens up with me about what it’s like to be a host, have a consistent schedule, and when his fans can expect his new mixtape, The Green Light 5. Read my full interview with Bow Wow below:
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): You are the Black Ryan Seacrest! How do you manage it all?
Bow Wow: “I just take it one minute at a time (laughs). I’m very organized and I focus on whatever is in front of me at that time. I move at my own pace, and I think that’s why I don’t look like I’m 70 when I’m only 25 (laughs).”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How was the transition for you from an artist/actor to go into hosting a show where your music videos once appeared on?
Bow Wow: “It was easy, and I just really went back and claimed what was mine from the jump, and that was 106 & Park. It wasn’t too farfetched, but for me to go home to my roots that helped out my career, it was an easy yes and perfect fit.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Was it easy or difficult getting used to a set schedule every day?
Bow Wow: “This is the easiest scheduled I had in my life! It’s the same schedule everyday, and most importantly not a lot of traveling! My goal was to make a lot of money and work less, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Your new single, “We Bout That (Eat The Cake” is hot! When can your fans expect the full mixtape to be released?
Bow Wow: “I’m going to drop it March 9th, which is my birthday at midnight, every series of the Green Light have always been released at midnight, so it’s an annual thing that I love to do.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How did you come up with the title Green Light 5?
Bow Wow: “The reason why it’s the Green Light 5 is because I dropped four previous mix tapes of the Green Light, every year for my fans, so I space them out.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): You’ve recruited some heavy hitters to collaborate with, when you’re thinking of collaborations what are you looking for?
Bow Wow: “My process really goes by the beat, I do my verse, then the writing, and once I’m done doing what I do, I then start thinking of who I hear on it, and whoever pops to mind, that’s how my features really come about.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How is it to be signed with Young Money now?
Bow Wow: “It’s dope, I speak to Wayne damn near everyday, I spoke to Birdman today, so everything is cool…these are guys that I’ve crossed paths with in my career, it’s funny how in business you have these great relationships without even knowing where it could go. I also want to shout out Jermaine Durpi, he’s having his 20 year anniversary of So So Def in Atlanta, and I’ll be back reuniting with him for this special occasion. Even though I’m with YMCB right now, I’m still representing So So Def for life.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): You’ve had a long and successful career in this industry, what’s the key to longevity, particularly for a rapper?
Bow Wow: “If you’re just planning on rapping, times have changed! Albums aren’t selling anymore…you have to spread your wings out and that’s what I talked about with 50 when he was on the show. People are so quick to say you fell off from one thing, but if you’re a hustler, a real hustler hustles. The whole point of the game is not to stick with one thing, because when that one thing ends, then what are you going to do? For me I have movies, 106 & Park, music, and other things to fall back on.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Will fans be able to expect a full album this year?
Bow Wow: “It’s really on me, it’s not the label…I feel like I just want to enjoy life and spend time with my daughter who is about to turn two, which is full-time job and the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life. At the end of the day, I want to spend time with my daughter and this schedule enables me to do that while still having fun hosting 106 & Park. I’m not really eager to get back into music just yet, I’m really eager to get into another movie, before I put out an album.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How are you enjoying New York?
Bow Wow: “I’m loving NY and words can’t even describe how happy I am to be here. I know everything can be gone tomorrow, so I’m enjoying it to the fullest now. New York has always been one of my biggest markets throughout my career, so I’m just really loving it right now.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What are your thoughts on all the drama in hip-hop right now from the Rick Ross shooting to Chris Brown fighting Frank Ocean?
Bow Wow: “I think we have to focus on the music. We are entertainers at the end of the day and you have some guys that come off and glorify a certain lifestyle and think that they really live it. I think that’ll never stop in hip-hop because it’s an urban culture. I think just focusing on the music and being respectful, as well as realizing that your words that come out of your mouth are very powerful, and send a better message.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How was it to shoot the film “Allegiance”?
Bow Wow: “I had a lot of fun shooting it; it’s actually out on DVD and Blue-Ray, so pick it up. We shot it in New York during the winter; it was cold as hell (laughs). I have fun when I’m acting, and working with such great people and Michael Connor who was the director of the film. I love to act, I love to entertain people, and that’s what I do best.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Lastly, what can your fans and viewers from 106 & Park expect from you this year?
Bow Wow: “Look forward to everything! They’ll get to see me on TV more, more acting deals, business deals, mixtape, and I’m just going to turn it up like I do every year for my fans. 25 years old and still going in this industry!"
Continue to watch Bow Wow on Bet’s 106 & Park every Monday – Friday, 6 – 8 pm (ET/PT) on BET as he counts down the hottest videos in the game right now!