Try as I might, I can’t recall the last time someone told me, “Man, Bow Wow is killing the rap game right now.” In fact, I’d go on record to say that no one has ever uttered those words, mostly because no one has checked for the diminutive rapper since “Like You,” aka that song he did with his ex-girlfriend, Ciara (and even then, it was more about their romance than his lyrical prowess).
Nonetheless, 29-year-old Bow, born Shad Moss, has still managed to create a bit of a wave in the media after, as reported by the Inquisitr, he announced his plans to retire from hip-hop over the weekend.
"I always said years ago i'd retire from music before 30. I just cant see myself at 30 years old rapping" pic.twitter.com/U7Fs4R6WMf— Shad Moss(Bow Wow) (@smoss) August 7, 2016
Now, before I really get into what I need to say about this upcoming farewell, let me say this: At one point in time, Bow Wow did have an undeniable spot in the entertainment field. By his own account, he’s sold 10 million records worldwide, and that’s no small feat to accomplish. Also, let’s not forget that he was attached to not one, but two well-regarded big budget films (2002’s Like Mike and 2005’s Roll Bounce), so yes, he has made some kind of mark. I can’t deny that, and neither can anyone else.
On the other hand, other than his position as host of the latter years of BET’s answer to Total Request Live, 106 & Park, and his failed run as a television star on the quickly-cancelled CSI: Cyber, what exactly has he done to make this retirement worth noting? Spoiler alert, people: he hasn’t done much.
Along with a series of albums and mixtapes that stopped receiving attention in 2013, Bow demanded that everyone stop referring to him as “Bow Wow” in 2014.
“We made a lot of history as Bow Wow,” he expressed, according to E! Online. “Now, it’s time for the next chapter and challenge. Bow Wow does not fit who I am today. [I am a] father, business man, TV host, actor, and rapper! Time for Mr. Moss to take over!”
To try to make that takeover happen, Bow appeared in several one-off appearances on TV shows — sometimes, just by name — and took roles in a few more films, the most notable one being Madea’s Big Happy Family in 2011, where he played Byron, a struggling single father who had as a beast of an ex-girlfriend to deal with. Unfortunately, most would be reluctant to praise him for that role — even though it was decently acted — due to him being upstaged by another hip-hop star, Teyona Taylor, who portrayed Sabrina, the aforementioned crazy “baby mama.”
His last appearance in a big-screen movie was an non-credited role in the film adaptation of HBO’s Entourage. We’ll let people who actually wasted money on that bomb tell you how he did.
Then, of course, there was his torrid engagement to Love and Hip Hop alum Erica Mena. The duo, who were said to have been friendly for years, revealed that they were planning to tie the knot in September 2014, just six months after they initially got together.
From the outset, anyone with eyes could see the train wreck before it actually occurred, especially with Erica ending her relationship with fellow LHHNY star Cyn Santana just weeks before she allegedly hooked up with Bow. Unsurprisingly, the two would part ways by the end of 2015, with Mena claiming to Vibe that he abused her, while Bow said in an Instagram post (which was reported on by the International Business Times) that he didn’t like the way she waited to share news about a miscarriage. Whatever the reason, the relationship was incredibly messy and ended up adding another nail in his long-buried entertainment coffin.
Also, there were his infamous attempts to stunt both professionally and personally on Instagram, which were hilariously called out by the media.
In April 2016, HipHopDX noted that Bow had stolen a picture of a stack of cash and claimed it as an image of his own funds. He’s also been caught being a bit of a misogynist after telling close friend and former collaborator Omarion to get over his recent split with his the mother of his child, Apryl Jones, by having sex with “IG (Instagram) thots.” And then, there’s his most recent business move: a carbon copy of Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji app, titled Bow Moji.
Yeah, still waiting on that takeover, Mr. Moss.
So, what does this all mean for his retirement and NYLTH, his final album? Well, for starters, I hope it’s an acronym for something and not an unintelligible title, but that’s just me. In all seriousness, though, this move is obviously one being done for Bow Wow’s most dedicated fans, so I respect the fact that he’s giving them one last hurrah. However, with that being said, everyone, Bow included, needs to stop pretending that this news is much bigger than it actually is. The majority of us have never, and will never, see him — much in the same way he doesn’t see himself as being black, and that’s just real talk.
Enjoy retirement, Bow. I hear Florida’s nice.
[Photo by Todd Williamson/Stringer/Getty Images]