Bow Wow Announces His Retirement From Rap and Final Album


He started out as Lil Bow Wow, then dropped the “Lil” when he matured and moved into acting and now he’s hanging it up entirely. After wrapping up an Australian tour, Bow Wow (born Shad Moss) announced on Sunday in a series of tweets that he’s giving up the mic at age 29, but not before releasing one last album. “Retirement only means that it is time for a new adventure,” he wrote in an Instagram on Sunday, in which he noted that he’s sold more than 10 million albums during his career and that, as promised years ago, he’s retiring from the rap game before age 30.

Bow Wow began rapping at age six and attracted the attention of Snoop Dogg, who gifted him with the name Lil Bow Wow. A few years later producer Jermaine Dupri took the then-11-year-old rapper under his wing, releasing his debut album in 2000, Beware the Dog, which featured a collabo with Snoop, “Bow Wow (That’s My Name),” as well as the hit “Bounce With Me” (featuring Xscape) and “Puppy Love” with Jagged Edge. He followed with the No. 1 platinum album Doggy Bag in 2002, the year he aced the “Lil” from his stage name.

Then came Unleashed in 2003, Wanted in 2005 and The Price of Fame a year later. The rapper teamed with Omarion for a collabo album, Face Off, in 2007, which, like the previous two albums, charted lower than his earlier efforts. His most recent album was New Jack City II from 2009, which featured tracks with Soulja Boy, Nelly, Dupri, T.I., T-Pain and Trey Songz. After promoting a new album on Cash Money Records for several years, Bow Wow announced last year that he’d split with the label and signed with Bad Boy Records.

Given his long history in the game, the series of Sunday tweets included an extended list of accomplishments, including his claims that he’s made more than $20 million off rapping and, you know, he got invited to the White House, so…

In addition to three new unnamed TV shows he’s working on – Bow Wow said he’s “focusing on acting and hosting,” as well as producing two TV shows this year. The rapper frequently stepped away from music to act, starting out on TV shows like Moesha, then making his big screen debut in Like Mike in 2002 and then appearing in the films Roll Bounce, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Hurricane Season, Lottery Ticket and Scary Movie 5, all while continuing to do spots on TV shows including Ugly Betty, Entourage and Smallville. He also hosted BET’s 106th & Park for two years.

Now that he’s moving on, the rapper said he’s prepping his final album, NYLTH, which he said is being executive produced by himself and Snoop and which will be bundled with a movie; no release date has been announced for the album.

Not for nothing, but this is the second time Bow Wow has announced his retirement, following on the heels of a 2009 interview in which he said he was hanging it up. “There’s nothing more that I want to accomplish,” he said back then at age 22.