Bow Wow discusses competing on ‘The Masked Singer,’ fatherhood and new music
'I think that hip hop has always been transcendent. It’s always been able to camouflage different you know avenues,' the rapper says about his 'Masked Singer' appearance.
How did a rapper/actor make it to the final episode of a competition show named The Masked Singer? Ask Bow Wow.
The young superstar bested the likes of Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Jordyn Woods, and Lil Wayne, taking the bronze medal behind runner-up Jesse McCartney and winner Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss.
For the 33-year-old talent, succeeding on the mystery performance series came down to nailing each performance, a new experience he enjoyed overall.
“A lot of people thought ‘What the hell never seen this dude do nothing like this,'” remarks Bow Wow to the Grio.
He hopes his success on the series as a person whose first claim to fame was rap music will inspire more emcees to grab a mask. Although Lil Wayne was first eliminated, both he and Bow Wow’s presence may lead to more hip-hop stars gearing up for the friendly exhibition.
“I think that hip hop has always been transcendent. It’s always been able to camouflage different you know avenues,” he remarks. “Guys like myself and Wayne, hopefully, by people seeing me make it to the finals, gives a lot of other rappers the courage to want to get on the show and compete. I know a lot of people have their say so, you know, ‘How did he get to the finals?’ At the end of the day, it is still a form of entertainment.
He continues, “I’ll put a million dollars up that anyone who says that they couldn’t do what I did, or even get close, probably could try and compete with anybody else. I just make it look like that, but I’m having fun when I’m doing [it]. At the same time, hopefully, it does open up some doors and get other guys on. I think season four will big season for that show because of what this season was. It’s only going to get bigger. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there were two of us the last time, don’t be surprised, there might be five or four.”
The concept of The Masked Singer involves celebrities hiding their identity and performing musical showcases, leaving the audience and a panel to guess who’s in the costume. For Bow Wow, some were thrown off by his dancing and singing capabilities, deducing Usher was the guy behind the frog. The “Lovers and Friends” singer called Bow Wow in jest, claiming superior talent.
“I was on the phone with Usher two days ago … he was watching the show and he says ‘Yo dog, you’ve been killing it.’ I’m like ‘Yo, you’ve been watching?’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah. So, I asked ‘You seen on one episode, they thought you were the frog.’ He says, ‘I can’t believe they actually compared your dancing to my dancing.’ It was a funny thing between me and him. Usher was basically like, ‘Don’t let it pump your head, you got compared to me because I wasn’t there,'” Bow Wow explains.
Beyond performing hits such as “In Da Club” by 50 Cent or “Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons, which he tells theGrio was his favorite performance, Bow Wow stays busy as a dad, as a musician, and a movie star.
His 9-year-old daughter, Shai Moss, not only carbon-copied her dad’s face, but she also boasts the charm and abilities of a child star. He hopes to foster her creative energy and help her become whatever she desires, which, according to Dad, is an on-screen talent.
“Shai is definitely an actress. Raven-Symone is my homegirl and I told her the other day, ‘This is you all over again.’ History repeats itself… What makes it dope is I didn’t force her,” he says. “I’m not one of those parents saying ‘You’re going to do this.’ … She just wants to do it. At school, she does her plays, she memorizes her lines, she studies, she’s already on it. On TikTok, on Instagram, she gets more views than I do.”
While the world remains mostly at home, he’s used this quarantined time to not only relax but to create. With the Millennium Tour now on hold, Bow Wow has found the free time to work on new music with Omarion, a solo project, and silver-screen production plans.
“Me and Omarion are working on some stuff. Being that the tour is postponed, me and him are trying to gear up this album and put together some stuff,” he says. “I have time to jump the gun and get ahead of the curve and work. Produce more stuff and come up with more stuff. I’m ready to pitch one of my shows when everything is back up and running in L.A.”
While he informs us that the frequent collaborators only have one song done, the rapper assures theGrio of plenty to come. He also ensures fans that a Johnson Family Vacation follow-up is in the works. The original 2004 comedy starred Bow Wow as the defiant son of Cedric The Entertainer with an all-star cast, including Solange Knowles, Vanessa Williams, and Steve Harvey.
“We’re close to going to production for Johnson Family Celebration, which will be the sequel to Johnson Family Vacation,” he informs theGrio. Bow Wow continues, “My character DJ, he has a kid now, and it’s going to be fun.”
A platform getting many through the COVID-19 pandemic is Instagram Live and Timbaland and Swizz Beatz have created an online battlefield for Black music. Hip-hop fans have used social media to hopefully summon Mr. 106th and Park to VERZUZ. Although Bow Wow is adamant he would never participate, he finds a worthy competitor in one rapper.
“I’ve definitely been watching, and I know I was quoted saying I wouldn’t battle. I’m going to stick to that. I don’t like Instagram Live,” he shares. “That’s what I have a reality TV show for. If they want insight, they gotta watch that. If I were to do one [VERZUZ] I would battle Fab [Fabolous]. None of the artists that I’ve been seeing… everybody’s like ‘battle Omarion,’ and I would never battle O. Some were saying Soulja Boy, it doesn’t make sense. But somebody, who if I were to do it, and I’m not doing it, it would be Fab.”