April 9, 2009

Test Spin: Bow Wow

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Bow Wow’s sixth solo effort, New Jack City, Pt. II (his first to earn a Parental Advisory stamp), is filled with the same energy and Midwestern swag that fans have come to expect from the Columbus, Ohio rapper even since he came barking onto the scene as a 13-year-old pup. On his latest release, Bow Weezy kicks his flow into high gear, rapping above the speed limit on songs like the T.I.-assisted “Been Doin’ This.”
Another highlight, “Sunshine,” is the black sheep of the album, in that it has the gritty, colder sound of a song under East Coast influence. Bow Wow shows that he feels at home over likeably messy jingle bells in addition to the quick ticking hi-hats that rule Midwestern hip hop.
Bow Wow, who enlists the help of fellow A-listers Nelly, T-Pain, Swizz Beats and others on his latest effort, puts together a head nod-inducing collection of well-produced tracks. Unfortunately, Not-So-Lil’ Bow Wow’s employment of explicit lyrics is the only element that truly separates New Jack City, Pt. II from his last few albums. I hope to see a bit more musical and lyrical exploration next time the dog comes out of his cage.