Personnel: Bow Wow (rap vocals); Omarion, Ciara (vocals); J-Kwon, Jermaine Dupri, Snoop Dogg, T. Waters (rap vocals); Kitt Reuter Foss (mezzo soprano); Billy Odum (guitar); Bow Wow (programming); Wadler "Wattz" Gauthier, Johnta Austin (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Jermaine Dupri; John Frye; Phil Tan.
Recording information: Battery Studios, NY; Real Deal Studios, Fairburn, GA; SouthSide Studios, Atlanta, GA; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; The Tabernacle, Diamond Bar, CA.
Photographer: Christian Lantry.
That Bow Wow had dropped the diminutive "Lil" from his moniker was old news by the release of WANTED, his fourth album. WANTED was released shortly after the rapper's 18th birthday, but if there were any questions about the legitimacy of his maturity and worldliness, the song "Big Dreams" should put them to rest. The song's narrative about the ever-present pitfalls of life in the 'hood is brought to life by the searing authority in Bow Wow's voice.
Bow Wow makes the transition to adult MC with ease, which is surprising given that he spent much of his early career in the shadow of his mentor Snoop Dogg. Still, Bow Wow proves himself a skilled prodigy. Snoop, of course, makes his appearance on WANTED, trading rhymes with Bow Wow on "Caviar." J-Kwon, Ciara, and producer/rapper Jermaine Dupri also appear here, but the guests are mere background. Whether boastful, as on "B.O.W.," or rap-crooning sweetly, as on the singles "Let Me Hold You" and "Like You," Bow Wow is the center of attention. WANTED is a potent coming-of-age statement from this self-assured MC.