Review: Bow Wow – Unleashed

Bow Wow’s album from 2003 called Unleashed is an album of his that got overlooked by the public and music fans. Many Bow Wow fans, stans, and heads slept on this album. The album had the best sound and production. Many famous rappers and singers such as Baby, Amerie, Mario, and Jagged Edge were featured on this album. This Bow Wow album had a new sound with different subject matter and lyrical content that showcased his maturity. He was 16 when this album was released.

Production wise the album was wonderful. The album had the best sound and production that included contributions hot in-house producers of the time such as Jermaine Dupri, The Neptunes, T.I., Chad Hugo, Bryan-Michael Cox, Jazze Pha, Bink!, Lil Jon, and Birdman.With those in-house producers you couldn’t go wrong.

However the album only went gold in the United States selling 770,000 units. This was the only album by Bow Wow that went only gold. It did not reach the same platinum success as his sophomore album Doggy Bag did in 2001.

If Bow Wow had not dropped the “Lil” from his name completely and had Jermaine Dupri been hand-ons in terms of production by producing this album, then Unleashed would have been another platinum album gone right. He had hot in-house producers of the time on this album, but having hot in-house producers does not always guarantee you success as your previous albums.

Jermaine Dupri has been the largest contributor to Bow Wow’s success and by him not being on the album is what led Unleashed to underperform.

Now for those who did not know, this was Bow Wow’s first album without hands-on management or production from Jermaine Dupri. Jermaine Dupri did not produce this Bow Wow album. The reason why is because Bow and Jermaine Dupri had disagreements in musical direction how they both wanted the album to sound. That is why the So So Def Recordings logo does not appear on this album. The public and fans are often under the impression that because the R&B quintet Jagged Edge was featured on Unleashed that Jermaine Dupri would have produced the album. Which is understandable as Jagged Edge was label mates with Bow Wow and this R&B quintet does have that So So Def sound.

T.I. was instrumental in songwriting for this Bow Wow album. T.I. wrote 30% of this album for Bow Wow along with a couple of verses on Let’s Get Down and Follow Me.

Let’s Get Down was the street anthem of 2003 that you would hear at carwashes or on the radio. The song featured hot poignant production by Baby aka Birdman of Cash Money Records and Jazze Pha. He offered assistance and was hands-on in producing Let’s Get Down. The production was perfect for the song at the time it hit radio waves. T.I. wrote a couple of verses for Bow Wow on Let’s Get Down.

Let’s Get Down is about all the women Bow Wow knows, their personalities, dating, and how well he knows about them. Bow Wow flirts with them during conversations.

Here are some examples of how well Bow Wow knows his women and personalities. Read the paragraphs below.

He knows this woman named Nicole. Nicole has expensive taste in clothing considered to be bourgeoisie. Burberry and Prada was her style. The conversation is amazing. He thinks to himself this is the one woman that he wants to date or be around.

Bow Wow knows this girl named Cindi. She loves to rock Fendi. The stores are all empty when she leaves the mall. She is an uptown chick similar to the West End Girls of London and Dover from Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls.

Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes produced The Don, The Dutch. The Neptunes production duo was responsible for arrangements and creation for the instrumental to this song. Pharrell Williams did a wonderful job in choosing the drum selection to fit in the rhythm.

Bow Wow discusses how he is accepted by several different communities both international and worldwide.
Bow Wow is a dope MC who is down by law. That’s how he rides. He was born to perform and get money. Everywhere he goes there’s so many chicks all over the globe.

Bow Wow raps and Mario sings on the song I’ll Move On. Mario sings and harmonizes the chorus with his not too flat voice. Chad Hugo of The Neptunes produced the song.

The song I’ll Move On is about maturity and progression. It’s about doing what’s right because you’re able and learning lessons. There’s no turning back to see if anything’s wrong. I’ll move on. Mario sings and harmonizes this in the hook at the very beginning of I’ll Move On.

[Hook – Mario]
I’ll move on
Hearing if I, knowing I like what’s on the table
Looking at my life, doing what’s right because I’m able
Learning lessons, more protected, feeling great’ll
I’ll move on
Hearing if I, knowing I like what’s on the table
Looking at my life, doing what’s right because I’m able
There’s no turning back to see if anything’s wrong
I’ll move on

Verse 1 is where Bow Wow showcases his growth and maturity. The book of life goes on. With a new day comes a new age and a new page.

[Verse 1 – Bow Wow]
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Life goes on, as I roll on
I could only be a child for so long
Yeah I wanna see my childhood prolong
But this time Bow Wow say so long
And I step to a new day, new age, and a new page
In a book of life but it’s looking like
Ya’ll ain’t ready for the new phase
Then I’m a get more mature
Make mistakes, but hey, everybody did that before
Ever feel like you’ve been trapped before?
Wish you can open up a magic door?
Step through it, just do it
The way that you feel it but ya’ll confuse it
Ya’ll wanna show that keep me secluded
But this is life I’m bound to go through it
It’s a process ya’ll gotta digest, let the boy grow up
Wanna go out, have a little fun, if it get a little wild, then so what
There’s a ounce of experience, that’s more than a pint of advice
I hope ya’ll hearing this, cause I’m serious
And it’s like, I’m so curious about life
I’m movin on

In Verse 2, Bow Wow discusses how he grew in the career of becoming a rapper.

[Verse 2 – Bow Wow]
Grew up so fast in this profession
A flash of concerts and late night sessions
So much dough, he don’t know it’s a blessing
The way he brag, he gonna last one second
But au contraire, don’t stop and stare
If I sell my jewelry and cut my hair
Still be here after ya’ll, standing tall

Let’s Get It Poppin is a song that had potential to be chosen as a lead single due to it’s uptempo beats, drum selection, and production sound. Let’s Get It Poppin was hot! Bow Wow and Swizz Beatz were on fire here. It’s a shame Bow Wow did not choose this song to be a lead single.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

Published by


Writer, narrator, researcher, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s