Bow Wow & Omarion Interview
|Artist:||Bow Wow & Omarion|
|Next Project:||Faceoff (Dec '07)|
|Website:||Bow Wow & Omarion's Website|
When Rap and R&B artists come together to create a collaborative project, the end result can be smashing. There have been an exorbitant amount of wildly successful partnerships such as En Vogue and Salt-N-Pepa, “Whatta Man”; Nas and Lauryn Hill, “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)”; and Kanye West and Syleena Johnson—“All Falls Down.” However, it is rare that these musical marriages translate into full length albums; the only notable mention is Jay-Z & R. Kelly‘s “Best of Both Worlds.” Trying to prove it can be done, and very well at that, are urban sensations: Omarion and Bow Wow. During an interview with DJBooth’s DJ “Z,” the young men discuss their upcoming project “Faceoff,” how their joint venture has been long overdue and who gets more women when they kick it at the clubs.
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Bow Wow & Omarion Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth are two extremely talented individuals. This Fall, they will come together to put on display their collaborative work, and in the process woo more women towards the record stores than Soundscan can handle. Please welcome Bow Wow and Omarion. Guys, how you doin’?
Bow Wow and Omarion: We’re doin’ good, man. What’s happenin’?
DJ Booth: What’s big right now is the fact that everybody’s gettin’ really excited about this upcoming album you guys have together, but before we go on, I need to know: Omarion, has your heart thawed out yet?
Omarion: [laughter] Yeah man, I’m all good. I’m facing off now.
DJ Booth: Okay, good. And Bow Wow, is she finally outta your system?
Bow Wow: Aw man, you must not have went on the Internet and checked your boy out. I’m all over the place, you can read about me!
DJ Booth: Everything I’ve read thus far states this is a Bow Wow/Omarion top secret project. How did you guys go about choosing whose name came before the slash?
Bow Wow: Man, it don’t even matter. It can go Omarion slash slash slash then Bow Wow, man. People know what it is, you know what I’m sayin’? And me and this man, we don’t have that ego problem. I’m not the type of dude that wants the album to come out with O’s name first. It don’t mean nothing. It’s a united thing. We came together to go ahead and make this the best project we can make it, and it’s never about ego when you’re workin’ with a very close friend – damn near a brother. It’s all about helpin’ one another and helpin’ each other elevate to get to where we want to get to, and that’s what we gonna do for one another, so that’s why we came together and went on ahead and said, “Look, we can’t do this album face off, and we gonna do it for the people,” you know what I’m saying, for the fans. We feel like music – the music industry how it is right now, it’s time for a change. It’s time to put fun back in the music. It’s time to get to the club and party, have a good time, and that’s what we’re gonna go ahead and do for everybody – not only the ladies, but also for the fellas.
DJ Booth: Bow Wow, you just said something real interesting – you said the people have been waitin’ on this – and I read another quote where you said, the “girls have been waitin’ on this for years.” Guys, if a fella were to pick up a copy of your brand new album, what is the appeal there?
Bow Wow: A big appeal!
Omarion: ‘Cause he gonna get all the chicks!
Bow Wow: The good thing about it is, the records are comin’ from guys’ point of views. The females, they’re always gonna dig what Omarion do, they always gonna dig whatever Bow Wow would do. For instance, we got a song on the album that most guys can probably relate to, and it’s for the guys, where a best friend would tell me about a girl I mess with if she’s trouble or not, and you always got that best friend that’s just a hardhead, don’t wanna listen, and is so infatuated with this woman that he ends up taking a woman over his partna. Those type of things happen every day and we actually have a song about that, and the song is called, “Listen.” The album is not only for females but at the same time it’s for everybody. It’s for the guys too – when they pick it up they can relate to it just as much as the women can.
DJ Booth: It must be a blessing to get the opportunity to work together as best friends, brothers, however as a person’s best friend, it’s usually someone who gets on their nerves occasionally. So what is one thing each of you guys does in the studio, which might bother the other person?
Omarion: Honestly, because we are brothers – don’t get me wrong - I don’t think it’s a thing that we do with each other to irk each other, but, we do have differences. We do have our times where we may not agree on something, but it’s really what family does, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s really what most people do, when they care about, so to speak, their project, or the things that they workin’ on. So really, this whole process – me and Bow go at it sometimes, but it’s a part of the creative process, in comin’ up with the best product we can.
DJ Booth: When you guys look at the landscape of successful R&B/rap collaborations, the obvious standout choice would be Jay-Z and R. Kelly, “Best of Both Worlds.” Unfortunately, things didn’t end up very well for them at the conclusion of their last tour. You two have been together, though, on the road once before. What’s the key for you guys for a successful future?
Omarion: For us to just have the relationship that we have. I can honestly tell you that we not even gonna go on that road. Instead of it being more like money in the bank, or a really great business opportunity for myself, I have to sit and think, “Well, can I really work with Bow?” And because we pretty much grew up, the first tour I ever went on, Bow Wow three million sold, was the first Scream tour ever, so we’ve known each other long enough to know, this is what we do. Tourin’, doin’ this record, just everything – this is larger than life, man. This is such a great opportunity, and like you said, we’re so blessed to be in this position because now we can have fun with it. Seriously, this is gonna be great, man.
Bow Wow: And it’s sad to say that people are really waitin’ for that to happen. And the good thing about me and O is, it’s happened before already. We already done been through that, and it’s all out of friendship, it’s never business. It’s never a time where it’s, “Aw man, I’m better than you are!” It’s never about that. Whatever solo has happened, that’s in the past. Now we come together and we unite, and we do this. People thought that we couldn’t headline a tour together, when we went out and did the Scream 4 tour – next to the Scream 2 tour the most successful Scream tour there’s ever been. And we both co-headlined it back n’ forth. I think that once you know a person, and you know how that person is, the whole business aspect of it don’t even mean a thing. You’re gonna bump heads every now and then about something, but it’s like we got a wall built up. We know how far we can go when we arguin’. When we argue, it’s for the good, not the bad. Like, “You don’t like that picture? Man, I’m feelin’ this picture.” And after that it’s not gonna escalate after that picture. It’s never gonna get to a point where, “Man, I wanna fight.” It’s not gonna never get to that.
DJ Booth: So you guys didn’t have an argument about when you turn over the front booklet, who has the first sheet in there? That’s not a problem?
Bow Wow: Definitely not.
Bow Wow: [Actually] we’re doin’ something special, we’re gonna do three different covers – we not women. We not catty, we not gonna fight over, “Man, I need grapes in my room, he got apples.” It’s never gonna be on that, you know what I’m sayin’? We some real regular humble cats that came from nothing and now we got something.
DJ Booth: Definitely. You guys said something interesting in your response there, and that’s, “This is for fun.” The entire music industry I think has gotten away from the fun aspect and it’s been all money-driven. Do you think if more projects were more fun-based, music would just be better period?
Bow Wow: Yeah, yeah, ‘cause it’d be more natural. We doin’ this album for the fun – honestly, I could do this album and be like, “This could be for charity.”
DJ Booth: Do you think Columbia would mind if you gave all your proceeds to charity?
Bow Wow: Yeah, they probably would ‘cause they’re a billion dollar corporation.
DJ Booth: Well since the name of the album is, “Face Off,” let’s play a competitive game. I’m gonna name several activities, I want you fellas to tell me who would win if you guys went head to head. First one, basketball.
Omarion: Definitely me.
Bow Wow: Me, me. Hands down.
DJ Booth: Seems like we have an argument here.
Omarion: Aw, come on, Bow, we had this conversation earlier, man.
Bow Wow: Dancin’ would be him, but basketball – that’s all me.
DJ Booth: Okay, so Bow Wow you’re gonna take the crown there?
Bow Wow: Yeah, I got it.
DJ Booth: Okay. Number two, video games.
Omarion: It depends on what video game.
Bow Wow: I was about to say the same thing – definitely depends on what video game it is. O is more of a strategy video gamer, he likes to play all the shootin’ games. Me, I’m more of an EA Sports– Madden, NBA Live. So we really don’t play the same video games.
DJ Booth: Okay, so I guess that’s a tie. Three: dancing. Bow, you said Omarion took the cake…
Bow Wow: I’m gonna go ahead and say that O is the best dancer out period.
DJ Booth: Okay, O, no disagreement from you, I guess.
Omarion: Oh, no sir.
DJ Booth: Okay.
Bow Wow: Nobody can touch – you can print that in bold letters, “Nobody can touch O when it comes to dancing.”
DJ Booth: Okay. Now, I have a feeling this next one might cause some beef between you guys –Who can bench press more?
Bow Wow: O, definitely.
DJ Booth: Okay, that was easier than I thought. Last one: who gets all the women?
Bow Wow: I mean, it’s different, because O is the more suave, “I’m smooth, I’m in the club in the VIP, I’m chillin’ on the VIP couch and I’m gonna have a conversation.” Me, I’m the rowdy, rah-rah one. I’m the walkin-on-the-edge bad boy, I’m on everything movin’.
Omarion: “Okay, see, bring all of them over here. Don’t bring all one of them over here, bring all of them.”
Bow Wow: Bring all ten. So, you know, but it’s all good, man.
DJ Booth: So has there ever been one woman who you’ve both spotted, and you’ve both seen each other look at, and then it was on from there?
Omarion: Honestly, we’ve been attracted to the same- [laughter] we’ve been attracted to the same type of women, but, [laughter] actually, a couple of women, but it’s all good, you know what I mean? It depends on the girl, whichever one she kinda move to. But it’s never been no problem like that.
Bow Wow: That’s the best thing to do especially with your homeboys, man – don’t fight over no girl. That ruins a lot of friendships, and really Snoop said it best, “Man, you know the game/Your girl chose me.” You gotta let the girl choose. Whatever her decision is, you can’t be mad about it.
DJ Booth: That’s right. Bros before hoes, guys.
Bow Wow: Yeah.
Omarion: There ya go!
DJ Booth: All right. You’re both young, already have had successful, stellar music careers. Five years from now, are you both still performing and touring, are you recording, or are you acting and doing other entrepreneurial activities?
Omarion: I would say, the entrepreneurial aspect would probably definitely be in effect in five years. I’m not sure where I will be in my life, but I definitely want a family. I would like to have a steady lady in my life. So yeah, that would be neat.
Bow Wow: I would just be startin’. I haven’t really hit my mark yet, I don’t think. I would just be startin’ lyrically, as an MC, as a rapper, I would just be gettin’ to where I wanna be.
Omarion: Wouldn’t you be 25?
Bow Wow: I’ll be 25 years old.
Omarion: Man, you be cold.
Bow Wow: I will be a savage, believe that.
DJ Booth: So in five years, are we gonna be on the phone again, talkin’ about the second or third, “Face Off,” project with Omarion and Bow Wow?
Bow Wow: Who knows?
Omarion: It might be so, you never know.
Bow Wow: I mean, I can definitely tell you this – I know this has been fun, but after this is said and done, we’re definitely gonna get back in the studio. I know OI gonna [unintelligible] with a third project. Off the top already, you know, how my schedule is, soon as we get done with this – it’s on the last drip-drop – I gotta get right back in the studio, work on my sixth album. You know, Snoop just called me the other day and he told me, “Bow Wow, it’s time, man. You go ahead and step it up, bro.” Like we know what’s in y’all. They know what’s in us. The audience, they know what’s in us, they just want us to go ahead and bring it out, and once we bring it out – oh my God, it’s a wrap.
DJ Booth: Do you guys feel that since you’ve come together to do this project, it was the perfect time? Or was there a time before this when you wanted to, but you felt musically both of you were not there yet?
Omarion: Yeah, we actually came to the same point that we at, last year. It’s crazy ‘cause we both was basically out at the same time. Last year I came out with my first solo album, which was, “O.” Bow had the song that we did, which was-
DJ Booth: “Hold You Down.”
Omarion: Yeah, “Hold You Down,” and then he had, “Like You.” So, really we had a conversation about doing it then. I just talked to Bow and I told him, “Yo Bow, I really wanna establish myself more as a solo artist, because comin’ from in a group I want people to get to know me.” He was like, “Cool.” So the same opportunity came around this time, and we really wanna give it to them now, before we let any steam die down, would happen to my record, or Bow’s record. You know, now we in the lab, and, “Face Off,” that’s December 4th.
DJ Booth: Well that’s what this is all leading up to, and I’m sure everybody is very excited – including myself, I’d like to just point out.
Omarion: Well thank you, man – hey, you gonna love the music, I’m telling you.
Bow Wow: Definitely, without a doubt. Man, we appreciate your time.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Give everybody a website, a Myspace address, so they can find out more about you each individually, and together, with this brand new album, “Face Off,” comin’ out this December.
Bow Wow: We also got the, “Face Off,” myspace.com/faceoffthealbum.
Omarion: Yeah, December 4th, it’s ours, we takin’ it. We ain’t askin’ nobody, we don’t care, we takin’ it.
Bow Wow: We takin’ it. It’s ours.
DJ Booth: Guys, I wish you nothing but the best of luck through this album and into the future, and go ahead and do me favor and break those Soundscan-
Bow Wow: It’s definitely going to happen man, we appreciate it.