As I've written before, child support trials are fascinating looks into the hidden world of real rapper finances. These trials almost always completely flip the normal hip-hop script: suddenly the same rapper bragging about dropping 50K at a strip club is desperately trying to prove they're dead broke to avoid those child support payments. Looks like we can add Bow Wow to that list.
During Bow Wow's recent trial, the former teen star claimed that his sole income was $4,000 a month as an employee of Cash Money Records, he only has $1,500 in his checking account, and his only vehicle was a leased Jeep. (Side note: What the fuck does it mean to be an "employee" of Cash Money?) Yep, we're talking the same Bow Wow turning out videos like this:
Now, there are a few options here. The one that seems the most likely is that Bow Wow is lying like a motherfucker to the judge about how much money he's making. Lord knows it's entirely possible to release multiple albums and not see a dime, especially if there's a bad contract involved, but Bow Wow's been releasing albums for a decade now, some of them well before the music industry went essentially bankrupt. Somewhere along the line, you'd think he had to accumulate a few royalty/licensing/publishing checks. Not to mention his new hosting gig on "106 & Park."
And then as he alludes to in this video (see below), there are other revenue streams; shows, tours, club appearances, and of course that movie money is about as legit as it's going to get (according to Bow Wow, he's making $9 million a flick):
In light of the child support case, the irony of that video is almost unbelievable. If his testimony in court is to be believed, Bow Wow himself is one of those guys who have Platinum albums but still "can't live."
The second option and one that's also pretty plausible is that Bow Wow consistently exaggerates, perhaps to a nearly insane degree, what his bank account really looks like. That Lambo in the video with Soulja Boy? It's a day rental. That show money? He got in over his head buying real estate and it's gone.
As always, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. He's pulling in more than $4,000 a month, but not nearly enough to be referring to a $500K Lamborghini as "short money." Regardless, remember this the next time a rapper pulls the "I'm Rich! I'm Rich! Wait, Child Support? I'm Poor! I'm Poor!" routine.
And believe me, it will happen again.