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The “Lottery Ticket” interview

Kam Williams | 8/24/2010, 11:20 a.m.

The “Lottery Ticket” interview

Born Shad Gregory Moss in Columbus, Ohio on March 9, 1987, Bow Wow was a precocious kid who started rhyming as a toddler and first appeared on stage at the age of 5. His showbiz career was launched just a year later when he made the most of an opportunity to open for Snoop Dogg on the Chronic Tour.

At 13, Bow Wow released his first solo CD, “Beware of Dog,” which sold more than 3 million copies. A hit single from that debut album, “Bounce with Me,” reached #1 on both the Rap and RandB charts. That achievement earned him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest solo rapper to hit #1. He now has a half-dozen CDs to his name, with a new one in the works.

In 2002, the versatile entertainer expanded his repertoire, making an impressive foray into film playing the lead in “Like Mike.” He has since made “All About the Benjamins,” “Johnson Family Vacation,” “Roll Bounce” and “The Fast and the Furious 3.”

On TV, he’s appeared on everything from “Moesha” to “All That” to “Smallville,” and most recently, “Entourage.”

Here, he talks about his new film, “Lottery Ticket,” an ensemble comedy where he stars as a guy who has to survive a weekend in the ‘hood before he can cash in a winning lotto ticket worth hundreds of millions.

Hey Bow Wow, how you been? I don’t think we’ve spoken since “Like Mike.”

Wow, that’s years. I’m a grown man now.

What’s life been like for you since then?

It’s been crazy, man, one heck of a ride. I’ve done six more arena tours since then, five more movies and I’ve switched labels. I’m now at Cash Money Records, so I’ve got a lot of great things going on. I’m just trying to soak it all in slowly, at my own pace, even though everything’s moving kinda fast. But so far, so good.  

What interested you in “Lottery Ticket”?

The fact that it had a great story behind it. When I signed on, we didn’t have all the cast together, but I believed in the project. And once I committed to the role, then Cube committed, and after that it was like a domino effect. What really sold me on it was the chance to work with such a great cast.

Yeah, a lot of veteran actors like Keith David, Loretta Devine and Terry Crews, and seasoned standup comics like Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy and Bill Bellamy, and some talented newcomers like Naturi Naughton and Brandon T. Jackson. I loved the movie. It’s one of those roller coaster rides that keeps you laughing and on the edge of your seat every step of the way.

Thank you very much, I appreciate that.  

I have some questions for you from my readers. Harriet Pakula Teweles asks, “Do you play the lottery?”

Do I actually buy lottery tickets? Truthfully, no, although in this situation the safe answer would probably have been, “Yes I do,” because of the movie’s title. [Laughs] But, nah, I don’t.