It's usually hard for child actors to transition into more adult roles and what's true for actors can also be true for artists. This is the lesson of Bow Wow's fifth album The Price Of Fame. The artist once known as Lil' Bow Wow tries his best to continue his maturation process on this album but it doesn't work. Even though he's almost 20 years old, Bow Wow still sounds like he's still in adolescence as opposed to young manhood.
The signs of maturation you might expect to see on an artist's fifth album (let alone an artist who has become an adult right before our eyes) aren't prevalent on The Price Of Fame. The most obvious example is in the songwriting. Bow Wow has used ghostwriters ever since he first came on the scene but that makes sense since he was a child. However, even now, he still relies on them. Bow Wow is credited as a writer on only three of the album's songs. He should be writing most of his own songs by now and exercising the writing skills he hopefully worked on over the course of his career. While it's well-known that many rappers use ghostwriters, they at least try to appear as if they write their own music. Bow Wow will never gain more respect as an artist if he doesn't grow as a writer.
Another problem with this album is the way it tries to have it both ways when it comes to its audience. Bow Wow is in the unique position of having been a heartthrob to girls his entire career. Not only does Bow Wow have longtime fans who grew up with him, he is continuing to gain new female fans because he's still pretty young. On this album, Bow Wow tries to stay sort of family-friendly while trying to come off as hard at the same time. Bow Wow curses but the words get blocked out (and there is no “unedited” version of the album). It just doesn't sound right and you wonder why Bow Wow didn't just decide to either not curse at all or appeal to all ages with edited and explicit albums.