After entering the rap game at the age of 13 under the tutelage of Jermaine Dupri and Snoop Dogg, Bow Wow has decided to bow out of the Hip Hop game and focus on acting. Over the last several years Bow Wow, whose real name is Shad Gregory Moss, has seen his acting resume increase with roles in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Roll Bounce and the upcoming films Patriots and Driving Lessons.

“After 16 years in the music industry and six successful albums, I’ve decided to shift my energy to something else I’m passionate about, acting,” Bow Wow tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m going to try to be the next Will Smith.” Since the rapper-turned-actor is 21, his reference of “16 years” likely includes his 1992 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show at the age of 5.

Prior to his announcing his decision, Bow Wow began recording material for his seventh album, H.I.M. (History In the Making). The album is expected to be released late in 2008, and Bow Wow would not definitively state if it would be his last. In the meantime, Bow Wow will take a recurring role in the upcoming season of HBO‘s Entourage. Bow Wow will be cast as Charlie, a stand-up comic who is a client of Kevin Connoly‘s character Eric Murphy.