Unleashed is the third studio album by American rapper Bow Wow. It was released on August 19, 2003. It contains the singles "Let's Get Down", amongst others. It was his only album produced without his mentor Jermaine Dupri. He dropped the 'Lil' from his stage name after his film debut in Like Mike in 2002. The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 129,000 copies sold in the first week released. A couple of months later the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with an excess of 500,000 copies sold.
Bow Wow has said in interviews that Birdman and the Hot Boys were an influence on this album due to working to keep up with his PG-13 rhyming to fit in more with the new hip hop culture than his previous. In a 106 & Park interview, Bow Wow revealed that Missy Elliott was slated to make a feature on the album, however her contribution never made the final cut. Originally Bow Wow was to appear on the album's cover with raised twin Glock pistols but the artwork was pulled at the last minute after the imagery was deemed unsuitable for many of Bow Wow's younger fans.
The album received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Steve 'Flash' Juon of RapReviews praised the album for being consistent with its beats and Bow Wow for changing his lyrical tone saying, "By maturing his musical sound along with his voice, he successfully sheds the "Lil" image for good and makes an effective play for establishing his longevity in the business." Donnie Kwak of Vibe said that Bow Wow manages to by past formulas with his mature flow and display his sensitive side on "I'll Move On" concluding with, "Because he's willing to embrace his growing pains, Bow Wow's future is promising." Jason Birchmeier of AllMusic commented on how the album manages to straddle the line between Bow Wow's previous pop rap material and his new mature hip hop image. Despite changing his flow and lyrics and experimenting with new beats, People felt that Bow Wow "has yet to really develop his own style and sometimes regresses to playing to the kiddie crowd."