Nick Cannon is no stranger to success. Since his start as a teenager on the Nickelodeon network, he’s gone on to become a true businessman. Whether he’s hosting America’s Got Talent or working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, he’s doing exactly what he loves. It’s no surprise that after a 5-year hiatus, his hip-hop improv comedy series ‘Wild ‘N Out’ has made its return to MTV. Back by popular demand, Nick Cannon is taking this hit show to new heights. We caught up with him to discuss the show’s return, his forthcoming album, being successful & more.
Why did you decide to bring Wild ‘N Out back on MTV2?
The people want it. No matter where I’d go, I would always run into people who would tell me how much they loved the show. Whenever reruns air on MTV, my Twitter blows up and fans even created Facebook pages to bring it back. A lot of the comedians and rappers that were on the show in the past wanted me to bring it back too. It only made sense to. But my whole thing is if we brought it back, it had to be just as good as we left it. It couldn’t have taken steps down. That’s why I wanted to take my time with it.
What’s different about this season than the previous season?
This time, it’s a little grimier. We shot it in New York so that in itself adds to the hip-hop culture. I wanted to stay true to Hip-Hop this time around. On the last seasons, it was real glitzy and Hollywood with nightclubs and lights and all of that. It had a bunch of colors. I stripped all of that away this season. We’re in a factory in New York that gives that raw feel. I wanted to make sure it was a lot more raw than what we had before.
During it’s first few seasons you were breaking comedians. Are you still giving new comedians a platform?
It’s the only place you’ll ever see young cats doing hip-hop and comedy all in one spot. We kind of created the term “Wildstyle” comedy where people are doing improv and coming up with jokes off the top of their heads. Right now with the Internet generation and the young people we’ve tapped into, I feel like it’s on some next level stuff. Before, they had never been heard of on a format like Wild N Out. These new cats kind of know how to get it in. I was really impressed with that.
Kevin Hart was on Wild ‘N Out. To see him with these movies, and to have Hollywood Husbands, which you were apart of, is that where you envision the success of the people who grace that stage?
Absolutely. Like you said, it’s a platform for people that might not necessarily be able to showcase their talent and give people opportunities. Everybody on our show popped from Kevin Hart to Katt Williams to Affion Crockett, the list goes on. The people that we’re given opportunity that time around, we’re bringing them back this season, which is kind of cool. You’ll still see some of your favorites but we still have a lot of young people that have just as much talent.
Are you bringing back all of the new games like WildStyle or are you switching things up?
We’re bringing back everything that everyone loved but we’re adding a few new twists here and there but it’s definitely the Wildstyle battle and all of the games that people grew up watching.
You have ASAP Rocky and 2Chainz on the show, who are some of your favorite hip-hop artists?
Definitely ASAP, my man Chainz is a good friend. French Montana came through on the show. Joey Bada$$. We kept it real hip-hop. We had to be current on what’s going on in hip-hop. We also have some friends of mine like Big-Boi from OutKast and Talib Kweli. It’s a good balance of everybody from different levels.
Outside of hosting all of these shows, can we look forward to you picking up a mic again as a rapper?
Absolutely, I’m actually finishing up my album right now. I definitely didn’t forget how to pick up a mic and rhyme. I’ve been working with everybody from Polow Da Don to Pitbull. We did a couple of joints with DJ Mustard and Flo Rida. The list goes on. My project is kind of crazy. It’s the vibe of what I get when I’m DJing in clubs in Miami and Vegas. It’s that have fun, go over the top, get wild type of music. I’m calling it ‘White People Party Music.’
Can you tell me a little about the production deal with NBC Networks?
It’s another thing where I’m being multifaceted and doing work behind the camera, not just in front of the camera. I have a track record for producing a lot of television shows. I wanted to try my hand at network television so based of my relationship with NBC because of America’s Got Talent, we’re just building some stuff to kind of bring some hit shows to NBC that I’ll be mostly producing. It’s kind of cool when somebody can give you a first look deal with an office in the space. It creates a cool environment to get out there and be creative.
You’ve acting in films before what inspired you to switch up and go behind the scenes and direct your first feature film School Dance?
It’s a film that I directed, produced and wrote. It’s actually kind of cool. It’s bringing that vibe back to Friday and House Party and all of those types of thing. We haven’t seen those types of movies in a minute. We haven’t seen a rated-r type of comedy in a minute.
After being in the industry for this long, how have you managed to launch all of these successful brands?
I don’t really think about staying relevant. I just think about putting out good product more than anything. I think about doing what I love. I’m so blessed to be in this game and have been in it so long so it’s just more about creating opportunities, not just for myself but for others to. That’s the stage I’m on now. I really want people to have the same opportunities I’ve had.
-Danitha Jones (@LifeLikeJones)