Where does the comedian-actor-rapper-writer-TV host-producer go from here?
Words By Ambar Ramirez
Discovered and thrown into the spotlight right out of high school, Nick Cannon never felt like he missed out on any experiences. He even mentioned not even really having put much thought into how becoming famous while still relatively young may have affected him. Neither defined by his past nor definitive in his future, Cannon just knew he was meant to entertain—through any talent necessary.
“It was just something that was a part of my life, and it wasn’t about, you know, being discovered, it was more just like, I knew this is what I was gonna do with my life,” Cannon said. “I didn’t think there was like any other option.”
It started with “All That” when Cannon, right out of high school, started off as a warm-up act before being promoted to series regular in 1998. From there, he co-hosted and wrote for other Nickelodeon shows before ultimately landing his own project in 2002, “The Nick Cannon Show.” He wrote, produced and starred in the show despite barely being 21 years old. And if you think that’s impressive, just take a look at Cannon’s IMDB profile and the long list of projects (don’t even get me started on “Drumline” and his cameo in “Men in Black II”).
But it was “Wild ’n Out” on VH1 that gave the world a true glimpse into what Cannon is all about. With its 19th season set to premiere this year, the improvisational comedy series gave a platform to comedians and entertainers to do what they love.
“It’s my baby when you think about it,” Cannon said. “I just wanted to give some young people the opportunity to shine and build a platform, where my friends could have a good time, and you know, almost 20 years later and it’s still going strong.”
While Cannon just welcomed the birth of his 11th child this past November, “Wild ’n Out” was his first and frankly, not the last. Within the same context of giving others an opportunity to showcase their talents, Cannon is about to embark on the Future Superstar Tour in partnership with Black Music Action Coalition. With Cannon recognized as a curator for recognizing talent and providing them outlets to develops them, the Future Superstar Tour is the perfect vehicle for him to widen his scope in the music scene as a producer.
“This project is the first time that I get to actually bring 10 up-and-coming amazing acts, you know, on the road, old school like promo style of like how Motown used to do it and introduce ’em to the people directly,” Cannon revealed.
The tour will be a documented “baby Coachella,” as he called it, with performances by Symba, 24kGoldn, Justina Valentine, Hitman Holla, JD McCrary, Traetwothree, Klondike Blonde, DW Flame and Pop Money. But the Future Superstar Tour is more than that. As Cannon emphasizes and advises all performers to “forever be a student,” the tour will also have seminars where the audience will be able to ask questions and directly engage with the future superstars.
“We’re also doing seminars and kind of going in with the essential tools to give people all of the information that they need to take their career to the next level,” Cannon said. “So it’s really like a traveling music convention that we’re putting together for the next generation.”
While Cannon has always shared his spotlight with others, he had to learn to put himself and his health first in 2012 when he was diagnosed with lupus.
“My health has to come first, my rest has to come first, so it’s actually created a great infrastructure to show that I gotta take care of myself first,” Cannon shared. “You know, being the best father that I could be, I gotta make sure that I’m here for my children as long as possible. So health is the true wealth, and once you get that in order, then career comes after that.”
So as Cannon gets ready to embark on the Future Superstar Tour, which comes to Daily’s Place March 10 at for all of you wondering, I leave you with this final piece of advice from the man himself.
“Always be ready to learn and have an open mind because the game is constantly changing and you have to know how to just ask every question, keep your ears open and follow your passion.”