Nick Cannon: The Fresh Prince

When you see Nick Cannon’s name on the marquee, the venue would do well to list the titles that come along with him. Comedian. Rapper. Songwriter. Producer. Movie Star. There’s no bridge that he hasn’t crossed, and at the tender age of 23, he’s only hit the beginning stages of a bright and prosperous career. Nick is most determined to become a household name sooner rather than later.

His latest movie, “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” and his debut self-titled album were released within days of one another with a massive buzz being created around it all in the process. The San Diego, CA native is on his way to becoming entertainment’s next big thing, or is he that already? Nick gave the answer to that question to Alternatives, along with speculation around his personal life and what he’s doing to become incomparable amongst Hollywood’s elite. Alternatives: Talk about the new movie you just did and everything that is going on surrounding that.

Nick Cannon: The movie is called “Love Don’t Cost A Thing.” Christina Milian plays my love interest, which is a real good look. Steve Harvey plays my dad, Vanessa Bell Calloway plays my mom, and Kenan Thompson plays my best friend. He’s one of my best friends in real life, too. There was a lot of family going on around the set. It felt like we was chilling and doing a movie in between. It’s a cool comedy, man. It’s definitely a coming of age story. Everybody can kind of relate to the possibility of peer pressure and the popularity contest that went on in high school.

AHHA: What day exactly does the movie hit theatres nationwide?

Nick Cannon: Friday, December 12th it goes nationwide, so everybody got to go!

AHHA: This is a big week for you, so get into the album that just dropped, too.

Nick Cannon: The album is self-titled really. It’s a reflection of myself. I’ve been working on it for so long. I had my first demo when I was eight years old, doing the Bom Squad thing in San Diego and all that stuff. I’m putting all that work into it, and luckily, I had the pleasure to work with all these amazing artists that helped me out on my album, from P-Diddy, R. Kelly, B2K, Mary J. Blige, Ying-Yang Twins, Just Blaze, Biz Markie, Joe, Nivea…it’s crazy man! I produced ¼ of it; a few of the songs were recorded in San Diego, so it’s definitely a reflection of myself.

AHHA: Tell us your experience while you were working with R. Kelly.

Nick Cannon: Man, it’s amazing. R. Kelly is a musical genius. I watched him do five songs for five different artists in one night. He just be flippin’ it, and you be ready to kill it.

AHHA: So, he already knows how he wants it to sound, the arrangement, how he wants the music to flow, etc.?

Nick Cannon: Exactly, and he be on that vibe. He’s just a workaholic.

AHHA: When you teamed up with him, were people in your ear talking about his current legal troubles?

Nick Cannon: It really wasn’t none of that. When somebody’s a phenomenal artist, that’ll overtake the whole situation. We could care less about what’s going on with anybody’s personal life. We are here to make music, and that’s what we did.

AHHA: A lot of people want to know if there is any sort of rift between you and B2K? You made the comment “I’m a grown man, not B2K” on that “Gigolo” record.

Nick Cannon: Nah man, it ain’t nothing. The comment was in all good faith. I say a whole bunch of lines in different songs, but just like back in the day when Biggie said “I got more mack than Craig,” and Craig Mack ain’t have no beef with that. I was just really showing love. I remember letting them hear the song and they loved it, so it’s all fam. It’s good to stir up a little controversy to make sure everybody’s listening.

AHHA: What’s your current status with Nickelodeon? Are you still working with them, or are you evolving past the teenybopper thing and moving on?

Nick Cannon: I’m definitely still working with them. I’m not feeling my show anymore, but I work with them on so many different levels. I got some things I’m producing for them, some behind the scenes stuff. I got an animated project I’m working on for them and a couple of game show ideas.

AHHA: That’s what’s up. Now, there’s a lot of speculation about your relationship with Christina Milian. What’s going with that?

Nick Cannon: That’s one of my best friends.

AHHA: There is nothing outside of a friendship?

Nick Cannon: Well, you know I’m a gigolo. I got to go see what I can do. (laughs) I’m a young cat out here. I’m not going to put boundaries on myself. But, she’s a good person and one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. You want to be friends with each other first before you hop into the relationship thing. Otherwise, you are just playing house.

AHHA: With the buzz surrounding you and your album, I can see some comparisons between you and another cat when he first came out, and that’s Will Smith. Do you think you are the new generation Fresh Prince, or are you steadily cutting out your own niche in R&B?

Nick Cannon: I’m just here to put it down and do my thing. I love the comparisons, but those types of things don’t bother me at all. As long as I can make my mark, I’m here to blaze my own trail. It’s rare when you can see someone who’s a stand-up comic, an actor, a rapper, and a producer all at once that can do it all well. I’m just striving to work hard and do the best work that I can possibly do.