Nick Cannon On His "Future Superstars Tour," Generational Wealth, & Maintaining A Legacy Of Compassion

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We're ending Black History Month with the NCredible mogul who just kicked off his Future Superstars Tour. Nick Cannon sat down with us exclusively to speak about the artists, the tour's seminars with "star makers" like L.A. Reid, and why this is an important aspect of generational wealth within Black culture.

It's safe to say that Nick Cannon is a busy man. Busier than usual, we should note, as the entertainment mogul is embarking on his Future Superstar Tour. For our interview, he was a tad late; but it's understandable when you're just two days away from hitting the road with over a dozen artists for 24 dates. Fine-tuning those last-minute details can be exhausting. When you're a talent with one of the most successful entertainment companies in the industry, punctuality is often a luxury. Despite his schedule, Cannon was excited to speak with us about the tour—an effort that he revealed was being filmed for a television show and would host seminars with Hollywood's elite.

This endeavor doesn't stray from Cannon's legacy; he has carved out space for aspiring stars to show off their talents throughout his career. This is most evident on Wild 'N Out, a show that has helped create success for dozens of comedians for almost 15 years. These days, the father of 12's family plans have captured worldwide attention, but generational wealth goes far beyond one's kin. Cannon has created a reputation for pouring into those that came after him. Before Black History Month comes to an end, I was curious about how he stays self-motivated when he's inundated with rising stars hoping for a big break.

Being a Curator & Conduit For New Talent

"It's exciting. I mean, we really—I think you kind of hit it on the head. My goal right now in life is just to help people," he told HNHH exclusively. "Just do for others and create platforms where other people can provide for their families. And really, you know, give the key essential tools to take it to that next level and operate out of superstar energy. That's always been what we've been trying to put forth."

The media mogul recognizes he has been "a curator and conduit for talent for quite some time," and it's essential for him to make room for the next generation, purposefully. "I just wanted to bring that to the forefront because not only is this a tour, but it's also a TV show. And we're documenting the entire process and following all these acts around." The artists supporting this tour range from social media influencers to hitmakers. Symba, Hitman Holla, 24kGoldn, JD McCrary, Pop Money, Jilly, Klondike Blonde, Big Boss Vette, TraeTwoThree, and DW Flame will grace stages from one side of America to the other. So, what makes these particular artists stand out?

Nick Cannon Details His Love For The Future Superstar Tour Artists

"Really, they're people I was just fans of!" Cannon said with a laugh. "I mean, I'm somebody who kind of tries to keep his ear to the streets. Like, I'm a huge fan of Symba." As an Angeleno, I couldn't help but interject with a verbal co-sign. "Dr. Dre calls him his new favorite rapper, and I've locked in every one of his freestyles. All of that! I'm locked in with Symba all day." He also mentions 24kGoldn, the Bay Area star who has seen immense success with singles like "Valentino" and "Mood" with iann dior. "He got songs—massive songs—and he's playing stadiums," said Cannon. "I think people need to know how much of a superstar he is. Focusing on him on that level."

"And then Jilly, who is an influencer. I just feel like she got that pop star energy. That energy from all the greats that we love, like the Beyoncés and the Ciaras." After seeing Jilly perform on Wild 'n Out, Cannon knew she was a star in the making. "I was like, 'Yo, we gotta take her out on tour.'" Then, there's Hitman Holla, someone Cannon has worked with for years. The two are also good friends outside of the limelight, so there was no doubt about Holla's inclusion. "That's one of my Day Ones right there, the best battle rapper to ever do it. He got a Rap battle tomorrow and this show at the same time! Dude is cut from the type of cloth of a superstar."

"We got JD McCrary. He's starring in movies with Beyoncé! He's the voice of young Simba in The Lion King. Got his own movies on Netflix. So, it's just people that I have been paying attention to and saw that they out here making moves. We're just really tapping into that energy that these kids already embody: the star quality. I'm just trying to give them a platform that allows them to shine even more."

"Edutainment" With Industry Movers & Shakers

CLARKSTON, MICHIGAN - JUNE 30: Nick Cannon performs onstage during Nick Cannon Presents: MTV Wild 'N Out Live at Pine Knob Music Theatre on June 30, 2022 in Clarkston, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)

As Cannon describes it, Future Superstar is shaping up to be a traveling summit more than a simple tour. A key aspect the entertainment veteran concentrated on is the tour's seminars, where Cannon will have discussions with professionals. He hopes attendees will glean wisdom from these coveted talks with some of Hollywood's most prolific decision-makers. The chats take place before the touring artists take to the stage. He dubs these conversations "edutainment."

"I want to take the time where I can have intimate conversations with some industry movers and shakers," says Cannon, "to really talk about how to possess that superstar energy. How to get what you want out of the game. And so, we start with a panel with a bunch of people who are the star makers. Then, I get to do one-on-ones with some greats. I'm excited that in our first show at the Wiltern [in Los Angeles], I'm literally sitting down with one of my mentors and somebody I've looked up to for years. Probably one of the biggest star makers of our generation, L.A. Reid."

"To sit down and have a one-on-one with the man who gave us Usher, TLC, Justin Bieber. Getting the game from him. He's going to lay it all out there. He doesn't even really do a lot of interviews or one-on-ones. But you know, that's been a mentor of mine. He kind of guided me through this game." He chuckles and adds, "I think just that alone is worth the price of admission right there!"

Generational Wealth Is Not Only Financial

The topic of generational wealth is an ongoing discussion within Black culture. In 2019, I attended the Revolt Summit and looked on as Master P and his son Romeo Miller shared insight into the significance of laying financial foundations that our families can build on for years to come. Yet, these sorts of investments aren't the only way we prepare the next generation; as Cannon has proven, affording opportunities to hopefuls is just as lucrative.

"I mean, that's what it's all about. You defined it," said Cannon. "That's the reason why I'm doing the Future Superstars Tour. It's funny that you could tap into the synergy of what we're trying to build because it's the 'each one, teach one' theory. 'To whom much is given, much is required.' We are blessed, so be a blessing." This is Cannon "walking in my legacy," he says. "And it makes me elated when I get to see this next generation take it to new heights. Beyond where I could have ever taken it."

"Even as a father, as a provider, as a person who really just wants to do for the community," he continues. "It's like, I gotta put to action all the things that I preach. This is what we want for our future. That's how I define generational wealth—getting out there, connecting with the community, and building in that way."

Nick Cannon Makes A Practice Of Compassion

Minneapolis, MN May 29: Peaceful protesters, including Actor and comedian Nick Cannon celebrated the memory of George Floyd and demanded justice outside the Cup Foods store on Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis where Floyd died at the hands of police. (Photo by Brian Peterson/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Arguably, Nick Cannon is one of the most transparent entertainers. For decades, his talents have earned accolades, and he's opened his private life up for scrutiny. His untraditional familial structure has taken over timelines as he's been pelted with questions about his growing brood. We watched as his tension with Eminem caused a stir, and he became a target of Cancel Culture when facing anti-Semitic backlash. With each step, Cannon returned to speak about his growth, rising above, and learning from his mistakes on a global platform.

With that said, I concluded our chat with a question I ask all of my interviewees: when the veil of celebrity is removed, and the expectations people have of you are dismissed, what is something about the core of who you are as a person that you wish the public could see? Something that doesn't often translate? Without hesitation, he answered, "My goal for practicing compassion."

"I think over the years, in even just my persona. I've spoken about it, even my ego can sometimes be like, 'Oh, I just want to be a boss. I want to be a mogul, I want to do this.' But really, I come from a place of empathy and compassion for so many. And specifically, my family and those I care for, I feel like I've been put on this planet to take care of. I just, I'm truly—I wake up each and every day grateful for life. Walking in gratitude. Trying just to practice compassion more and more every day." He adds, "Great question."

This interview was slightly edited for clarity.
About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.