Nick Cannon

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA

updated 06/09/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET

originally published 02/02/2006 AT 6:00 AM ET

Nick Cannon has a modest goal: to become an entertainment mogul. At 25, he’s got a solid start: He’s an actor (Drumline; the upcoming drama Bobby with Demi Moore and Lindsay Lohan) and rapper (his sophomore album, Stages, hit stores in April) and owns a record label (the Motown Records imprint Can-I-Ball) and a fashion company (he recently bought the PNB Nation hip-hop clothing line). What’s more, his MTV improv comedy show, Nick Cannon Presents Wild ‘N Out, ran a second season. Cannon, who lives in San Diego and Charlotte, N.C., talked with about his non-stop schedule, the rumors about his love life and why the White House isn’t out of the question for him one day.

With all your projects, when do you find time to sleep?
I wake up at 6 in the morning and I only get four hours of sleep a night. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I actually love to sleep but I had to train myself to only get four hours because I needed those other 20 to operate.

What drives you to work so hard?
Just the urge to really make my mark in this game and to be the best entertainer I can possibly be and at the same time make sure that I can provide for my family.

You’ve been entertaining people since you were 11.
The first time I started doing stand-up I was kind of opening up for my dad (who’s a minister). He would speak at churches and I would go on before him.

What can we expect from Wild ‘N Out?
We took it up a notch to where (MTV’s) standards and practices department is calling us every day and saying, “You can’t say that.” It’s basically an improv show but it’s a whole new genre called freestyle comedy. Even when we shoot the actual sketches, we have a script, but we kind of do our own thing and let it flow free.

One of your guests this season is Tyra Banks.
There’s a special part of the show where I step out of my comedic realm and propose to her because it’s the only chance that I have. So I got down on my knee and brought a wedding ring and was like, “You need to marry me.”

What happened?
You’ll have to see. I’ve had a crush on Tyra Banks all my life – I used to have her pictures on my locker. I used to steal my mom’s Victoria’s Secret catalogs (laughs).

Speaking of the ladies, what’s going on with you and Brandy? There were reports that she’s your girlfriend.
(Laughs) I don’t know where (the tabloids) got it from. She’s definitely a friend of mine but we’re not dating at all. We’re working on some music together. We’ve been friends a long time. When I heard that I was like, “Huh?”

Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA
There was also rumbling that you and Lindsay Lohan were dating at one point.
We were in Bobby together and we were hanging out on set and going to the clubs afterwards. People thought a lot of stuff was going on because they kept seeing us together. She’s a good girl – she’s fun to hang out with (laughs). I really don’t have time to commit to a relationship. I just keep a lot of friends around.

You’re very active with your Nick Cannon Youth Foundation, which your father runs.
At a young age, I was producing and writing and directing my own stuff. I think that helped cultivate what I do today. So we wanted to shed light on the aspect of producing and creating projects in inner-city communities with the youth – it’s almost like doing a Little League for entertainment. I’m also doing a show with Quincy Jones for Nickelodeon – a music reality show with young kids.

You also collaborated with Kanye West on your album, Stages.
He produced one track – he was the backbone to my project because when we first started, he sat down and gave me the vision like, “This is what people want to hear.” I just took it and ran with it. I wrote all the songs and I’m the executive producer on the album.

Movies, music, TV – and now you’ve bought a fashion line, too. Why?
It seems like that’s one of the cornerstones in the mogul move. I wanted to get a line that was already established instead of doing the vanity thing and naming a clothing line after me.

So being a mogul is part of your master plan?
That’s always been the blueprint. I always looked up to Quincy Jones and aspired to do all the things that he did – how he was a television producer and a music producer and scored movies and owned a magazine. My eyes are on the prize of the mogul status.

What’s next – politics?
The political arena is definitely something that interests me.

How about running for President one day?
That sounds good – I’ll take it.


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