Nick Cannon on Cory Gunz, Street Credibility & Eminem


After being ubiquitous in the early 2000s, Nick Cannon spent the past few years laying low. But don’t think the Wild’n Out star wasn’t making moves. He was busy manning up, wifing a pop legend (Mariah Carey), and managing one of the game’s most promising young rappers (Cory Gunz).

We got up with the star of next month’s Showtime comedy special, Mr. Showbizz, to discuss he and Gunz’s recently premiered MTV show, Son of a Gun, why he can’t give up rapping and what would happen if he and Eminem ever found themselves in the same room together.— Calvin Stovall

XXLMag.com: How did you hook up with Cory Gunz and eventually become his manager?

Nick Cannon: I asked around about who the next hot thing in hip-hop [was] and Cory’s name kept coming up. This was about a year-and-a-half, two years ago. And I knew Cory from obviously knowing his father from back in the day. So I reached out to him. I told him that I could take his career to the next level. Kinda laid out the game plan and he was with it. And from there, the story unraveled where you see [on the show]. It’s a father and son tale kind of told through a cutthroat industry. It’s kind of a coming-of-age tale at the same time. Cory got signed when [he] was a kid and had a lot of broken promises and stuff. So, a lot of interesting subtextual things unraveled once we started turning the cameras on.

XXL: Many in hip-hop question your credibility. Why are you the right person to manage an artist like Cory Gunz?

NC: I mean, the proof is really in just my work ethic at the end of the day. It’s not about who’s the right person or their street cred or all that. Actually, that stuff is a bunch of buffoonery to me at the end of the day. How tough somebody is in the public’s eyes doesn’t match up to what type of business man they are. If you look at the biggest, best managers in the business, it doesn’t really relate to how much street cred they have. So, when it comes to that type of stuff, I’m not really moved by that. And really even the business moves that we make, it’s not something that concerns me when it comes to how people feel about me. It’s not about me when it comes to Cory, it’s about putting together the best opportunities for him.

XXL: It’s obvious that you don’t need to rap for money, so why do you keep coming back?

NC: It’s my life. It’s one of those things where I’ve been DJing around the world for the last six, seven years. I created Wild’n Out that was based on hip-hop. I mean, to me in my mind I never left. They put a mic in front of me, I’ma still freestyle. And even right now. It’s not even like I’m trying to [be like], “Oh this my comeback.” Nah, this is just what I’ve been doin’. This is how I’ve been doin’ it. And, I think a lot of other aspects of my life— my business moves, I run a television network, I’ve been producing shows for the longest, obviously my personal life is out there. So, I feel like a lot of that stuff may have outshined what I was doing in music, but I never stopped.

XXL: Word is that you take a couple shots at Eminem on your upcoming Showtime comedy special. Is that true?

NC: [Laughs] Yeah, you could call it that. It’s more, I’m talking about the situation. I say how I feel about it. I mean it’s definitely an interesting take— I’m not trying to stir up old news. That’s the thing that my stand-up special is actually about. It’s everybody getting to hear what I have to say first-hand instead of [hearing it] through interviews and hearsay. You get to see how I feel about it. And I think that’s why a lot of people are gonna be intrigued to watch. I talk about everything from Eminem, to my marriage, to how I feel about other celebrities and all that stuff. So, it’s an interesting take. People have been buzzing about it. I’ve been on the road with it for the last year, and everywhere I go it’s a standing ovation. So, I think it should be well received.

XXL: Is there a reason you chose comedy to address the Eminem thing instead of the mic this time around?

NC: I address it in both. I been dabbling in little mixtape joints here and there. There’s some stuff that I did with the Slick Nick mixtape that’s still coming out in a little bit in which I addressed it. I addressed it in a mixtape that I got coming out called Child of the Corn. To me, it’s all entertainment. They’re all outlets for me. So, I’ma address it wherever I am— I address it every morning on my radio show in New York. So, it’s never been something I’ve been afraid to address. I been talking about it head on anytime somebody asks me about dude or the situation. I never back away from it, I welcome it.

XXL: You say, “it’s all entertainment,” but at the same time, you do have a legitimate beef, right?

NC: I mean, if I see dude, and it ain’t 10,000 body guards around, I feel like we need to have a real man-to-man. And if he’s a froggish type of dude then we both can leap. But I doubt that’s ever gon’ happen because he don’t move like that. It’s one of those things where it’s definitely entertainment, I get that, but then there’s a line you cross where you start to disrespect a man’s family in different situations. Basically for me, it goes out of the box. I’m all for the jokes, I’m all for the saying something to get the attention and get a rise out somebody, but when you start to take it extremely personal, that’s when you know that it’s bigger than that. I get why he’s trying to do it, just, don’t bark up the wrong tree.

  • mark

    lol, em would beat his ass down

    • rob

      WORD Eminem would DEMOLISH nick in a fight, for those of u who dont know, eminem grew up fighting and being bullied everyday, and he can fight REAL good, and we all know shady will RIPPP u on the mic, so if i was Nick, id squash the beef, before Em squashes him.
      #realtalkk

    • Mjm

      Lol y’all r funny. Nick might not be the best mc but he has his hands in everything. He’s an extremely well rounded business man. And if y’all knew how much he makes from his own tv network n ext. It’s crazy. Much respect to eminem as well. But nick is a second degree black belt..homie is no push over. It’s always the funny, laid back ones you gotta watch out for.

  • DavySupafly

    he kept it real in this Q&A Ill give him that, he’l need to do some miracle work for gunz’s career though b/c there alotta rookies out there that can top that guy which i dont think he’s capable of since he couldn’t do it with his own career.

  • HU

    Interesting that a coon in the industry called something buffoonery. I respect what he has accomplished without talent or good looks but I never in my life want to hear him rap or watch anything he has anything to do with.

    • JAMIYA

      DAMN U WHACK- “COON” FOR REAL, WHAT DO THAT GOT TO DO WITH THE TOPIC!!!! OH U JUST AN ASSHOLE, RIGHT I GET IT….. JUST WANTED TO CALL U OUT ON YOUR BULLSHIT, YOU TACKY AND SOUND LIKE U FROM THE 1800′S. GET WITH THE TIMES BITCH AND WATCH YO’ MOUTH……

  • Amber

    Nick sounds like a good guy. Also been keeping up with his career since all that.

    • Kris

      u really have nothing better 2 do than keep up with nick cannons career?

  • link

    this cat is a clown Em will shit all over your stupid ass maybe he want’s his wife naked pics all over the web then he’ll regret fucking with Em and Mariah will divorce his ass anyways he just wanna be Corey’s manger for money cause all he has is a few hundreds dollars broke ass nigga LMFAO he probably got at $900 maybe a little over a thousand he can’t even afford to take his wife shopping what a fagget

    • RunIt

      What was the point in saying that? Internet tough guys, smh

      • shay

        stfu fagget leave link alone you kno he’s rigth bitch

    • mber

      i couldn’t agree any more your so right

    • escobar30

      at the end of the day he making his money…he making more then you are you hatein…..like he said he dont have to get on the mic to make his money…..rappers dont make as much as you think its the producers and managers you idiots….Eminem aint tough cause he came from Detroit….yo city dont make you hard its about you i no people from North Dakota thats hard….yall kids need to grown up

    • sam

      you dudes mad gay. you’re just hating on a guy cuz he’s obviously not hood he’s just ticked at eminem’s decisions. FYI slims not jesus forreal hes just a fucked up guy in the head. nicks a brilliant guy who’s stackin mili’s and is able to stay down to earth, ya’ll just hating ass nigs who got no money and just talk about what millionaires be doing. faggs

  • Hip Hop Addict

    You Guy’s Have Never Seen Eminem or This Guy In A Fight!!

    Stop Dick Riding Eminem!!

    Eminem My Fav Rapper He Will Kill This Guy On The Mic

    But In A Fight Idk Could Go Either Way

    • Erik Gregoire

      dummie ur wrong, what about when em beat up guerrero, a bouncer thats like twice his size. oh and lets not forget about that beef between him and cannibus we all know who squared hands on that one

  • Yeeeaaahhh

    Em would destroy him on the mic… period. A fight could go either way.. Em isn’t big, but he seems pretty cut. I’ve always heard he works out alot and shit. I would put my money on Eminem. He’s a white dude that came up rapping in Detroit so I would say he’s scrapped before. But honestly Em’s a hip hop legend.. He’s taken seriously by every MC in the game. You could have a legit argument that he’s the best rapper alive… What the FUCK does Em have to prove to Nick Cannon? Do your wack ass raps/comedy act Nick.. Em will be remembered as a music legend.. Nick will be remembered as the guy who was on All That and married Mariah Carey.

  • alderman j

    The fact that oONE person thinks EMINEM IS tough is hilarious!! Remember when EMINEM damn near REIRED WHEN JA RULE dissed him!! PLEASE!!! NICK CANNON WOULD BEAT THE BRAKES OF THAT BOY IM SURE, EMINEM DOESNT COME OFF AS TOUGH AT ALL!!!

    • Young3

      obviously you don’t know anything about that beef….where is JA RULE NOW, no one has ever beefed with eminem and come out on top, insane clown pussies, Cannabitch, evarlast, Ja rule, Benzino all failed in their careers cause they tried to take on Eminem

      • alderman j

        This isnt about who has the more succesful career, ANY IDIOT KNOWS THAT! (as referenced by ur comment) THE POINT IS EMINEM COMES OFF LIKE A PUSSY! WHY HE DIDNT SAY NOTHING BACK TO GUCCI MANE and i quote, “I guess shorty mad cos he ain’t got you no more,
        so just like Pinocchio, his nose gon grow,
        Gucci Mane, Mariah Carey bling blaww wow,
        i wish i had a LIE DE-TET-DER TESH (lie detector test) right now
        he hit my girl word, old is what ya heard,
        he know he a bird, i know he a nerd,
        catch me in the A with a bad yellow bone
        9, 10, 11, 12 diamond chains on” …………………………………….
        CRICKETS
        CRICKETS

        • T

          Why would the best rapper in the world reply to something HE KNOW HE A BIRD, I KNOW HE A NERD?

          • markus

            HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHA couldnt of said it better myself.

        • g-vazh

          listen to forever

        • eg

          ur a effin idiot, he did diss gucci back twice. The whole “forever” verse he did was a subliminal diss and also in track one of his new cd recovery. Learn something b4 u run ur mouth.

    • shay

      you dont kno shit and ya look dumb for saying that lame ass we all know that Nick will get killed on the mic stupid fuck

  • TheTruth

    Truth be told dont none of us know either of these dudes so who knows who would win a fight between them bottom line. Now what i find funny is this line here “I mean, if I see dude, and it ain’t 10,000 body guards around, I feel like we need to have a real man-to-man. And if he’s a froggish type of dude then we both can leap. But I doubt that’s ever gon’ happen because he don’t move like that. It’s one of those things where it’s definitely entertainment” dude acting like he dont roll with security around him man please!

  • dsanty24

    Nick Cannon is a softie. Marshall would murder him on the mic and in a fight.

    • G Money Of The SUC

      nick cannon is a punk ass bitch he sees em on the streets the last thing he gone do is walk up on him

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    Great interview.

    Personally, u sould never respect a man based on what he talking but what he is doing. Nick Cannon been doing his thing for a minute and although he may not have street cred or sick lyrics the boy grinds.

    I can’t say he is a coon or does anything similar to coonery. He is a comedian who loves hip hop. The issue is people trying to use street cred to sell and at the end of the day they go home and are different people.

    just cause em talks slick and has angry lyrics, i got my money on nick

    last,
    cory gunz career is already better. dude is ghost writing for wayne

    • majica26

      thumbs up

  • Marcus

    Ill say this much, after seeing the first episode I definitely think gunz did Nick hella dirty. Even Gunz dad was saying how he like the way Nick wanted to see him win and it wasn’t just about a dollar. I never been a Nick Cannon fan, but I got a little more respect for him as a man just after seeing that first episode. As far as his beef wit Em, I dont think neither one of them would throw rice at a chinese wedding. Hova said it best in his rap city freestyle “Talkin bout you gonna do something then you go to radio we all know YOU FRONTIN”

  • http://MYSPACE.COM HELTAH SIN SAY

    EM WILL KILL THIS SLIME!! NICK CANNON IS A WHITE FAN BASE KINDA GUY!! HES THAT DUDE I NEVER LIKED, JUST LIKE NELLY! NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR NICK CANNON OR HIS WEAK ASS MIX TAPE!! STICK TO COMEDY YOU CLOWN! YOU BETTER CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY!! EM KILLED YOU! LIKE GAME KILLED 50!! NICKS SUCCESS IS EVIDENT! BUT FOR WHAT? HES NOT ON THE CUTTING EDGE, HE AINT MAN ON THE MOON!! HE WILL NEVER BE T HE G.O.A.T!! THATS MY MAN EM’S TITLE!! THE ONLY THING EM LACKS IS
    “BLACK SOUL POWER” EM DONT HAVE THAT SOUL POWER BUT HES MAN ON THE MOON WHEN IT COMES TO RYMING!!

  • Q461

    Nick Cannon= jack of all trades, master of none.

    Dude wasn’t funny as a comic, not a good actor and a very below average rapper. That being said, dude is doing somethin right cause he’s still got a career in the entertainment industry, his most successful ventures being his Nickolodeon shows. He’s now chairman of TeenNick too. Also, dude bagged Christina Milian and Selita Ebanks before he started smashin and married Mariah. So gettin bad bitches is a talent of his too lol.

    It goes without saying Em would murder him on he mic, but why is he even still rambling about that situation? The little problem was back when Relapse came out, so why stir up something 2 years old that had died out? ??

    As far as Corey Gunz goes, I think it would be great for him to be next up in Young Money after Carter 4. Hopefully that verse on 6-7 and his new show help re-establish big interest in dude. He’s nice and been on the grind for a long ass time now.

  • daiurs dar

    some of you are so stupid just because eminem says some crazy hard shit on a mic doesnt mean he can actually fight in person why did eminem back 50 cent when dissing ja rule but not jadakiss eminem is a lil bitches that acts tought the only two mainstream rappers in the pass ten years that have really been licked up for real street crimes were beanie sigel and cassidy the rest were all really underground all these main stream artist are a bunch of pussies

  • 33shots

    Yeah how dare the highest selling artist of the last decade have security, a guy who literally cannot go anywhere in the United States without instantly being recognized. Its just stupid of Nick Cannon to act like Em is a wuss for having security. And I am not saying Em would win in a fight I just think Nick Cannon is an idiot. As for Gucci Maine, why would Eminem respond to that, he really shouldn’t have responded to Nick Cannon, but come on he is nearly forty years old and one of the most respected rappers in the game he does not have to answer to a guy that in a few years we will be saying “oh yeah I think I remember that guy” about.

  • willy

    MAN I CANT WAIT TILL SOMEBODY HURT THIS DUDE

  • TROY

    EMINEM IS TRASH AND OVERRATED…DONT HEAR HIS MUSIC IN THE HOOD OR IN THE CLUBS….BEST RAPPER MY ASS!! ALBUM SALES CAUSE WHITE PEOPLE BUY IT…BECAUSE HES WHITE….GTFOH

    • Lonell

      just cause Em shit aint heard in the hood dont mean he not good. The nigga spits real shit and he’s from the hood. I’m sorry he dont make stupid shit like gucci or waka. you a dumbass nigga forreal

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    Look at all these idiots supporting this clown. I cant believe he has the balls to even speak like Em wouldnt smack the shit out of him. For those who has heard the Ja Rule diss Eminem told Ja he would smack the shit out him if he ever said his kids name in a song again. Then went on to say why didnt Ja challenge him when he walked to him and confronted him, Ja just down played it.Dont think because he is a white boy that he isnt capable of throwing hands.
    He did just get in trouble a few years back on two separate occaisions for pistol whippin two different dudes, one a ICP posse member and the other for kissin his wife.
    Do your homework, Em does roll like that, and Nick needs to stick to acting…..which is the only thing he can do is act, if you even wanna call it that.

  • Jay

    I respect Nick Cannon for wanting to help a young black man move closer to his dreams. I feel sorry for the people on this blog that cannot have a decent conversation with out dissing Nick Cannon or EM. Both are wealthy young men, that can give a rats azz about what you think. Don’t get it twisted, Nick Cannon can buy and sell the majority of you clowns on this blog. And EM is too busy working on his mental health, because trust the dude has some issues. Check out “Son of a Gun”, it’s good TV (MTV).

  • james

    ya nick would lose either way. listen to royce da 59 and em in life in the fast lane bad meets evil. its him on top of his game

  • jake

    ALL I SEE IS NOTHING BUT EMINEM HATE COMMENTS AND DICK RIDING NICK FAGGET FANS MAD THAT EM WILL CREAM THIS FUCKER ON THE MIC??? NITHING BUT PUSSIES ABOVE I AGREE WITH SOME OF YOU LIKE LINK THAT WAS GOOD BUT MOST OF YALL IS FAGGETS HERE

  • Wanger

    This kid is a phaggot…he has not street cred, can’t rap, and manages a shit rapper who will never be popular.

  • pooh

    yall haters em aint nothin but a smackhead if he wasnt white and could rap yall wouldnt pay him no mind cannon is a bussiness man so what he played in some corney movies and shows yall haters watched them n enjoyed them you would act just like him if u had a shot this dude is paid dont hate what the fuck is street credit wen u makin millions i love cannon n carey fall back HATERS

    • terell

      aint no ifs. Em spits real shit. you sound like a hater right now saying he nothin but a smackhead. stop being a hippocryte

  • J

    CORY GUNZ IS GOOD NICK CANNON WOULD B A BETTER MGR THE BEEF BETWEEN EM N CANNON IS STUPID I WISH EVERY ONE WOULD GET OFF EMS DICK! WHO BUYS HIS RECORDS ANYWAY TO ME EM IS OVERATED NICK AINT REALLY TRYIN TO B A RAPPER HES PLAYS WIT IT FOR FUN.

  • rizzy

    Doesn’t anyone see what this washed up fool is doing? He is been useing Em’s name to hype his show that no one is going to watch. He is not stupid, he knows that anything with Em’s name sells, so if you cant beat him, join him. Give it up Nick Cannon,quit while you still got some dignity. Bin Laden’s dead!!

  • mazvita

    i’m surprised pple debating on this nick and em issue,nick couldn’t fuck with Emz worst rhyme i mean who even listens to nick.

  • oskamadison

    First off, I respect how Nick Cannon carries himself. Dude ain’t tryin’ to be something he’s not which is becoming a rarity these days. For all y’all talkin’ about his bank, while he may not be in his wife’s bracket, I’m pretty sure he could take all 30 something of us who commented on this blog, clean up all our credit and then go cop a Phantom or two. As far as him callin’ out Em, on one hand you could say “that’s old, let it go” but on the other hand, if Em was disrespecting YOUR wife publicly, regardless of what went down before you got with her, what would YOU do?
    BTW, dude gets clowned for his bars but I remember a joint he did called “Can I Live” talkin’ about his mother’s decision to have him at a young age instead of abortin’ him. Fuck all that fantasy shit these other cats are talkin’ about, THAT was some real shit.

  • ILikeBoobs

    Eminem is gay. I don’t even pay any attention to Nick Cannon ever. But Eminem dissed his wife for fucks sake. And then dissed Nick Cannon for no reason whatsoever. Sorry I can’t support people who try to beef with women and then play the bully just because they’re rich and famous. Let’s be honest Nick Cannon would smash Eminem in a fight. Neither of them comes across all that tough. But Eminem looks like a weak sorry junkie. I think a 15 year old could beat down Eminem he’s a pussy. All people talking about what Eminem would do in the streets are dickriding homos. What has Eminem done in the streets ever in his whole life? Nothing. He looks like a scrawny lesbian junky. I lost respect for Eminem when he started trying to bully people. He’s another punk bitch who whines and plays the victim, when really he’s the one picking fights with everyone. Dumb Narcissist clown.

  • The Truth

    Yall need to grow up and be real men, not dick riders, any man diss your wife no matter who you is you better step to him and be a man, and thats what Nick Cannon is doing, he’s been a positive role for black children and black men in the racist ass country…..Nick do your thing, and half yall can’t fight talkin all that bullS***

  • majica26

    Between Nick Cannon and Em, Em wins in my book. But I have been following Corey Gunz and I’m a fan, so I am watching ‘Son of a Gun’ for him. However, I give props where props are due and Nick is funny and savy. Only the first show has aired and it rocked. This is a work of Nick Cannon. Also gotta admire him for his vision for ‘NCredible’ and what the man is trying to do. Finally, also gotta admire him for not shying away from confrontation. Corey’s lawyer Ed Wood doesn’t mince words and still the man is allowed to say his piece on the show, even if he does hate Nick. Gonna keep watching. Now I love Marshall and he is a legendary rap artists, but he has not been as successful in business as Nick already has. So both have their successes. They just need to leave each other alone and stay on their own paths.

  • Rev

    Fuckin’ faggots, STOP DICK RIDING EMINEM. He will NEVER read your comments.

    Oh, and by the way, he is a sell-out punk.

    Enjoy listening to his Lil Wayne- Rihanna collaborations.

    (I ain’t saying that Nick is better)

  • birddy

    did you know that nick cannon is a trained fighter, and black belt

  • Matt

    WOOOOOW Who ever doubts eminem in anything is f’in stupid. Em would tune him in a fight and oviously em could rip him on the track to. Eminem is the best rapper in the world and without even knowing about his past he would still knock out lil nick cannon. Eminem grew up fighting. nick cannon grew up with nickelodeon ( chillen with lil kids) your all stupid if you doubt eminem. Hes the sh1t.