Nick Cannon Discusses Bringing Back ‘Wild ‘N Out’

Nick Cannon - "Can I Live" (2005)

Following the lead of hip-hop’s warm embrace of comedy—from rappers’ enthusiastic references of bits from comics like Eddie Murphy, Katt Williams and Kevin Hart, to hip-hop/comedy fusion shows like Def Comedy Jam—Nick Cannon capitalized on the early 2000s with his hilarious live battle show Wild ‘N Out. The show, which ran from 2005-2009 on MTV, was a staple for hip-hop audiences, in large part because of special guest appearances by the game’s biggest rappers, who would come on to freestyle battle and show off their comedy chops before performing for the studio audience at the end of the show. It was always a party, but after four years on the air, Cannon hung up the comedy mic for endeavors like America’s Got Talent and his radio show on 92.3 NOW.

Now, after a five-year hiatus, the always-busy Cannon has partnered with the more youth-centric MTV2 network to bring back Wild ‘N Out, but this time, it’ll be a bit different. In watching the first few episodes, it’s clear that the new season will be a bit edgier and more in-your-face, but don’t get us wrong—it still looks as fun as ever.

In anticipation of the July 9th premiere of the new season, XXL partnered with MTV2 to bring you a series of interviews with standout cast-members from the show. For our final interview in the series, we spoke with the man who made it all happen—Nick Cannon. Last week, during Cannon’s visit to MTV’s New York City headquarters, XXL sat down with the actor/comedian and discussed bringing the show back, pulling together a diversely talented cast and making rappers feel comfortable even when they’re getting made fun of.

Tune in to MTV2 tonight at 11 P.M. to catch the season premiere of Wild ‘N Out.