Meet Timothy DeLaGhetto, New Cast Member On Nick Cannon’s ‘Wild ‘N Out’
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 has partnered with MTV2 to bring you a series of interviews with standout cast-members from the show. For our final installment, we spoke to actor/rapper Timothy DeLaGhetto who won a spot on the show by submitting an audition video and having his many fans vote for him via Twitter. In a phone conversation with DeLaGhetto, he told us about performing alongside Big Boi, working closely with Nick Cannon and his "Fresh Prince Format."
XXL: So how did you get cast on the show?
Timothy DeLaGhetto: I've been trying to do the whole entertainment thing for a long time, and I was always tryna be an actor, rapper, all that stuff. Then a few months ago somebody tweeted me, saying, "Nick Cannon is bringing Wild 'N Out back" and that I should enter. I always thought I'd be good for it, ever since it was on MTV, and then I went to Nick Cannon's Twitter and it had a link to submit an audition video. So I submitted a little reel but didn't really hear anything. Then maybe a month later he tweeted something like, "Whoever is the funniest person on Twitter, have your followers tweet 'Nick Cannon needs me on Wild 'N Out' and whoever gets the most retweets I'll audition personally. So then I had one of the most retweets, and then Nick Cannon direct messaged me on Twitter and he asked for my information, then they called me in for my audition.
How many retweets did you get?
I don't know. It was a lot. He told me I had the most, so...
How'd you feel before going in to audition?
I’m always a little nervous before an audition, you know, especially since I knew it was going to be in a room full of people. But usually, I’m nervous right before an audition and as soon as I get in there I’m good. I kind of just felt like this was supposed to happen, you know what I’m saying? I was pretty confident in me being there, like it was supposed to happen. So I just went in there and did my thing, tried to be funny, did a little bit of freestyling and everything was cool.
What was your experience on the show like?
It was fun. I'd never done anything for TV before. I’ve done live theater and plays and I was in musicals in high school and what not, and I used to battle dudes in high school... It felt good to be on stage again and know that it was going to be on TV, you know?
How was it working with Nick?
Nick’s a good dude. He’s a really good dude. You know, he’s rich, but he’s like super humble. It was cool cause I really felt like he fucked with me, you know what I’m saying? A lot of people know me from my comedy and then they find out I rap, but Nick actually told me he knew about my music before the comedy. Before every show, you know, he would always be like like, "Yo, you know this dude gets mad YouTube views and he’s rapper?" So, I was just appreciative that he likes everything I do.
So you came into the show with a background in rap as well as comedy. Did you feel like that was an advantage?
I definitely have an advantage because there were comedians on the show and then there were rappers on the show. But like, Conceited isn't necessarily a comedian, but his raps can be funny, you know? But I feel like since both things are my forte, it really helped me shine.
What was the coolest moment for you?
At one point, Big Boi was one of the guests, and Outkast was one of my favorite groups growing up, and still is. The fact that I was right next to Big Boi on stage, looking him in his eye, that was just crazy for me.
Do you see yourself focusing more on music or acting in the future?
My whole plan for my life is called "The Fresh Prince Format," which would be to get on rapping, then get on TV, then get in movies. Just do everything Will Smith did. [Laughs] I've been doing rap, then Nick really opened the TV door for me, so ideally everything is going to take me towards doing movies too.
How'd you come up with that?
Man, I was a big Fresh Prince fan growing up. That was my biggest influence growing up, so that I just kind of always knew that's what I wanted to do. A lot of people don't realize my stage name comes from an episode of Fresh Prince.
Really? Which one?
The one where he joins the poetry club to meet girls, and he makes up a poet named Raphael De La Ghetto, and then Geoffrey had to dress up like him, with a dashiki and an afro. That's where I got my stage name from. [Laughs]