A month ago Nick traveled to Europe to begin shooting the NBC re-boot of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” for which he’s been tapped to host.
Check out the just released interview he did while there as he got to experience the “real” London.
Here’s a fun fact you probably won’t know about multi-millionaire rapper, comedian, producer and actor Nick Cannon: he has his own brand of ties. This is something he tells me very proudly, holding out the one he’s wearing. He turns it over and the label says a variant on Nick Cannon: The Collection in cursive script. “You like that?” he says doing the sexy/smug emoji face, “I’ll send you a box for your birthday.”
The plan for this interview was to get fancy food delivered to his hotel room, but after five minutes of deliberation in the lobby, he said he wanted a feel for the “real” London. Somehow it was decided that we should all get a black cab to a chicken shop in South London. Nick was wearing a three-piece grey suit with purple trimmings and matching lilac brogues, surrounded by a small entourage of people dressed just as dapperly.
Most people know Nick from Wild ‘N Out, the MTV sketch show where improvised games are played with hip-hop stars and comics. But then again he’s pretty much the Del Boy of showbiz so you might know him as a film star, rapper, entrepreneur, record producer, label executive, radio personality, recent divorcee of Mariah Carey or just famous for being really, really famous.
We hailed a cab and he told me he was super tired. “Usually I wouldn’t drink caffeine but since being in London I drink tea,” he replied. “I’ve been wired this whole time. I have sugar tea. Sugar breakfast tea.” How many sugars? “Ten. I always need ten sugars.”
On the way we chatted about his new show he’s here filming, the revamped version of Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. On it he’s living the life of the super-rich and reporting back. “I’ve done everything. I’ve tasted the world’s most expensive hamburger, which is almost $2,000 here in London at a place called Honky Tonk Bar. I went truffle hunting in France. There’s a pig that finds them, trained to hunt them out.” I asked him if he tried a truffle. “Yeah, of course. What? Have you never had like truffle pasta or truffle French fries?” Um, no. I eat most of my meals out of microwaveable plastic.
Speaking of money, I asked him what he thinks about being garishly loaded and doing a show investigating the lives of rich and famous people. Let’s be honest, it’s bit like Good Charlotte singing about wanting to see celebrities living on the street, when the members Benji and Joel are constantly bowling around Beverly Hills with Paris and Nicole, sinking JD from golden goblets. “Well, it’s different because I’m the everyday rich and famous guy,” he responds. “I can relate to all ends. I wasn’t born rich and famous – I still have the same mentality as when I grew up so I try not to be a frivolous spender like some of these posh guys.”
From there our conversation went like this:
Noisey: So, give us an example of one of these posh guys?
Nick: Piers Morgan.
You don’t like him?
Nick:I can’t stand Piers Morgan.
I don’t like him either.
Then we have something in common. I worked with him for several years, and we butt heads a lot. I have Twitter beef with him all the time.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned from rich people?
If you have money and can think it up, you can have it. Even ridiculous shit. They just buy stuff because they have the money. But they have this attitude: hey, it’s my money, I earned it, I’m gonna spend it.
If you could have something ridiculous what would it be?
I do have ridiculous things. I own a pair of two million dollar shoes, with DIAMONDS!
Flashy. Do you wear them?
Only on special occasions.
What exactly do they look like?
Diamond shoes. Google it.
Sounds like Liberace.
It’s better than Liberace. Liberace never had two million dollar shoes. He had rhinestones. I have diamonds. Tom Ford custom diamond shoes.
Do you feel like a serious big dick player when you wear them?
Absolutely. I am going to coin that phrase. I AM A BDP.
By the time it’s decided he’s a BDP, we get dropped off at the chicken shop. People come over after a few minutes and ask to take pictures with him. He’s happy to oblige and gets down and dirty with the poses. I decide we should take a selfie to commemorate our trip and proceed to take the most strained celebrity selfie ever to see the reverse iPhone camera. (Seriously, look into the stiff, dead eyes of a man who’s been approached by in excess of 50,000 people for a picture.)
We order food and Nick gets two beef patties, sticky BBQ wings and French fries. It’s a lot, but he says he likes to fill up before DJing and he has a set later tonight. DJing aside, he says he doesn’t really care about his own music anymore. “I’ve made a lot of money in music. Even as a DJ. But that’s always been a secondary thing.” Secondary to what? “I’ve always been a business man first. Now I can be so many people I’ve looked up to: the Diddys, the Quincy Joneses of the world, and people I’ve admired, like Simon Cowell.”
I test his Simon Cowell likeness against the TV playing music videos in the corner of the shop. If you were Simon would you sign 1D? “Um. I think they seem like really nice guys.” Enough said. Next is an Ed Sheeran video. “Now he is really talented. Really talented. Find me someone with a guitar that can write songs like that and I wanna sign them.” So if any Sheeran wannabes are reading this, know this: the big dick player is looking for you. Next is 5SOS and in a relatively diverting response Nick tells me he loves heavy rock, and Metallica.
Someone in the chicken shop really smells and it’s started to rain outside. Maybe we are having the authentic London experience after all.
Being posh won’t get you a look at the real London. Maybe you should start with a bus tour to cover touristy things.
Nah, I won’t even do the flute…the flube…the loop? Whatever it’s called. The tuba?
The tube? Too posh for that?
I’m not posh. I got in a taxi didn’t I?
A black cab is quite fancy.
Yeah, we don’t really take them. Or at least, average people don’t.
Oh. So how do you know how to get anywhere?
We use the tuba. Or we walk. Sometimes these black cabs don’t like coming south of the river.
So, South London – that’s the hood?
So where in the hood are you from?
I was born in Tooting.
Nick: So we’re kinda taking you home right now.
Nick’s PR: Nick took you for Jamaican food and then took you home. You remember that.
I will remember that. Nick Cannon took me to a chicken shop. He’s fun in real life, just like you’d hope a comedian would be. Just with a butt-load more money and a slightly anxious aura, that probably comes from the fact that he’s had zero sleep, a load of ten-sugar teas, a crazy work schedule and he’s on the back nine of a pretty publicised divorce.
We spend the remainder of our South London time together with him modeling his lilac brogues for me. He’s really very proud of them and so he should be, they’re jazzy. Once the food had come, it was time for Nick’s nap back at the hotel before an early morning as DJ Nick Cannon. He and his entourage went, into the fleet of black cabs, leaving me cold and wet, holding bags of Jamaican food on the pavement, setting off to catch the tuba.