2023-02-23T17:38:21+00:00February 23rd, 2023|

Nick Cannon is gearing up to hit the road with 10 up-and-coming artists who he believes have the potential to strike it big in today’s music industry.
Kicking off on Saturday (February 25) at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, the entertainment mogul’s Future Superstar Tour will feature performances from Symba, 24kGoldn, Big Boss Vette, Hitman Holla, JD McCrary, Traetwothree, Klondike Blonde, DW Flame, POP MONEY and more.

Produced by Live Nation, the 24-city tour will include stops in Houston, Miami, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Philadelphia among others. It wraps up on April 8 at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center.

“It’s really exciting to be able to give young people opportunities to live out their dreams and build a platform that can be a launching pad [for bigger things],” Cannon told HipHopDX in an exclusive interview.

A fan of the way talent used to be discovered, developed and introduced to audiences, the TV host, actor, rapper, and comedian was inspired to take it back to “the old promo days” by legendary Motown Records boss Berry Gordy.

“I’m just taking a page straight out of his book,” Cannon explained. “He’d take a bunch of poppin’ artists — The Temptations, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson — put ‘em on a bus and take ‘em all over the country. That’s what we’re doing for this generation; the shows are selling out everywhere.”

Nick Cannon’s own music career dates back to the late ‘90s, starting off as a member of the rap trio Da G4 Dope Bomb Squad. He signed a solo deal with Jive Records in 2001 and released his self-titled debut album two years later featuring the songs “Your Pops Don’t Like Me (I Really Don’t Like This Dude),” “Get Crunk Shorty” and “Gigolo,” the latter of which peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs Chart.

His most recent project was last year’s The Explicit Tape: Raw & B, an R&B mixtape featuring collaborations with Chris Brown, Brandy, K. Michelle and Jacquees, released via his own N’Credible Entertainment and EMPIRE Records.

Having put out releases in two different decades, Cannon knows first-hand just how much the music industry has changed over the past 20 years, especially the business side.

“Before, the music industry were curators, they used to be dictators,” he said. “Now, they just sit back and allow the fans [to dictate who they sign] — which is really dope, I’m not against it — but it’s kinda made a few of those jobs obsolete because record labels don’t invest in an artist until they’ve racked up so many followers, or until their music has reached so many streams, and is certified gold.

“I understand today’s business model and respect that it puts the artist in a better place, because before when it came to the creative process, an artist needed funds, a 12-piece band, a studio, an engineer, all that. So a record label had to invest in you early on because an average person couldn’t afford to pursue a career in music. But nowadays you can make a whole album on your phone.”

He continued: “I think because of the accessibility and how the process of making music has been democratised it took a lot of the power away from the industry — which meant it had to shift. I think some ideas and sensibilities from before when it came to artist development were really great, and even how you introduce an act to the world, that’s something we can’t lose. If everybody only discovers artists on TikTok or whatever streaming platform you use then you don’t get that real fan connection.”

The Future Superstar Tour was purposely created to stop that from happening. “I don’t want the idea of what a star is to disappear,” Cannon told DX. He believes people love being able to say they were a fan of their favorite artist before they blew up, or that they saw them perform at their local venue years before graduating to the bigger stages of Coachella or Rolling Loud.

“We’re gonna make that happen again,” he promised. “That’s why I called it the Future Superstar Tour because it ain’t just about the people on the stage, it’s about the people that help create the superstar and become a part of the superstar movement.”


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The tour, which will apparently look and feel like a “baby” festival but with the same energy as the popular Scream Tours of the 2000s, boasts a stacked lineup; however, Nick Cannon won’t be on it. “I took a backseat on this one and am not really focusing on being an artist like I would on the Wild ’N Out tour,” he said. “This is more about being an executive.”

While he won’t be on the main lineup, Cannon will get behind the turntables and take on hosting duties throughout the tour. He’ll also lead a “superstar seminar” before each show, interviewing a variety of industry heavyweights in each city they visit. “I’ll be doing one-on-one fireside chats with different special guests while giving the crowd opportunities to ask what it takes to make it,” he explained.

Among the exciting talent due to take the stage is Symba, the Bay Area MC who has been making a lot of noise as of late thanks to his storytelling prowess and dizzying lyricism — so much so that Dr. Dre has been singing his praises.

“He’s the one,” Cannon said. “He’s a superstar. He’s next up. And to know that Dre called him his new favourite artist, from there you’ve gotta let it run. I’m just there to support and be a cheerleader to his movement.”

Kicking off each show will be POP MONEY, an R&B group formerly known as NCK (the N’Credible Crazy Kids). Channelling “that old school boyband energy reminiscent of NSYNC, New Edition and B2K,” Cannon has been developing the teen group for the past five years. “They were literally children, crazy little kids, when I first started working with them,” he said.

Another artist Cannon is excited about introducing is 15-year-old JD McCrary, the singer, rapper and actor known for his starring role as Simba in the 2019 live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King. “This kid has the abilities of a young Michael Jackson,” he proclaimed before throwing in another comparison. “When you hear his tone and see his dances, he’s like a young Chris Brown. He’s truly the future.”

Wild ’N Out fans will notice a familiar name on the lineup: Hitman Holla. “I wanted to give a lot of my artists from Wild ’N Out an opportunity,” Cannon explained. “We got Hitman Holla, who is the best battle rapper to ever do it. It’s the truth! He’s the Lebron [James] of battle rap. He’s been doing it longer than anybody. else, and anybody you put in front of him he washes them.”

In partnership with BET, Cannon will also launch a 10-episode series that will highlight each artist’s journey. The show will feature their music, their current rise to fame and the trials and tribulations that they overcame to become a star. The series — which is expected to arrive this summer — will also follow Cannon as he scours the country looking to build his lineup for the 2024 Future Superstar Tour.

You can see the full list of dates for the Future Superstar Tour below:


25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
26 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues Anaheim

MARCH 2023

01 – Dallas, TX – Echo Lounge & Music Hall
03 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Houston
04 – Austin, TX – Emo’s Austin
05 – New Orleans, LA – Fillmore New Orleans
10 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
11 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues Orlando
12 – Miami, FL – James L Knight Center
15 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
16 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
18 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
19 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium
22 – Minneapolis, MN – Fillmore Minneapolis
24 – Madison, WI – The Sylvee
25 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
26 – Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
29 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues Cleveland
30 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues Chicago
31 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit

APRIL 2023

02 – Toronto, ON – HISTORY
05 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore Philadelphia
06 – Westbury, NY – NYCB Theatre
08 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center

Tickets for Nick Cannon’s Future Superstar Tour are on sale now here.

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