Many women aren't lucky enough to say they spent a half-hour with their childhood celebrity crush to dish about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, but I'm proud to say that I am. The first time I saw Drumline, I knew it was destiny. My nine-year-old heart was so captured by the film's lead character, that I bought the DVD with my own money and begged for the soundtrack for my 10th birthday.
Nick Cannon was the first man to make me "feel things" in a womanly way. I had other crushes, but Bow Wow's Harlem Shake had nothing on the way Nick hit those drums. What I didn't know about Nick during my hormonally charged adolescent years, was that his road to success wasn't a walk in the park.
Raised by a teenage mother, Nick discovered his affinity for entertainment at an early age. He was able to use his wit and tenacity to launch his stand-up comedy career, which would eventually help him escape the gang-ridden streets of his hometown in California.
Now, the 37-year-old has become the youngest executive at Teen Nick, is the creator of the longest running hip hop show in history, just opened a new restaurant in Miami, and somehow still finds time to be a great father and a student at Howard University. Nick's hit show, Wild N' Out, recently kicked off Season 12 of the show with a multi-city tour and the young mogul says this is the only the beginning.
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Despite being diagnosed with lupus in 2012 and juggling a chaotic personal and professional life, Nick is on a mission to impact the world in more ways than one.
xoNecole got a chance to sit down with the multi-hyphenate to discuss everything from fatherhood, to how you can score a date with Nick Cannon.
xoNecole: With such a chaotic schedule, is it important for you to make time for self-care?
Nick Cannon: As someone who's dealt with health issues in a very severe manner, I know the importance of taking care of yourself, putting yourself first, and understanding self-preservation. If you ain't the best you, everything else just falls to the wayside.
xoNecole: What does self-care look like for you?
Nick: A lot of meditation. Everything from yoga to martial arts to gym activity daily. Paying close attention to what I put into my body, specifically water. I try and get a gallon a day, aiming for two gallons every day, of water, and that's kind of the foundation. Proper hydration and water intake, and then making sure I'm in the best shape I can be in.
xoNecole: How do you make time to be a dad?
Nick: I think you should never have to "make time" for fatherhood. Fatherhood is the purpose of life. My goal in life is to figure out how I can be the best father I can possibly be. From there, you take those values and apply them to the rest of your lifestyle.
xoNecole: How has your life changed since becoming a father of three?
Nick: It becomes your number one focus, it's applied into every decision that you make. Whether it's personal, business, you move as a true man. Whereas before I operated in a very selfish way, and thought more like a boy or someone who was really just looking out for themselves, but when you become a father you gotta make decisions as a leader.
xoNecole: What advice do you have for single fathers out there?
Nick: I hate giving advice, I'm not a believer in taking advice from others because everyone's path is and journey is different. If I could say what I would do, I definitely rely on a lot of prayer and meditation.
xoNecole: It seems like you've pretty much mastered co-parenting.
Nick: I don't like the term "co-parent," I don't know where that came from. It's almost like a step down, or having to compromise what your duties are. When really it's just parenting. I think everybody parents in a different way. I attempt to just be the best father or the best parent I can be, I'm not trying to be the best co-parent.
"I don't like the term 'co-parent'... It's almost like a step down, or having to compromise what your duties are."
When you're on the same page with your family, because you never stop being family, you put your children first and it's all based and rooted in unconditional love. It usually, for me, it goes extremely well when you take yourself out of it and focus of the kids.
xoNecole: Has your fame had an affect on your dating life?
Nick: Fame is fake, temporary. I don't think that's part of my life. Those two things don't really exist to me: fame or a dating life. I don't really think I have a dating life. Obviously, I entertain people and have friends. But I'm not thinking of it like, "Who am I going to date now?" I don't even know what that means in 2018. With my busy schedule, I make time when need be.
Being a father is my number one priority and after that it's work, so if I find time to spend with somebody else, that's usually a third tier approach.
xoNecole: So, can I put it on the record that Nick Cannon is a single man?
Nick: Absolutely, you can say that for life. Put that on my tombstone.
xoNecole: For life? So you don't see another marriage happening in your future?
Nick: Nah, never that.
Nick: I feel like that's something that I've done before, I've experienced it, it's a beautiful thing. But it's not really something I'm looking to do again. I lived it, I enjoyed it. But my views have changed quite a bit since then. I definitely will fall [in love] again, but I don't need some paperwork from the government to solidify my love.
"I definitely will fall in love again, but I don't need some paperwork from the government to solidify my love."
I understand why people do it. Weddings are beautiful, amazing, but I've experienced that. And going forward, my ideas have evolved just a little bit than just a traditional wedding and marriage. Most people probably wouldn't agree with how I think. As a kid, I was definitely fascinated with the idea of being married and having a fantasy wedding, I married my dream girl. I definitely got what I wanted as a youngin, but now that I'm older, I can see past that. I want to focus on being the best father I can be.
xoNecole: What are the traits you look for a woman?
Nick: Honesty, sincerity, nurturing qualities. Obviously wisdom, I think women are the wisest creatures. Honesty is my first thing, and that's because I have horrible trust issues. I think in any friendship, any relationship, honesty is what a solid foundation is built on.
xoNecole: How would a woman score a date with Nick Cannon?
Nick: They gotta ask me. If someone wants my attention, they gotta show me they want it. I'll make it simple: I like who likes me. I'm not really gonna put myself out on a limb because I'm too insecure for that.
I'm an energy dude. As funny as it sounds, energy is drawn towards each other. I'm always involved with the people I'm supposed to be involved with because their energy attracts me and my energy attracts them, so we kind of end up meeting halfway when it's right, you never have to force it. If you have to force it, it's not supposed to be. I rather just allow the universe to bring it together and have a serendipitous experience.
Click here for more information on Wild N' Out Tour dates and how to score a ticket. And be sure to keep up with Nick on Instagram.
Featured image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo by Christopher Marrs
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
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Feature image by Christopher Marrs