Nick Cannon is probably better known for his appearances in films and on television than he is as a rapper. It makes sense – he's starred in successful movies like Drumline and Chi-raq, and is the host of long-running shows like Wild 'N Out and America's Got Talent. Meanwhile, with only two studio albums to his name, he hasn't had a single chart on either the US Top 100 or US Rap charts, since his song "Gigolo" did so in 2003.
But now, Cannon is looking to get back into the rap game in a big way. He's challenging Eminem to a rap battle, and offering to put up $100,000 – winner take all. Not only that, Cannon has also issued the same challenge to any other rapper who wants to step up to the mic. From an interview with Tim Westwood:
"I'm still ready. I'm trying to find him. Where is he? We gonna be out in the States for the BET Awards. I'm holding a $100,000 battle—whoever wants it—but it has to be someone who can put up 100 grand."
Cannon said he's reached out to Tyga, who "didn't want it." He also claimed he went to all of Slaughterhouse, and did it "like Mortal Kombat," offering to battle everyone just to get to the boss, in this case, Eminem.
Cannon and Em's beef goes back several years. Eminem's 2009 album, Relapse, had a track called "Bagpipes from Baghdad" that poked fun at Cannon's wife, Mariah Carey. Both Cannon and Carey responded, and Carey even released a song and video, "Obsessed," that had lyrics and visuals targeting Eminem.
Naturally, Eminem had to get back at the pair, releasing a track called "The Warning," and later commenting that he was finished talking about the subject.
In September of 2010, Cannon brought the feud back to life with a song called "I'm a Slick Rick," which featured multiple shots at Eminem. Cannon also started a campaign on Facebook, Twitter and his radio show, to have a charity boxing fight against Eminem. A year later, Cannon took another poke at Eminem in his song "I Remember."
Cannon kept the feud going with yet another song, "Warning (Remix)," that not only took aim at Eminem, it also went after Charlamagne Tha God and the feud between Ray J and Fabolous. The song also featured a clip of Eminem speaking with Westwood, saying "I had no idea Nick Cannon was going to start wiling out on me," a reference to Cannon's show, which had been cancelled at the time. After that song, Cannon said Eminem was "forgiven."
However, that leniency seemed to be short-lived, as Cannon is back at it again with his latest challenge. If we're going by pure album sales, Cannon better bring out his checkbook – right now. Slim Shady simply wipes the floor with him. Em has sold more than 42 million tracks and 49.1 million albums in the U.S. alone. Globally, it's more than 100 million. Meanwhile, Nick Cannon's debut album did go platinum at 1.6 million sold, but his follow up saw nowhere near that level.
Eminem also has the advantage in terms of chart success: Cannon's self-titled debut reached #83 on the US Top 100 and #15 on the US R&B Charts in 2003. Since bursting onto the scene with The Slim Shady LP back in 1999, the worst Eminem has charted on the US Top 100 Albums is #2. Every single album after The Slim Shady LP reached the top spot.
Both commercially and critically, Eminem seems to have the advantage here. But who knows, maybe Cannon's been crafting up some new rhymes to reveal to the world. Who's your money on in this battle?