Speaking to HipHopDX, the talented multi-hyphenate and business mogul was asked about Tip’s recent revelation that he had actually auditioned for Cannon’s role in the 2002 film Drumline.
“Yeah, I know about that,” he told DX. “I’ve interviewed T.I. and he’s interviewed me a couple times and we always talk about that story … he gets mad at me like, ‘Why you always got to bring that up?'”
But while the King of the South’s near-miss is now public knowledge thanks to his interview with Shannon Sharpe in January, some might not be aware that Nick Cannon was actually offered T.I.’s role in the 2006 film ATL, which ended up being the Atlanta rapper’s feature-film debut.
“I don’t know if he elaborated on this when he was talking to Shannon Sharpe, I was supposed to do ATL,” Cannon said, before pointing out that both ATL and Drumline were about Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and producer Dallas Austin, who also produced both films.
“The Drumline story is about him being a drummer and not knowing how to read music and being in a band, and ATL was this story about him going to a roller skating rink called Jelly Beans.”
Cannon continued: “I remember [Dallas Austin] had both of the scripts for Drumline and at the time ATL was called Jelly Beans. And he was like, ‘Yo, we gonna do both of these. We’re gonna do Drumline first and then we’re gonna do Jelly Beans.‘
“It got brought to me after Drumline that they were gonna go with it, but I got presented two rollerskating movies: it was Jelly Beans and Roll Bounce. And the bag was a little bigger over at Roll Bounce with less days work; so I chose that one.”
Elaborating further, Cannon added: “‘Cause I was doing another movie, I was like, ‘I could do this one and still complete the other project or I could go back down to Atlanta for a few months and not get paid as much.’ I did it for the bag.”
ATL, which also stars Evan Ross, Big Boi and Lauren London, was released in theatres in March 2006 and is a coming-of-age story loosely based on the experiences of Dallas Austin and TLC‘s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. T.I. stars as Rashad, the character based on Dallas Austin.
Even though the film went on to become a cult classic and staple in Hip Hop and Atlanta roller skating culture, Cannon has no regrets about not taking the role as he believes the right person got the job.
“Clearly, the same way that you can’t see T.I. in my role [in Drumline], you can’t see me in his role,” Cannon told DX. “He bodied it. That [role] was made for him. So it’s amazing how the universe works.”
Airing every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. EDT, the show is “an innovative take on radio programs, reimagined for a social-first live audience,” according to a press release.
Co-hosted by radio personalities Mason Moussette and DJ Abby De La Rosa, Cannon personally curates new R&B, Hip Hop and pop tracks, and delivers the inside scoop on celebrity and culture news alongside interviews with today’s hottest artists, newsmakers and Amp creators.