Nick Cannon Now Gets Equal Love At The Club, Chuck E. Cheese's

Former child actor makes smooth transition to musician, film and TV star.

Nick Cannon is finally being treated like an adult. And what has him cheesing the most about this new development are all the velvet ropes he can get behind now.

"It's like ooonnn," Cannon beamed on Tuesday about being looked at as more than a child star. "Now I can go in the club and get the same reaction I get when I go to Chuck E. Cheese. It's cool to be recognized by my peers. They're appreciating what I do. Before it was like, 'That's the kid from Nickelodeon.' Now that my audience is expanding I'm kinda excited about it."

In addition to gaining new, older fans through his television and film projects, the 23-year-old has also made a name for himself of late from making music.

"It's been a smooth transition," Cannon said. "People are accepting the fact that I do got skills. I could be silly [with my raps], but it's definitely still skill behind it. The fact that I have a music background — people saw it in 'Drumline,' and I produced a quarter of the album on my own — they see that it's really something in me. There are a lot of other cats out there who came from the acting game and go to music and didn't catch the boat."

Cannon, who hit stages for crowds of yelling girls this summer as part of the B2K-headlined Scream III Tour, can thank his friend and labelmate R. Kelly for having a hand in both transitions. The song "Gigolo," produced by and featuring Kelly, has given Nick a hit single that both younger and older crowds have embraced.

"When I was in the studio with him, I saw him do five songs with five different artists in one night," Cannon remembered about working with the Pied Piper. "The man is really a musical genius, and he's hitting them with hits. Regardless of anything else that's going on, he's a workaholic and music is his first love. To be a part of that is just hot."

While many people liked "Gigolo," the track did rub some B2K loyalists the wrong way. They felt the San Diego native's rap of "I'm a grown man, not B2K/ If I need a girlfriend it won't be too-day," was a cold dis to his "Feelin' Freaky" co-stars.

"Keep the controversy going," Cannon laughed before clarifying his words. "Honestly, right when I did the record, I was with B2K. They were supposed to be in the video. I'm pretty sure if we would have done that, [the rumors] would have been squashed a little bit. But you know how stuff bubbles up and people say things.

"Bottom line," he continued, "I didn't mean anything by it. If anybody took offense, I apologize. ['Gigolo'] is about not having a girlfriend. I was just saying I'm a grown man out here, they're saying they need girlfriends. I was just referencing their song ['Girlfriend']. It was just like Biggie saying 'I got more Mack than Craig.' Nobody caught offense to that. It's just hip-hop references. I got an extreme amount of respect for B2K. I got a show with them next week, so it can't be too much beef."

The only beef on the set of Nick's upcoming film "Love Don't Cost a Thing" was provided by the catering service. Cannon says shooting the movie provided a chance to spend time with his buddies.

"Man, it was a good time," he said. "One thing about that film was I had relationships with a lot of the actors already. Kenan Thompson is one of my best friends and he played my best friend in the movie. Christina Milian, I've known her for years. Steve Harvey, who I've done stand-up comedy with before, is kinda like a mentor. It was just like going to work and hanging out with your friends and shooting a movie in the meantime. It was a good look."

Nick Cannon's self-titled debut LP is in stores now. "Love Don't Cost a Thing" hits theaters on Friday (December 12).