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Tuesday
Apr012014

Nick Cannon Wants to Start Trouble with "White People Party Music"

Virginia Sherwood/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Nick Cannon is pulling out all the stops to grab your attention. Along with dressing up in whiteface last week, the America's Got Talent host dyed his hair in a cheetah print, bragging about his work Monday on Instagram.

"It's my animalistic...I don't know! I just had to get my cheetah on," he tells ABC News Radio of his new hairdo.

It's the latest in a string of publicity stunts to promote his first album in 11 years, White People Party Music. Cannon says the name for his album came to him while deejaying.

"As a deejay, I would name all my different crates...," the 33-year-old explains. "And you have like bar mitzvah music, dirty south, like ratchet crunk, and then there was this crate called white people party music and it had like all my favorite songs in there. So I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to name my album that' and I just stuck with it. And I always tell people, I could've named this album Purple People Party Music. It would've been the same album, but...it, you know, sparks a little controversy. So, why not?"

Cannon sparked more than a little controversy last week when he dressed up in whiteface, complete with a grey beanie hat, flannel shirt and acid-washed jeans. He dubbed the look: Connor Smallnut.

Mariah Carey's husband says he didn't expect the amount of backlash he received on social media. Adding, "I've been doing characters like this since Nickelodeon. I mean, I was doing the same stuff when I was 19. You know? And everybody is so ultra sensitive today, but I embrace it."

"It doesn't concern me at all," he continues. "I'm excited it got people talking. There were a lot of interesting conversations that were going on. So it felt like it was needed. I'm glad it did what it did. I'm glad it made the noise that it made."

Cannon was also accused of being a racist, a label he's dismissing. "I laugh at people who call me a racist because you really have to truly look at the definition of what a racist is. And anyone who actually can accuse someone of being a racist, actually has to check within them self on how they feel about stereotypes and labeling people," he explains.

White People Party Music is what Cannon describes as a "smorgasbord" of genres, from electronic dance music to soul to trap music. Still, his favorite song on the 18-track album is called "Unbelievable" because it's inspired by someone very close to him.

"It's a song that I wrote about my wife, and it actually has like a cool pop-rock vibe to it and we had a lot of fun with it," Cannon says. "It's my wife's favorite so it's the one that gets played around the house the most."

Fans may have noticed that the album drops on April Fool's Day, and the star of BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood, who says he was inspired by famed comedian/prankster Andy Kaufman, says that's no coincidence.

"It's a huge joke," he explains. "I actually planned this over a year ago. I was like, 'Yo, I'm going to drop my album on April Fool's Day. I could care less how it does. You know what I mean? I'm just putting it out for fun. I'm going to name it something ridiculous and just see where it is.' So this is my elaborate April Fool's Joke. But it's a real album, but it's still a good joke."

White People Party Music hits shelves today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio