‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’: 50 Cent Reflected on How South Jamaica Queens Has Changed Since the ’90s

Power Book III: Raising Kanan, the prequel series in the massive Power Universe has just launched and already fans are intrigued. The series, which is set in 1991 follows 15-year-old Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis), in his formidable years before he became the diabolical character that Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson depicted in Power.

Though Kanan has an opportunity to go a different route with his life, Raising Kanan showcases how he gets pulled into his queenpin mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas’ (Patina Miller) business. 50 Cent, who is also an executive producer on the series, is reflecting on how much Jamacia Queens has changed since the time period.

Mekai Curtis and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson posing side by side in a photo for Power III: 'Raising Kanan'
Mekai Curtis and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson for Power III: ‘Raising Kanan’ | Starz

The ’90s wardrobe on ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ was a major challenge

Since the series is set three decades in the past, the Raising Kanan wardrobe department had their work cut out for them when it came to recreating the clothing of the era.

“This is really the challenge of the series,” Raising Kanan creator and showrunner Sascha Penn told Complex. “That wardrobe of that era is not that easy to find. Keep in mind, we have to have doubles and triples of it, because if it gets dirty or if we have to shoot someone… one of the real challenges is getting wardrobe that was authentic to that particular moment. We try to get the real stuff.”

The looks on the series are flawless.

50 Cent says Queens has changed drastically since the ’90s

In addition to nailing down the wardrobe for Raising Kanan, dressing the set also proved to be challenging. Though the series is shot on location in New York City, the city looks nothing like the neighborhood that the G-Unit founder remembers. Gentrification has changed everything from the way the buildings look to the people in the neighborhood to the code on the streets.

“Well, just the environment the neighborhood was, was a lot harder back then in the ’90s,” 50 Cent told Digital Spy. “You look at the beautiful buildings in New York City, they just didn’t have windows. There just was abandoned buildings at that part. It was like a lot more, see no evil, hear no evil. Then you scarper when the police come, and like ‘I don’t know what happened. And if you watch like First 48 now you’ll see how fast they tell. They’re all just telling on everybody. Detective, all you had to do is just come in with a badge.”


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‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ is based on 50 Cent’s real life

Like Kanan, 50 Cent was born and raised in Jamacia Queens in the ’80s and ’90s. Like Kanan’s mother Raq, the rapper/executive producer’s mother Sabrina was also a singer mother who sold drugs to provide. Some of the things fans have seen in the series come directly from 50 Cent’s real-life experiences.

“These are real things, like, I really experienced being roughed up in the park before my mom sent me back to the park, and I was just more afraid of her than the kids in the park, so I ended up going back to fight them instead of dealing with my mom,” the rapper told Sky News. “It was probably the biggest thing to describe what my relationship with my mom was like fairly early on, you know, because she was the only provider, so she was like the source of everything that’s good; if she’s angry with you then nothing good is around, you know what I’m saying, and you’re like, wow, no, just take me back to the park, I’d rather fight than deal with this.”