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Power Book III: Raising Kanan is set in the ’90s. The show acts as the coming of age story of Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis). Kanan is being raised by his mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas (Patina Miller), a ruthless drug queenpin. Raq runs her business with her brothers, Marvin (London Brown) and Lou Lou (Malcolm Mays).

As a woman in the game, Raq has gained some major enemies. One of her biggest adversaries is rival drug dealer Unique (Joey Bada$$). However, Joey Bada$$ says Unique and Raq are actually more alike than they think.

Joey Bada$$ as Unique wearing a orange prison jumpsuit in 'Power Book III: Raising Kanan'
Joey Bada$$ as Unique in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ | Starz

Unique from ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ is based on two movie characters from the ’90s

One of the most compelling things about Raising Kanan is that it’s so authentic to the ’90s. Joey Bada$$ says his character is based on two major movie characters from the era. Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) from New Jack City and Bishop (Tupac Shakur) from Juice.

“Of course, I grew up watching movies like New Jack City and Juice,” he told Hip Hop DX. “I want to say Nino Brown and Bishop were like my main influences for Unique, aside from my own observations as a kid with a bunch of my uncles and cousins and just being from New York and seeing real characters like that in the streets.”

Interestingly enough, Mario Van Peebles, who directed New Jack City, directed the Raising Kanan Season 2 premiere.

Joey Bada$$ says Unique and Raq have a lot in common

Despite being enemies who both want complete control of the drug game, Joey Bada$$ says that Unique and Raq continue to clash because they actually have quite a bit in common.

“First, you know, it’s the opposite sex, so there’s that,” he told Shadow and Act. “And then, secondly, it’s the like-mindedness of both individuals, them being the alphas of their respective sides, them running things.”

We think Unique actually underestimated Raq because she is a woman.


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Unique is looking for revenge in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ Season 2

If we know how similar Unique and Raq are, we should know that Nique will stop at nothing to get back at Raq. After all, not only did she frame him for murder, but she also obliterated his business. For Unique, that’s extremely personal. As we’ve already seen in the first two episodes of Raising Kanan Season 2, the gangster is seeking revenge.

“[His mindset] is anger, it’s frustration, there’s resentment,” he told Shadow and Act. “There’s seeking revenge, that feeling, because to lose to your enemy is one thing, but to be falsely accused or framed for something that you didn’t do, that’s crossing the line. I think Unique is gonna definitely be willing to get back to where he was by any means necessary.”

Between Unique and the mob, and not to mention Detective Howard (Omar Epps), Raq is going to be dealing with a lot.