‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’: The ’90s Wardrobe on the Show Was a Major Challenge
Power Book III: Raising Kanan is the prequel series in the Power Universe and chronicles the coming-of-age story of Kanan Stark (portrayed by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in Power.) In this series, we are introduced to 15-year-old Kanan (Mekai Curtis) who is determined to learn the ins and outs of his mother, Raquel “Raq” Thomas’ (Patina Miller) drug business.
Set in 1991 in Queens, New York, the series captures a very specific moment in time. However, the wardrobe and costuming were an incredible challenge for the Raising Kanan crew.
Mekai Curtis studied 50 Cent for his role as Kanan Stark in ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’
Since Kanan Stark is such an iconic character in the Power Universe, and 50 Cent embodied him so well, Curtis has his work cut out for him. However, the 20-year-old did not shy away from the task at hand.
“I started watching Power again, just to see the mannerisms he has or certain cadences or whatever, certain relationships that might pop back up with what’s happening,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Just trying to get his dialect and his movement down to bring that essence to the character, while also establishing that this is like 30 or so years in the past. So it’s keeping that essence but also reverse-engineering it to give myself room to grow with the character to eventually get to where 50 had Kanan.
50 Cent has praised Curtis for his diligence. “I went through a period where my jaw was broken because I’ve been shot in my face, so I spent a long period of time speaking without moving my jaw, like having my teeth closed and talking, and it just slurs a little bit — and he got that down! So you notice that and I’m like, ‘Yo, this kid is special!’” he told EW.
The ’90s wardrobe on ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ was super difficult to find and work with
While Curtis did his work to make sure he embodied 50 Cent’s Kanan perfectly, the wardrobe and set departments also had a tall task of making New York City, and Queens specifically look as they did in the early ’90s. Nailing the fashion down pact was especially jarring.
“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.”
Luckily, the costuming department nailed it.
Will ‘Power Book III: Raising Kanan’ crossover with ‘Power Book II: Ghost’?
Power Book III: Raising Kanan is off to a racing start, already getting a second season greenlit by Starz. Though the series is set in 1991 when Kanan is 15-years-old, fans of the original Power know that he meets Tommy (Joseph Sikora) and Ghost (Omari Hardwick) around 1996 when he’s about 20-year-old. Fans are desperate to know if we’ll see young versions of those characters as well and if Raising Kanan will crossover in any way with Power Book II: Ghost.
“I would love to see all different versions of that, to be honest with you,” Power creator Courtney A. Kemp told Deadline. “But I want to make sure that Raising Kanan itself has an opportunity to be its own series and not make that compete with Ghost.”