Mekai Curtis role as Kanan Stark in the Power Universe has shaped The face of Power Book III: Raising Kanan where we get a glimpse of a young Black teen “certain” about his future.
In Book III, the beginnings of Kanan are displayed as a representation of his mom Raquel Thomas played by Patina Miller. Kanan is hungry for street smart wisdom through his mom and uncles’ actions despite being restricted at times due to school and safety purposes. It’s not always easy as a Black man growing up in a single parent household and we see the reality of Kanan’s situation unfolding.
Curtis sat down with us on Aug. 18 to discuss the dynamics between the Black mom and son relationship in relation to his character role.
“It’s dope getting to see the whole perspective of everything happening from Kanan’s side. This thing where he just wants to be there for his mother…he wants to protect his family. That’s kind of his whole reasoning for what he wants to do and on Raq’s side of things, she understands that. She sees it…but she also knows her son…and she shouldn’t really be in it.”
In the series, it’s very difficult to see who’s really the guardian of Kanan from a one-dimensional perspective. He’s the man of the house regardless of his mother’s enforcer beliefs and sexual relationship with Symphony (Toby Sandeman). The title is a reflection of everyone’s spirit manifested into Kanan which leads to infiltration of his consciousness.
“I think it’s an amalgamation of all of that. The story is about the environment Kanan grew up in. It’s about the people he was around and it’s about the choices he had to make within this environment with these influences that he had,” Curtis said. “You see his peers (Juke Box and Famous) are even involved in this game and the lifestyle. You kind of get to see how that all shapes who Kanan was. I think every bit and piece of that plays into who we saw in the original Power.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson originally starred as Kanan Stark in the original Power where his character was killed during a shootout with police after being framed for murdering Raina (Donshea Hopkins). If it wasn’t for the brilliance of TV show creator Courtney Kemp, there’s no telling what story we would’ve gravitated towards back in 2014.
The gruesome and heartless Kanan has yet to emerge as he’s learning the game slowly while exposed to lies, drugs, trauma, sex and crime.
Young Black kids in America who are raised in impoverished neighborhoods with lack of resources face pressure to get involved with negative crowds. Rather it be systemic racism or redlining…the early 1990s on this TV series is more powerful than the cultural fashion fans love via the Hip Hop/New Jack Swing era.
Curtis gave a message to young Black teens in the gang lifestyle who believe their “options” are limited because of fear imposed on them.
“I’m glad that you said young Kanans’ because that’s…you know a story that we’re telling is… It’s a story of a young kid dealing with a wild a** world, trying to figure out these emotions and balancing these decisions he’s made. That’s another thing he just learns throughout is you reap what you sow. That’s another thing his mother tried to teach him immediately,” Curtis said. “To young Kanans’ around the world…take heed. There’s people around you who have the wisdom and knowledge who want to steer you the other way…aside from the decision you’ve made. Just be willing to listen and see more (positive opportunity) that’s out there. I relate it back to Kanan again because as I’m thinking about it…it’s one of things he struggles with himself. This is all he knows because he hasn’t been exposed to anything else.”
Therefore, the one thing Kanan was exposed to was a choice to pursue education by his mom and not get involved in a lifestyle that leads to prison or death. Just like Kanan, many young Black men fall victim to accepting their fate ignoring consequences that’ll not only cost them their life…but others in the process. It’s important to raise young Black men with morals and create positive programs to ensure their tolerance of wrongdoing is destroyed.
According to Deadline.com, Power Book III: Raising Kanan Season 2 was confirmed for renewal and it’ll only heat up the moment the war breaks out between Raquel’s crew and Unique (Joey Bada$$) crew.
There’s no doubt Curtis will take off in 2022 with perfecting the mannerisms and showcasing great acting on the big screen with new opportunities at his disposal.