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50 Cent on Power Book III: Raising Kanan – Rapper Curtis Jackson says he used childhood experiences for new show

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Curtis Jackson also goes by the name 50 Cent, but despite the moniker suggesting otherwise it seems the star doesn’t do things by halves.

When he put out his first album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ it became the best-selling debut hip-hop record ever, while his TV show Power has been one of the most successful series on premium pay television in the US, according to network Starz.

It led to four spin-off series being commissioned and the latest, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, focuses on how Jackson’s character in Power, drug dealer Kanan Stark, became the man he did.

Jackson tells Sky News he requested to the show’s creator Courtney A Kemp that he wanted to play “the worst character that they’ve seen on television – so if I play a bad guy, I want to play a real bad guy”.

But the prequel shows how he ended up that way, with Jackson narrating the story of Kanan’s younger years.Advertisement

“To go into the prequel on his character is to show all of his trauma and all of the things that he – the things you go through make you who you are, I believe that – and the things that he went through and his experiences that hardened him to the point that he was that guy that we saw in Power at the beginning,” he says. “So you kind of see the things that he’s gone through that turned him into that.”

In order to give the character authenticity, Jackson borrowed from his own experiences growing up in the borough of Queens in New York City.

One of the show’s opening scenes sees a young Kanan running home to his mother after being beaten up, but instead of comforting him she tells him he needs to learn to fight back and accompanies him for the rematch.

“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,” he says.

“And you deal with that and it kind of changes your perspective, like, I’m not going to go back whining to my mother for her to send me back, I’ll just handle it before she finds out that I’m scared or afraid of the other person, so it kind of changed a part of my character in the very early stages.

“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.”

As a father himself now, Jackson recognises that idolising of parents by their children from the other side of the relationship.

“There’s a point where kids view their parents as superheroes because they don’t understand everything else in life that they have to do, work and everything else to create the comforts.

“My little guy now, he sees me like that, he thinks, ‘my dad could do it – there’s no question my dad could do it’, like if somebody can jump further and he’ll say ‘my dad can jump that far’, he thinks I can do everything, and it’s amazing.”

Jackson’s own mother passed away when he was eight, and he went on to be raised by grandparents. There, he was one of nine and there wasn’t a lot of money to go around, but his mother’s friends kept him in their lives; the star says it was them who inspired him to do whatever it took to make money.

“I look at my journey, some of the decisions that my mom made have guided mine, and it’s because people from her life had what was a representation of financial freedom, they had those nice things in front of me,” he says.

“They got everything that you would want, so it kind of led me down the same path of the hustling and going to do different things, and, you know, I just hit the roof of that and wanted to do more, so I got involved in music and entertainment where we do things that exceed that level of success, completely.

“Like, that [what his mum’s friends had] is the smallest thing, you know what I mean, it just felt big at that point, when I was little.”

Jackson has returned to the studio to make new music for Raising Kanan. The tracks see him collaborating with up-and-coming artists – mirroring his own experiences of starting out in the music industry, when he worked with Eminem and Dr Dre – but now it’s Jackson who’s the experienced one boosting the profile of others.

The start of his career was strange to negotiate, he says. “My first album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ was the largest debuting hip-hop album – still – 13 million records sold on the first album. If your first record is that big – you know that saying, you never have a second chance at a first impression – so people will never really appreciate you as much as they did at that point.”

With a second series of Power Book III: Raising Kanan commissioned before the first even aired, another Starz show called Black Mafia Family and a series for Netflix in the works, Jackson has plenty to keep him busy.

He says that in terms of his TV career, he was inspired to make his own shows by someone he looks up to.

“Sylvester Stallone’s career is my hero career, and it’s because he made the projects that made his career work. He made Rocky, he made Rambo, made Escape Plan – he makes these franchises himself, comes up with the right idea that could work for him and writes the project and everything.”

“So I like that, to develop the things that I’m involved in, that I feel passionate enough about the project after I’ve gone through it step by step.”

Journalist and science writer for NewsAfrica24, the Atlantic, New Scientist, Aeon, Men’s Health, and many others. Author of The Intelligence Mafias, published by Stoughton (UK)/WW Norton (USA) and translated into six languages.

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Entertainment & Arts

R Kelly trial latest: Singer was recorded threatening and assaulting victim, prosecution claims

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Kelly, 54, faces nine charges including sexual abuse, racketeering and bribery. The prosecution wants to submit recordings of what it says is the singer threatening and attacking victims as evidence.

R Kelly threatened to “f*** up” one of his victims before assaulting her, according to newly submitted court documents.

The prosecution in the sex-trafficking case against the 54-year-old singer – real name Robert Kelly – wants a recording of the incident to be admitted as evidence.

According to papers filed at a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the incident happened in 2008.

On the tape, Kelly is said to be heard saying: “If you lie to me, I’m going to f*** you up.”

In a second video, the I Believe I Can Fly singer is heard threatening a woman from Florida known as “Jane Doe” and accusing her of stealing his Rolex watch.

“You better not ever… take from me again or I will be in Florida and something will happen to you,” he says, according to the documents. “You understand what I’m telling you?”

The filing states that prosecutors wanted Jane Doe to testify at Kelly’s trial, but decided against it after the woman “started to have panic attacks and appeared to have an emotional breakdown” as she listened to the tapes.

Kelly has denied racketeering and other charges accusing him of sexually abusing women, girls and boys during the course of his 30-year-career.

On Tuesday, the judge in the case indicated she would allow the tapes to be used as evidence in a trial which started last month.

Kelly allegedly told his victims he had cameras and other recording devices “everywhere” in his Chicago studio and other locations.

He has also been accused of recording sexual encounters with other victims.

On Monday, the court heard from a witness that said she saw Kelly in a “sexual situation” with R&B singer Aaliyah around 1993 – when Aaliyah would have been around 13 or 14.

The witness – a former backing dancer for Kelly – added that he had sex with her when she was 15.

Previously, the jury heard that Kelly had acquired two fake IDs through an employee so he could marry Aaliyah after he started to have sex with her while she was underage and thought she was pregnant.

A marriage licence submitted as evidence falsely listed Aaliyah’s age as 18 and Kelly’s as 27.

R&B singer and actress Aaliyah pictured in 2001. Pic: AP

Image:R&B singer and actress Aaliyah pictured in 2001

Prosecutors have stated that Kelly wanted to use the later-annulled marriage to prevent Aaliyah testifying against him.

Kelly helped Aaliyah – full name Aaliyah Dana Haughton – write her 1994 debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.
She later died aged 22 in 2001 in a plane crash.

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Shatta Wale attacks Sadiq Abu; Reveals secret questioning integrity of 3Music Awards

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The credibility of the 3Music awards scheme hangs in a balance as Shata Wale reveals a secret suggesting the project is a scam.

Shatta Wale and CEO of 3Media and 3Music awards, Sadiq Abdulai Abu, have been going at it on social media for quite some time now. The genesis of the contention could be pinpointed to when Sadiq called out the dancehall musician over his ‘music video’ comment. The comment is as follows, “Keep shooting music videos like you want to battle Jay Z. You will wake up one day and ask me how I made all this money. And I will tell you this.”

Sadiq disagreed and responded, “Wale is always making hollow arguments and running in circles. Who says that today one cant know exactly how much one makes on a song or video. How such narratives are allowed to fester is shocking.”

Sadiq’s submission was followed by a barrage of insults, including an assertion that he suffers from halitosis and the most recent allegation that 3Music awards operate on a non-merit basis.

On his IG stories, Shatta Wale wrote, “Sadik do you remember telling me that the 3music awards you will give me 11 awards because Sarkodie and Stone deh bore you. We didn’t do well, but now I am doing well by speaking the truth.” Sadiq is yet to respond to the accusation at the time of the report.

This has raised many questions in the entertainment space because Shatta Wale did indeed pick up 11 awards under the same award scheme. Then he described it as a manifestation of hard work. Now he says it was all a fraudulent scheme.

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Entertainment & Arts

Angel Obinim flew to Spain every month to see me – Florence Obinim

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According to Florence Obinim, her marriage remains solid despite her stay in Spain because her husband Angel Obinim visits her in Spain to show her love.

Gospel musician Florence Obinim was on hiatus in Spain for months. During her absence, rumours about divorce and cheating scandals plagued her ministry. These speculations were a result of her husband’s continued presence in Ghana with her. 

In an exclusive interview with Christian Agyei Frimpong on Anigye Mere on Onua FM, Florence Obinim revealed her marriage is intact despite her relocation to Spain. 

She also disclosed that her husband, Bishop Daniel Obinim, visited her every month for her two-year stay in Spain. 

She said, “ Though, I’m shy to tell you more about our love life. Obinim is very disciplined but loving and caring.

“My husband started a church in Spain, and he assigned me to take care of the church by starting prayer and teaching sessions with the members. Unfortunately for us, the Covid-19 pandemic did not allow us. But Bishop will always fly to Spain every month,” she continued.

Florence Obinim, after 13 years in the industry, has blessed Ghanaians with nine (9) albums and is currently out with a single dubbed “Adekye Ne Mu Nsem”.

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