Since making his acting debut as Marcus "Young Caesar" Greer in the 2005 film Get Rich or Die Tryin', 50 Cent has remained a constant presence in Hollywood, with appearances in films like Righteous Kill, Den of Thieves, All Things Fall Apart and Southpaw. But his biggest coup is Power, the hit television show on Starz that he stars in and executive produces. The show has become a pop culture staple, adding to Fif's diverse multimedia empire and giving the viewers something to discuss at the water cooler on Monday mornings.
Cast as Kanan Stark, a hardened ex-con from Queens who is released from prison after serving 10 years behind bars, 50 Cent puts his charisma, charm and penchant for aggression on full display throughout Power's five seasons. While he's not the show's central focus, Kanan has become one of its main attractions, responsible for some memorable quotes and moments. (Even 50's latest slogan "get the strap" originated in the pages of Power's script.)
50 Cent has furthered Kanan's popularity through his music, releasing mixtapes (2015's The Kanan Tape) and songs ("Get The Strap") inspired by the character. He even helped to land Kendrick Lamar a cameo spot in the series. It's all helped to strengthen the show's hip-hop connection before—SPOILER ALERT—his character was dramatically killed off during the eighth episode of Power's fifth season.
XXL celebrates the criminal life and times of Kanan Stark by looking back on his 10 most memorable moments from his time on the show.
One transgression that defines Kanan's run on Power is the cold-blooded murder of his own son, Shawn (played by Sinqua Walls), during the show's second season. After his failure to kill main character Ghost (played by Omari Hardwick) at Kanan's request, Shawn is gunned down by his father, whose lack of remorse in the aftermath of the murder is chilling.
Kanan's Showdown With Ghost
Kanan's quest to destroy Ghost appears to be complete when he and his arch-nemesis face off in a brutal brawl that brings both men within inches of death. Ghost walks away as the victor of the fight, however, Kanan—who inflicts a fair share of damage to Ghost during their showdown—is severely burned and left for dead. Ultimately, he proves to be hard to kill.
Upon his release from the penitentiary, Kanan immediately gets his hands dirty, banding with a few of his street underlings to pull off a high-stakes jewelry store heist. Although the robbery is successful, Kanan's decision to murder the inside-man as a precaution is one of numerous examples of his ruthless disregard for life.
Kanan Threatens Dre's Family
One of the most sinister moments on Power occurs during the show's third season, when Dre (played by G-Unit singer Rotimi) arrives at his home, only to discover that Kanan has broken into the apartment and is cradling Dre's daughter. It's a warning and veiled threat by Kanan that forces Dre's allegiance.
Kanan Turns Tariq Against Ghost
While developing a relationship with Ghost's son Tariq during Power's third season, Kanan reveals secrets about his parents roots and the source of their wealth and privileged lifestyle. He convinces the teenager that his dad—who is facing jail time for murder—is guilty. "Whatever they said he did, he did that shit," Kanan deadpans. He gradually becomes a mentor to Tariq, leading him into a life of crime.
Kanan Kills His Cousin, Jukebox
The third season of Power introduces LaVerne "Jukebox" Ganner (played by Anika Noni Rose), a corrupt cop and cousin of Kanan who provides him shelter and helps nurse him back to health following his epic showdown with Ghost. Aware of Kanan's plot to use Tariq to get revenge against his former underling, Jukebox takes matters into her own hands and abducts Tariq when she decides Kanan has become too attached and has lost sight of the task at hand.
Kanan, who initially saw Tariq as collateral damage in his search for vengeance, spares his life by killing Jukebox during a standoff between him, her and Ghost. It shows Kanan's loyalty to his protégé.
Kanan Survives a Murder Attempt
When Dre and Cristobal—head of the Hermanos Tianos gang—join forces, their first order of business is assassinating Kanan. Cristobal sends two of his men to take out Kanan, but they fail to get the job done and are instead murdered in gruesome fashion. It's another reminder that if you go after Kanan, you better not miss.
Kanan Gets Help From Kendrick Lamar (as Laces)
In the fifth episode of Power's fifth season, Kanan hooks up with Laces, a drug-addled vagrant played by Kendrick Lamar. He helps Kanan lure members of the Tianos drug organization to their execution. While Laces distracts a Tianos member with his aimless ramblings and sales pitches, Kanan delivers death via bicycle drive-by. He and his newfound cohort make for an unforgettable tandem, resulting in some of the more lighthearted (albeit murderous) moments of the series.
Kanan Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory
By Power's fifth season, Kanan has become a dominant figure in Tariq's life and a major influence on his aspirations of living a criminal lifestyle. However, as Tariq reflects on Kanan's decision to murder his own son, he becomes disillusioned and works with his mother, Tasha (played by Naturi Naughton), to frame him for murder. In the midst of being pulled over and arrested by police, Kanan takes hold of a cop's gun and kills him as well as the accompanying officers. It's a thrilling blaze of glory fueled by Kanan's refusal to return to a life of imprisonment.
Kanan Spares Tariq's Life
After Tariq's betrayal, a dying Kanan had a chance to get revenge against Ghost and Tasha's son. But he keeps his promise to Tariq that he would "never" do him "dirty like that," instead sparing his life and only shooting him one long, terrifying stare.