Media and music have gone hand in hand since its inception. When it comes to film or television, music assists with painting a bigger picture. Whether it’s through a beat or lyrics, there’s no denying that music plays a massive role in setting the tone for whichever plot comes at full speed.
One show that accentuates the power of music is Power Book III: Raising Kanan. In the three-season series, main characters like Lou (Malcolm Mays), Juicebox (Hailey Kilgore), and Famous (Antonio Ortiz), to name a few, follow their passions of dominating the hip-hop and R&B scene.
This time around, Juicebox gets a sweet deal with Butta, a girl group she recently joined, Famous drops a new hit record, and Lou seeks to land more opportunities at a new music club. After each episode, fans will also get a closer look at Butta’s career, from auditions and dance rehearsals to booking their first gigs as they deal with a demanding manager, the new season explores the group dynamic, and battle to determine the group’s “leader.”
Furthermore, the cast list includes a slew of notable artists like Patina Miller (Raq), who is most recently known for returning to Broadway as “The Witch” in the critically acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine‘s 1987 musical Into The Woods, and Joey Bada$$ (Unique), who is highly recognized for his rhyming chops.
Malcolm Mays and Mekai Curtis (Kanan) are also applauded for their musical talents. Curtis gets flowers for his percussionist skills and rocking the stage this year while on tour with Alina Baraz. Meanwhile, Mays dropped his Lil Baby-assisted single called “Not Luck” not too long ago.
In the new season’s first episode, the connection between music and media becomes apparent as Juicebox skims through her mother’s belongings in two different scenes. While Juicebox attends a funeral, holds what seems to be her mother’s sweater, reads the Bible, and looks at old pictures of them, a subtle bluesy instrumental plays in the background, indicating Juicebox’s grief and the nostalgia behind each item.
Then, there’s the cypher that followed the premiere of Power Book III: Raising Kanan on Nov. 30, another indicator of the show’s bond with the art of rhyme. The live 90’s style rap cypher, which was in partnership with On the Radar Radio, consisted of a few hip hop artists who represented “Team Raq” and “Team Kanan.” Rappers Lil Zay Osama, YTB Fatt, Don Q, Sleazy World Go were on “Team Kanan” while Connie Diiamond, Lakeyah, Big Boss Vette, and K Carbon held it down for “Team Raq.” The freestyles consisted of fire-emoji-styled entendres, punchlines, and bars that tied in with the show’s title and overall storyline (the street code, music, family, etc).
One of the most notable freestyles came from Lakeyah, who wowed the crowd at the very start of her performance when she spit one specific bar that tied in with the show.
“I carry b*tches like my son, you would think I’m raising Kanan,” she rapped along with other clever one-liners like “Big Key just like a stapler, b*tch I only stick to paper.“
Don Q also dropped an impressive set of bars, using the show’s likeness as his inspo. At the beginning of his performance, he rapped
“I was right on that block waiting patient with the same name of the lady that’s raising Kanan,” He also seemingly paid tribute to other legendary rappers, spitting, “Still witty like Biggie with the wisdom of Shakur and I can act so tell 50 to get me through that door.”
The location in Raising Kanan is also a telltale sign of how music speaks volumes within each episode. A younger Kanan Stark grows up in New York: the state where hip-hop started, flourished, and changed the modernization behind rapping for life.
All in all, Power Book III: Raising Kanan highlights how music is truly an expressive art form. Whether it’s by evoking emotion or telling a story, music will always resonate with people and bring them together.