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Courtesy of Starz

#RIPKanan: 50 Cent Talks His Final Dance As Kanan Stark On 'Power'

Kanan made it clear he wasn't going back to prison.

In the world of pills, powdered substances and the chase of the high and mighty dollar, no one's safe. In the world of Power, the same rules apply. In the Starz scripted drama, anyone can catch a body, and no one is exempt from a bullet.

For five seasons Kanan Stark, played by the show's executive producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has been a thorn in everyone's side. Kay spent 10 years in prison after Ghost and Tasha framed him, and upon release, he made up for lost time by killing his own son, his cousin Jukebox, and anyone else he needed to clip in order to regain his ranking in the drug world.

For a while, things seemed to be going according to Kanan's plan. He finagled his way back into the fold with Tommy and Ghost, while simultaneously advancing his own agenda. But even the stong have weaknesses and Kanan never suspected Tariq would be the one to take him down. In the end, the son he'd been grooming to be a hustler hustled him.

Going out like the gangster he is, Kanan evaded police trying to arrest him and killed nearly half a dozen cops in the process, but not without taking two bullets to the chest driving off in a police car and crashing in a ditch.

VIBE, along with Essence, Deadline, TVLine, TV Guide and TV Insider spoke with 50 Cent Monday (Aug. 27) via a conference call about his climatic last scene, and why Kanan's demise will kick the rest of the show into high gear.

VIBE: In the final scene, Tariq is in the backseat of the police car and he's trapped.  Kanan looks at Tariq before killing a cop. Why do you think Kanan didn't kill Tariq?
50 Cent: At that point, even with the gun in the car, Kanan decided he wasn't going back to jail, period. The scenario with the cop he would've beat the case. The gun being in the back of the car isn't enough to frame him. Kanan didn't have his fingerprints on it, somebody put that there. Just like in the previous case, someone called the police. He wasn't even going through the process of going back to jail. Tariq going left on him was like 'look what you made me do.' When he stops and looked at Tariq, it's like 'I told you I wasn't going back.' His fear is there, but he's a kid. He don't get nothing for knocking him off.

In the Kanan character, every time [Tariq] said something uncomfortable to Kanan it was about Shawn. That was the most discomfort. When you do something that bad, you don't accept responsibility for it. [In Season 2] at the top of the steps before he kills Shawn, Kanan says 'You see what you made me do? You f**ked up and now you made me f**k up.' Kanan knows what he has to do moving forward. He goes 'What you going to do? Call the police? You going to call mommy?' Because his mother is immediately going to call law enforcement so there's no way out of the situation, outside of killing Shawn at that point. Tariq asked, 'How could you kill your own son?' and then Kanan says, 'Some say you not a real killer until you kill someone you love.' At that point when he's looking at him, he didn't feel any different about Tariq, he's just going 'Why would you do that? I don't understand why you did it? Right after he decides to get out of there he decides to acknowledge he'd been shot in his lower abdomen. He was shot in the shoulder but that was the wound that actually kind of took him out of there.

Do you think with Kanan not taking out any revenge against Tariq showed he might have a soft side? He might have felt some remorse for Shawn?
[Tariq] was the only person he actually liked, the only person he cared for. It happened by chance. Following the Shawn incident, he found what wasn't in Shawn in Tariq. His expectations of Shawn was you're a driver, but you can start as a lookout. You're a driver as a start, but you can move up in the structure. Meanwhile, Shawn was comfortable being a driver with expectations of being a driver.

When did you first learn Kanan was going to die, and when did the rest of the cast find out? What was the energy like when you guys finally wrapped filming?
What's interesting is we went through a table read and when they read it, the cast was like "Whoa, what is going on?" It was completely unexpected even for them? [In the script] we left it so it was open-ended. The last scene that we shot for episode 508 was the morgue, so it wouldn't leak that the Kanan character actually died, it was so that he may or may not be passing away at that point.

It's interesting because I've watched other actors in the actual writer's room read that their character is passing away and they don't know until they read the actual script for that next episode, so they may know a week before. This weird feeling comes over them or this energy is there. There's an uncertainty getting ready to be put back into the pool of talented actors not knowing exactly where they'll be working or what they'll be working on. I've seen some actors start crying. For me, it wasn't like that because more opportunities opened up and I'm moving to be able to direct.

READ MORE: Speaking Truth To Power: 50 Cent & Co. Define Their Character Flaws And 48 Laws

Why the decision to kill off Kanan now?
That decision was made in the very beginning. We kind of slated the show to go seven seasons initially because we created with the success of [HBO's] The Sopranos in mind. The death of Kanan at this point ramps up everything. The pace of the shows is a lot more because of everyone's response to the betrayal of Kanan. His death leads to the big gap between Tommy and Ghost where they don't trust each other. It changes Tariq and Tasha's perspective. Everything starts to spin out of control.

What was it like filming that final scene?
We actually filmed it in Queens in Far Rockaway. It was freezing out there. I was sick. It was easy for me in the scene when I was spitting up blood because I was actually sick. It aided my performance in a way. I think I had the flu. We shot for two or three days before we got that all the way right. The overall experience was cool.

READ MORE: 50 Cent And Cast Define Their Characters' Flaws And 48 Laws

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Michael Jackson's Estate Donates $300,000 To Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Broadway Cares, Nevada’s Three Square Food Bank and MusiCares are receiving a big donation from the estate of Michael Jackson to help with those affected by the coronavirus. 

Rolling Stone reports each organization will receive $100,000. Comprised of entertainment and service workers, the donation will help with those who have been hit the hardest due to production and stores closing in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. The move to issue relief was also inspired by the passing of Manu Dibango, the legendary Afro-jazz saxophonist who died earlier this week from the virus in Paris.

Dibango's career started in the 1950s, and he worked with the likes of Fela Kuti, Robbie Shakespeare, and others, but he's perhaps most known for "Soul Makossa" – which along with being popular in its own right, was sampled by Michael Jackson on the Thriller hit "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin.'"

“This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement. “We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango passed away from the virus. Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future. And in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income.”

“MusiCares is very grateful for the outpouring of generosity we’ve seen from many in the music industry to grow the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” Steve Boom, MusiCares chair, said in a statement to the outlet. “The challenges that our industry is facing right now are enormous. It is contributions such as these that will help our community survive in this unprecedented time of tremendous need.”

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Remain Calm: 5 Ways To Curve Negative Effects Of Coronavirus Isolation

Self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak seems to be best practice in keeping our families and peers safe but it's also a shift in our normal social behavior. As millions of families around the country get adjusted to self-isolation, the state of our mental health and how our bodies react to the practice are changing by the day, especially lower-income and marginalized groups.

Speaking with Wired, John Vincent, a clinical psychologist at the University of Houston, shared how apathetic behavior can rise to the forefront, making space for anxiety and depression.

“People start getting lethargic when they don’t have positive inputs into their small worlds,” Vincent says. “We can expect depression to kick in, and depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.”

But the biggest reason behind the uneasiness isn't the self-isolation but just how long it will last. Details of COVID-19 are changing by the day with the most cases now coming out of New York. Yet, there's still little to no information on what happens next.

“Open, transparent, consistent communication is the most important thing governments and organizations can do: Make sure people understand why they are being quarantined first and foremost, how long it is expected to last,” Samantha Brooks of King’s College London told the outlet. “A huge factor in the negative psychological impact seems to be confusion about what's going on, not having clear guidelines, or getting different messages from different organizations.”

Uncertainty hitting low income and marginalized groups is also a problem within itself. As virtual parties and celebrities opening up on social media happen on a daily, there are people who might not access fun distractions on the web.

“Some people have posited technology as a means of connecting people, but lower-income groups might not even have FaceTime or Skype or minutes on their phone,” Thomas Cudjoe, a geriatrician researching the intersection of social connections and aging at Johns Hopkins University says. “People take that for granted, using their devices can be a strain on people’s incomes.”

To make self-isolation less than a bore or a daunting task, experts suggest creating a schedule to dictate control in your home.

1. Work It Out

Gyms are closed, but your home can be transformed into a personal training center. Use heavy bags for weights and if you can, create a playlist of workouts on YouTube. For those who have memberships for Blink or Peloton, the platforms have streamed their workouts on apps.

2. Mindful Meditation

Meditation isn't about dumping your thoughts, it's about staying aware and mindful. AQUA has developed online that leverages the power of "Mindful Meditation and Mobility Movements" for flexibility and fluidity in the body. Classes are free of charge but feel free to donate.

3. Take It Back To High School

Give your friends a call or indulge in a FaceTime party. Feel free to use the Wifi in your home to reduce the amount of data used on your phone. Lala Anthony held a too-cute FT birthday party for writer Kiyonna Anthony with a 70s theme. You can also find creative ways to hop on the phone with friends and family instead of constantly chatting about 'rona.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We made the best out of our quarantine situation🎉‼️FACETIME 70s Party💃🏽🎉HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY NIECE @kiyonnathewriter ❤️❤️💃🏽💃🏽SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY ARIES ♈️ MAKE THE BEST OF IT!!!😘

A post shared by ℒᎯ ℒᎯ (@lala) on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:14pm PDT

4. Start A Journal

Journals just aren't for kids. The practice not only gives you something to do, but it fuels creativity and a new level of self-awareness. Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently developed Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, with over 150 inspiring questions and quotes that connect to key themes in her memoir. The journal will also help bring readers to terms with the importance of family and personal reflections as well as the goals they'd like to make a reality.

5. Have a Dance Party or Enjoy Lo-Fi Beats To Quarantine To

If you don't have data or battery power to watch a virtual DJ party, make your own. If you have to pull out your record player, do it! You can also hop on your favorite streaming service and create a playlist all your own.

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Drake presents Rihanna with the The Video Vanguard Award during the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City.
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Drake Asks Rihanna To Drop 'R9' During DJ Spade Muzik's Instagram Live

As the virtual parties continue online, celebrities are bored just like the rest of us and have no problem showing it. This was seen Tuesday (March 24) when Drake and Rihanna exchanged some hilarious words about Ri's very long-awaited album.

It all went down during DJ Spade Muzik and #DJ Night Owl Sound's Instagram Live battle. With both celebrities in the chat, Drake toys with Rihanna to drop her album R9 but says R12 instead. The businesswoman isn't phased by Drizzy as she requests he get some water for his thirstiness.

While Rihanna's new project isn't named R9, the singer said she might use the title since her fans have labeled the mysterious album themselves.

“I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?'” she said in an interview with T Magazine. “How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”

She previously explained the delay in the project–one being how her life is completely different from the presence of her successful beauty line to her philanthropic efforts.

"I used to be in the studio, only the studio, for three months straight, and an album would come out. Now, it’s like a carousel," she said in an interview with Ocean's 8 co-star Sarah Paulson. "I do fashion one day, lingerie the next, beauty the next, then music the next. It’s like having a bunch of kids and you need to take care of them all."

What we do know is the new album is expected to have dancehall vibes and doesn't include features from Drake or Shaggy.

Rihanna and Drake interacting in the comments of DJ Spade’s Instagram live. 👀 pic.twitter.com/Bi0EhyhPBr

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 25, 2020

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