Power Book III: Raising Kanan

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Power Book III: Raising Kanan TV Poster Image
Solid coming-of-age prequel has violence, drugs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

It reveals the loving, close relationship between Raquel and Kanan, as well as the complicated relationships that emerge from the world of a family drug distribution business. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Raquel is a minority among men in her business. Raquel and Kanan have a very close relationship, but it’s a complicated one thanks to Raquel’s line of work. Raquel and her henchmen can be brutal in their dealings with those who oppose them. Most of the cast is Black. One cast member is discovering her sexuality.


Gang and drug violence is a major theme. Bloody injuries are shown as a result of beatings and shootings. Guns are frequently visible, and there is a scene revealing animal torture. Children are shown bullying and beating each other up, and parents encouraging them to fight back.    


Contains strong sexual content, including nudity and simulated sex acts. Teen flirtations and dating are also themes.


There’s lots of cursing, ranging from milder words like "bitch" and "damn" to "s--t" and "f--k." The "n" word is also frequently used.


Logos like North Face and Nike are visible on clothes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People are shown drinking, smoking cigarettes and marijuana, and dealing and using drugs. Drug gang activity is a major theme.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Power Book III: Raising Kanan is a prequel to Power, and chronicles the main character’s life as he evolves into a drug lord. Drug dealing is a major theme, and there’s lots of gun violence that leads to bloody, often fatal, wounds. There are also scenes of kids bullying and fighting each other. Cursing, and the use of the "n" word, is frequent. It also features drinking, smoking (cigarettes and pot), simulated sex acts, and nudity. Logos for North Face, Nike, and others are visible on clothes.

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What's the story?

Co-produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, POWER BOOK III: RAISING KANAN, the third installment of the Power franchise, chronicles the early years of Kanan Stark (Mekai Curtis) before he became a cold-blooded drug dealer. It’s 1991, and 15-year-old Kanan lives with his mother, local drug lord Raquel "Raq" Thomas (Patina Miller), in South Jamaica Queens. While Raq pushes her son to focus on going to college and having a better life, she’s also expanding her network of dealers and dealing with her competition. But Kanan has grown up in her world, and will do what he can to protect her.

Is it any good?

This solid series, which is a prequel to Power, is a drama about a family who plays a central role in the South Jamaica Queens drug trade. It reveals the close relationship between Kanan and Raquel, the portrayal of which is loosely based on Curtis 50 Cent Jackson's own mother. Like the other installments of the franchise, it also explores the complicated dynamics between their family and friends. But Power Book III: Raising Kanan is also a coming-of-age story, and shows how Kanan’s entrance into manhood marks the beginning of his life as a ruthless drug dealer. If you’re a fan of the Power universe, you won’t be disappointed by what you find here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Raquel’s role as a mother and the head of a powerful drug gang. What kinds of lessons does she teach her son while he’s growing up? How do they contribute to Kanan’s decisions as he grows up? What about later in life?

  • How well does Power Book III: Raising Kanan connect to the events portrayed in Power? Does it connect to Power Book II: Ghost? in any way? Is it possible to follow the story in this installment without watching any other parts of the franchise?

TV details

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For kids who love drama

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