50 Cent and Method Man are the epitome of hip-hop success stories. They’ve cemented their legacies as lauded rap stars on the solo and group front, proved their business acumen and have flourished in both movies and TV shows for years. Now the two New York rappers are joining forces for the new television series Power Book II: Ghost, which debuts this Sun., Sept 6 on the Starz App.
The G-Unit leader and Wu-Tang Clan member suited up for a candid discussion about the upcoming show for XXL‘s Hip-Hop Moments of Clarity podcast, where guests open up about their hip-hop happenings and current events. On the latest installment, the two veteran rappers speak on their lives before the fame and their roles in Power Book II: Ghost with hosts XXL‘s Editor-In-Chief Vanessa Satten, veteran hip-hop journalist Shaheem Reid and hip-hop entrepreneur Rahman Dukes.
Fif, who serves as the show’s executive producer along with series creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp, kicks the chat off by speaking on Meth’s star power early on in his career as part of Wu-Tang Clan, one of the reasons why Fif wanted him to be part of the new series. “See I got Meth. I had to work to get him,” 50 Cent shares. “Man, he ain’t gon’ tell you how I was begging him to do this.”
In Power Book II: Ghost, Method Man plays Davis MacLean, a fame-hungry defense lawyer who Tariq St. Patrick (played by Michael Rainey Jr.) pays to help get his mother Tasha out of jail for the murder Tariq committed. To further show Meth’s influence on 50 , Fif even recites Meth’s verse from his 1994 hit song “Bring the Pain” to emphasis his point as he discusses how the Staten Island rapper was a striking force. “The difference with Mary [J. Blige, who plays Monet Stewart Tejada on the show] and Meth is that these are my stars,” Fif says before breaking into Meth’s song. “People who are stars when I’m just in the neighborhood looking at the TV. Like I said, it’s a different thing when you’re on the bus saying, ‘I came to bring the pain, it’s hardcore through the brain…'”
He also speaks on his former life as a hustler before they began spitting on the mic and making hit records. “I was in an inpatient drug treatment program for drug possession charges when I saw the Wu-Tang shit for the first time come on the television. And I’m like, who’s that nigga,” Fif says while recounting how he found out about Method Man. “It’s ill ’cause I’m getting a chance to do things, to work with the people that I have so much respect for…”
Later in the podcast episode, Method Man goes in-depth about his own personal experience with hustling. “I hated hustling, Fif, I hated it,” the “All I Need” rapper began. “The highlight of my day when I was hustling was when I ran out and I knew I was going to bed. The thing that gave me anxiety was knowing I had to wake up the next morning and do that shit all over again.”
Meth also praises 50 Cent for building the Power series into a successful franchise prior to the Power Book II: Ghost launch. “That’s just a testament to the great groundwork that was laid before I was even thought of coming in or a second series was even thought of,” Meth shares. “The work that y’all put in, Fif, it changed a lot of shit to the point where it’s like you couldn’t give up on the show. Each week the ratings is going up and up and up. And it’s strictly really word of mouth. The people did that, you know what I mean? But what brought them there is you. You brought them there. Now what kept ’em coming back is definitely the storylines and how authentic everything fucking is at the end of the day and shit. I’m just honored to even be a part of something like that, nah mean?”
50 and Method Man also divulge a bit on what fans can expect from Power Book II: Ghost. The Starz drama picks up shortly after where the initial Power series ended earlier this year. The characters in Power are immersed in a street life that exemplifies the duality of a crime-filled luxurious lifestyle.
In the show, Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) is coming to terms with his father’s death and his mother, Tasha (Naturi Naughton), facing charges for the murder he committed against her husband, Ghost. Not to mention, the pressure from academics at the Ivy League university Tariq is attending, which was a provision ordered by his late father to earn his inheritance. Meanwhile, Ghost’s son is also struggling to pay for a defense attorney for his mother. As he navigates balancing college life and the added stress that comes with being a part of the drug game, Tariq learns what it takes to not end up like his father.
Watch XXL‘s Hip-Hop Moments of Clarity episode featuring 50 Cent and Method Man below.
See 50 Facts About 50 Cent