50 Cent draws in celebrity friends’ star ‘Power’ to his show

Rapper-turned-producer 50 Cent is the executive producer behind ‘Power.’ (Photo supplied)
Updated 10 September 2018

50 Cent draws in celebrity friends’ star ‘Power’ to his show

  • 50 Cent will continue as the show's producer despite his character being killed off
  • The rapper has plans to bring in some of his other celebrity friends into the show

DUBAI: 50 Cent’s character was killed in the latest episode of his hit television show “Power,” airing in the Middle East on Starz Play Arabia, but that does not mean that he will be stepping away.

Before becoming a ratings winner and the flagship show of the network, “Power” attracted viewers through 50 Cent being heavily promoted as its executive producer. The rapper brought a sense of realism to the African-American-led crime drama, a role he will continue to hold.

As a producer, 50 Cent has assisted the show in more ways than one. In a recent episode, he brought in Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar for his acting debut on the show, a performance that garnered positive reviews from fans and critics.

“His response, just the general public’s response to his performance, was more encouraging than me. It was a huge response,” 50 Cent told Arab News.

50 Cent has plans to bring in some of his other celebrity friends as well. After their successful collaboration in the 2018 film “Den of Thieves,” 50 Cent and Gerard Butler have spoken about Butler potentially coming on the program. According to 50 Cent, “Den of Thieves” outperformed expectations because of how well the two of them got along, both on screen and off.

“With ‘Den of Thieves,’ we came in seven million over what they projected and they accounted that to my involvement and the things that we were doing marketing-wise during the promo. Me and Gerard, I think that also opened his interest and having the audience coming out to see him and me,” said 50 Cent.

Power’s audience overlaps strongly with Butler’s, 50 Cent said. “They love Gerard Butler, the same audience watching ‘Power,’ but they love when he’s playing aggressive characters like in ‘300’ or in ‘Law Abiding Citizen.’”

Who would be his dream guest star? 50 Cent did not hesitate to answer.

“Oh, De Niro. I’d bring De Niro. And he’s in New York! He’s always the dream guy to get.”

Book review: ‘Where the Bird Disappeared’ is a tale as old as time

Updated 22 September 2018

Book review: ‘Where the Bird Disappeared’ is a tale as old as time

CHICAGO: Taking a leaf from the real-life stories of Prophet Zakariyya and his son Yahya, Palestinian poet and writer Ghassan Zaqtan’s “Where the Bird Disappeared” is a beautiful yet haunting novel set in the village of Zakariyya, in modern-day Palestine.
Inspired by Qur’anic stories and political history, the novel talks about the relationship between Zakariyya and his best friend Yahya who not only share their names with the two prophets but bear a distant resemblance to their personalities and fates as well.
Zaqtan’s narrative is lyrical, heartbreaking and profound. Rooted in Palestine — a land that stood the test of time and would go on to become the hub of early and modern civilizations — the story is captivating enough to transport us to the hideaway monastery in Nuba Karam or the vineyards of Beit Jalla, the new homes for several villagers forced into exile.
Recalling the devastation and violence faced by those migrating from their homes and country, Zaqtan’s ability to take his readers through the same mountain paths and into the soul of his characters is a cause for applause. As Zaqtan writes of his central character, Zakariyya, “he felt he was walking inside a book, stumbling inside stories that had circulated in these hills since his birth. Journeys and names repeating themselves in succession without end.” And while the novel succeeds in digging deep into the annals of history, it also makes the reader realize how much impact the land of Palestine has had on the two characters and the various stories generating from the region.
Zaqtan’s tale is gentle enough to etch out images of each village, street or ancient structure that make the story and yet devastating enough that these get lost in the bigger picture. His brilliance lies in how conscious he is about the words used, while never losing sight of the historical context of his narrative or the love of the central characters for their beloved land.
Ghassan Zaqtan is an award-winning Palestinian poet, novelist, and playwright. He first published “Where the Bird Disappeared” in Arabic in 2015. It was then translated into English by Samuel Wilder and published by Seagull Books in 2018.