Empire: Season 1, Episode 2

That shit was wild.

Yesterday’s episode of ‘Empire’ was all over the place. Entertaining, yes, but could use a little more focus when it comes to moving the plot along. There’s just so damn much going on, but it’s cool, we’ll hang in for the ride.

On Hakeem, and hip-hop as the new pop:

Hip-hop culture is not a street subculture anymore. It’s been that way for a good minute, but it helps for other forms of media to start recognizing it. It’s good to see ‘Empire’ making the scope of the Lyon family activity global because that truly is how large hip-hop has become. That being said, Hakeem acting a fool in that restaurant was a questionable scene. What was the show trying to do by having Hakeem mock rich White people and say Obama is a sellout?

On the normalization of homosexuality:

Cookie walks in on Jamal and his boyfriend making out naked in bed. The couple is startled, but Cookie gives no fucks and tells Jamal to get his ass in gear. Scenes like this are necessary in making homosexuality less uncomfortable to see on television and other forms of visual media.

On the funny Jay-Z allusions:

In case anyone hasn’t already caught on, the Jay-Z allusions in this show were not subtle at all last night. Aside from Lucious Lyon’s drug dealer-to-rapper-to-mogul story, it was revealed that he had an album called “Black Out Album” (Hov’s ‘The Black Album) in his discography while a national news station displayed cover art from his most notable projects as part of a quick bio on him. Also, the Cookie/Anika fight in the elevator that Lucious had to get in between certainly rang a bell:

Despite the messiness of this episode, the drama and relevant cultural content will continue to be plentiful. Looking forward to next Wednesday.


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