01x01 - Pilot

♪ I would tell you that I love you tonight ♪
♪ But I know that I've got time on my side ♪
♪ Where you going? ♪
♪ Why you leaving so soon? ♪
♪ Is there somewhere else that's better for you...? ♪

That's not balanced.

♪ What is love ♪
♪ If you're not here with me? ♪
♪ What is love if it's not guaranteed? ♪
♪ What is love ♪
♪ If it just ups and lea... ♪

I need you to sing like you are going to die tomorrow.

Like this is the last song you will ever sing.

You hear me?

Show me your soul in this music.

Hit it again.

♪ I would tell you that I love you tonight ♪
♪ But I know that ♪
♪ I've got time on my side ♪
♪ Where you going? ♪
♪ Why you leaving so soon? ♪
♪ Is there somewhere else that's better for you...? ♪
♪ What is love ♪
♪ If you're not here with me? ♪
♪ What is love if it's not guaranteed? ♪
♪ What is love if it just loves...?

You okay, boss man?

It's not there yet.

Still?

Bunkie, wake up.

(snoring)

Wake your ass up!

Go back in your mind to a year ago.

When you just found out your brother had been shot.

How did it feel?

How did it feel when you had to go and identify his body?

Hit it again.

♪ Is there somewhere else that's better for you...? ♪
♪ What is love if you're not here with me? ♪
♪ What is love if it's not guaranteed? ♪
♪ What is love ♪
♪ If it just ups and leaves... ♪
♪ What is love...? ♪
♪ What is love ♪
♪ If you're not really sure? ♪
♪ What is love ♪
♪ If it just loves? ♪

Baby.

You are a bad, bad girl.

Now, let's go up on deck and see my sons.

Somebody get me some shrimp!

(muffled): Will you wipe my face for me?

♪ Empire state of mind ♪
♪ Let's go! ♪
♪ Things are looking up ♪
♪ I'm ready for the night ♪
♪ I feel good, real good ♪
♪ Can't nobody hold me down ♪
♪ I'm gonna take advantage of ♪
♪ All these flashing lights ♪
♪ 'Cause it's the best time, the best time for it... ♪
♪ We can do it ♪
♪ All right now ♪

* Can't nobody *

* Tie me down *

♪ If you want it I got it ♪
♪ Tomorrow's not promised ♪
♪ So live inside the mo... ment ♪
♪ Oh, no ♪
♪ Tell me, what are we waiting for? ♪

(sighs)

Look at 'em.

Your brothers are showing off again.

That's what they do, babe.

* I wanna live inside the moment *

* Yo, Ma *

♪ Yo, when I was five years old ♪
♪ I realized there was a road at the end ♪
♪ Pretty girls, cars and bank rolls ♪
♪ Gold and platinum plaques... ♪

Surprised Hakeem is performing now.

He likes to save it for when Dad's around.

Let's go find Dad.

♪ Gotta believe in yourself and gotta know your worth ♪
♪ I did it clean as a whistle, stayed away from dirt ♪
♪ Ah, I told you I'mma get it ♪
♪ Everybody, they talkin' ♪
♪ I dreamt about how I'm livin' ♪
♪ Reality was written, I put effort in my vision ♪
♪ That's why I hustle so hard ♪
♪ To be the best that ever did it, oh! ♪

I hope you're ready to make your big announcement.

Here we go.

(clamoring)

Hey, Becky.

Hey, Anika.

And Becky.

Hey, these are for today.

Thanks.

Okay, the designs for the jacket line need approval by noon,

and The Tonight Show wants you to sing for...

Pass. Okay.

Uh, the president wants...

Excuse you.

I'm back here.

Today is not the day, Becky.

Hear me?

Everything go okay at the doctor?

Yeah, good. Come on.

Okay. Well, the president is asking that you'll attend the China state dinner.

Okay, tell Barack that... yes, but this is the last one for the next few months.

And after this press conference, I want you to cancel all my meetings.

All of them?

Yes. And tell my sons to meet me at my house.

I started selling drugs when I was nine years old in Philadelphia.

I did it to feed myself.

But it was the music... that played in my head that kept me alive when I thought I was gonna get shot.

And it was the melodies that...

I dreamt about that kept me warm while I was sleeping in the streets.

♪ Lyrically, I'm on point, flowing double joint ♪
♪ You just a little boy, you a boy ♪
♪ I'm a man, you should be playing ♪

(faint whooping)

* With your toys! *

You see, music saved my life.

Times have changed, though.

The Internet has destroyed the musician's ability to make money, because our work is downloaded for free online.

And now it's impossible for the disenfranchised kids growing up in the projects to overcome poverty the way that I did.

We are gonna change all of that.

I am proud to announce that Empire Entertainment has filed to become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Rita, did you bring the hummus?

Hey, y'all.

Jamal, how's that friend of yours?

Good. Why you flake on dinner last Tuesday?

Schedule was crazy.

I mean, but you could've called or something.

Like, we cooked and everything. That's so rude.

I forgot.

I'm glad you're all here.

And get your big-ass feet off my $40,000 table!

I eat there!

Your brother and I have been working hard to turn Empire into a publicly traded company.

Now part of us going public means ensuring a legacy for this company, and right now it seems none of you are prepared to take over after I'm gone.

Now, it won't happen today, nor tomorrow...

but I will start grooming someone soon.

And it can only be one of you.

What is this, we... we King Lear now?

Call it what you want, smart-ass, but over the next several months...

Wait, wait. What are you saying?

We're all in competition to be the future head of the company?

In order for it to survive, I need one of you Negroes to man up and lead it.

And nothing or no one is going to tear it down, hear me?

Thought I'd never see this day.

Ink. Roll it.

Last time I'm gonna be doing this. (chuckles)

(gate creaks)

(laughs)

(gate buzzes)

(buzzing)

Cookie's coming home.

(distorted grunt)

(grunting)

You know how much money we're gonna make off this boy?

You sound like Don King, Dad.

Don't say nothin' bad about Dr. King.

(laughing nearby)

(continues laughing)

Hey, Bunkie, give us a minute.

What, right now?

Yeah, right now.

I need to talk family business with my son.

You remember when you were 11, sonny?

(laughs): Dressing up in a little suit, trying to run into the office, helping everybody, answering phones.

Even during my finals at Penn, I was still coming back, doing your accounting.

Put your heart and guts into this company.

I mean, your whole life is Empire.

You went on to grad school.

Taught me a few things, too.

Which makes me the most qualified to run the company, Dad.

And don't you think, since this is a celebrity-driven brand, it should be run by a celebrity? No, I don't.

We're going public, Dre... I got to think about all of this stuff.

This successor talk have anything to do with Cookie?

What you talking about, Cookie? I haven't spoken to her since she got out.

I figured you had. Cookie's out?

It's your job to know.

Slipped by me. Slipped by you?

Look, Money, you knew she was gonna get out eventually.

Why you starting with Cookie?

She ain't nothin'.

From this moment forward, I want to know everything she's doing.

I mean everything.

All right.

Oh, hey, Money, I need 25.

Oh, that's the last time, I swear. I told you, if you ain't got the money, don't make the bet.

I want to know everything.

He'd never pick me anyway.

Why?

Way too much homophobia in the black community.

It's 2015.

Nobody cares.

There's football players coming out.

(sighs)

Well, I don't want it anyway... so whatever.

Then what do you want?

You don't want to release an album, you won't tour.

Seen it my whole life.

Hey, look at my dad.

That's a real artist.

Well, he was.

Now he's more concerned with selling T-shirts and watches and whatever.

(phone rings)

Hello.

Let me in.

Who's this?

Let me in.

Y'all better have a elevator up in here.

My feet hurt.

Go in there and tell your mama I love her, and don't come back here crying.

(indistinct, overlapping chatter)

When you coming home, Mama?

I told you to stop asking me that.

Where's your father?

He's not coming to see you today.

Yeah, okay.

How you doing in school, little man?

My friends are picking on me.

Bashir stole my lunch.

I'm afraid to tell Dad.

He'll tell me to fight.

Listen to me.

You different.

Okay?

It's only something Mama knows, but it's gonna make life hard for you sometimes.

But I want you to always remember I got you.

You hear me?

Come here.

I got you.

Okay?

Hey, she's coming.

Oh, my God. How?

I don't know.

Did you tell her about us?

Um... And this.

Take that.

(doors clack open)

Oh.

(sighs)

Mmm.

For a queen, you sure do keep a messy place.

What you need is a good maid up in here.

You cooking chicken?

Oh, yeah, yeah. Um... Did you fry it?

No, I stewed it, but it's here this way. Stewed?

Might be a little spicy for you. Stewed chicken.

It's the way we like it, so, you know.

Uh, who is this?

Hi.

Oh. That's Michael.

Michael.

Uh, we're sort of living together.

Uh, look, Mommy, I know you're hungry.

Oh. Oh, honey, you didn't tell me you was dating a little Mexican.

Look at her. She's adorable.

Yeah, I said "a little Mexican."

(Michael laughs)

You need to get La Cucaracha to clean up around here a bit.

Uh, what are you wearing?

(sighs) What I got locked up in.

Well, we gonna change that real quick.

And why didn't you call me? I would have picked you up.

I just got out.

Good behavior.

All right, so, what are you gonna do now?

I'm here to get what's mine.

- You can't just go in there.

Get your ass out of the way.

Ladies and gentlemen, the queen has returned.

Wow.

17 years later, and you are still beautiful.

So, when did you get out?

Two days ago.

You really, uh...

It was your sacrifice that made a lot of this possible.

I can't imagine what you've been through, Cookie.

But you've got to know you're not the only one that suffered in this.

You forgot about me the second you divorced me in there.

You still owe me what's mine.

What are you talking about?

Half of this company.

It was my $400,000 that started this bitch.

You know it, and I know it.

Did 17 hard years for that money, and I want half my company back.

(laughing): I'm sorry, Cookie, but it don't work like that.

It don't work like what, honey?

This company isn't the company that we started 17 years ago.

As a matter of fact, I control maybe ten percent of this damn thing.

I've got a board of directors, quarterly reports, SEC filings.

And on top of it, we're about to go public, which is a whole nother monster in itself.

Public? What the hell is public?

Baby, I can give you a huge salary, but I can't give you half of my company.

Your? Your company? I can't give you any of it.

This is my company, Lucious.

I s...! I started this.

You need to stop playing with me.

I promise you, anything you want, you can get.

$5 million... a year, and I want to be head of A&R.

The board will never approve $5 million.

You talk to your board.

I can get you close to $3 million.

Yeah, figure it out. You the boss.

I can't do A&R. Why?

I have someone.

Is it little Halle Berry over here?

(sighs)

You're not sweeping me under the carpet, Lucious.

(door opens) Baby, we got to make sure we take care...

(laughs)

Boo Boo Kitty.

* Hey, Tyree, what's going on? *

♪ What's up, Big Cynthia? ♪
♪ Me and Big Time just lurkin' ♪
♪ You know it's ladies' night ♪
♪ Here at the club tonight ♪

* I heard *

* Well, we got *

* That nookie thang contest going on *

* Come on now *

* And the girls got it going strong *

* I see that *

♪ No, Tyree, you can't get in on this... ♪

(growling)

Hey, baby.

All right, go in there.

You go.

(buzzing continues, music continues under buzzing)

♪ Walked up in the club and all the ladies got it going on ♪

Get out of here. * She ain't worried about nobody *

♪ 'Cause she's all up in her own zone ♪
♪ The way she move her hips... ♪

What's up?

I'm not competing with that sound.

♪ And she give that man a pony ride... ♪

Turn it off.

♪ As she backed him up against the wall ♪
♪ He can't explain this ♪
♪ He's full of that juice and alcohol ♪
♪ There she go... ♪

What?

I just wanted to see you.

All right. You done?

Why haven't you accepted any of my calls in all these years?

Return a letter?

I just want you to know everything I did was for you and your brothers.

I ended up where I ended up for you and your brothers.

Do you want a medal, bitch?

What I want is some respect, you little ungrateful... opportunist!

(indistinct shouting)

♪ She workin' that nookie thang ♪
♪ She workin' that thing on up ♪
♪ She turned it around like a silver cup ♪
♪ She workin' that nookie thang... ♪

You wanted to see me?

How you like our new club?

It's all right.

♪ She workin' that nookie thang... ♪

I see you've met your mama.

Now I see why you kept me from her.

She a psychotic animal, Dad.

I don't know that woman.

You're just like her.

You know, when, uh, Cookie got sent away, the judge told us 30 years.

Now, I was devastated. Thank you, baby.

I didn't know nothing about raising y'all.

Cookie did all of that.

Give me that tissue.

Thank you.

Anyway, Dottie came along, fell for me hard, said she wanted to raise y'all.

You weren't even one yet.

And Cookie didn't want y'all visiting her in jail, and that was fine with Dottie.

What I'm saying is... your mama wasn't a bad person.

We just was in a real bad situation, you know.

Whatever happened to Miss Dottie?

She got shot on 42nd and Walnut.

You need to get your act together.

(sighs)

You gonna pull out a phone when I'm talking to you?

But you're wasting your talents on bitches and booze.

I'm working on new stuff now, and you know that.

You ain't worked a day in your life, and you know that. You're spoiled.

But I got some new heat for you, some stuff that I wrote.

We gonna go in and record it, and we gonna put some candy on this thing.

You feel me?

Candy.

(snoring)

What you doing here?

You look a mess.

You been drinking again, ain't you, Bunkie?

Get that mess off your face!

What's going on, Bunkie?

I'll tell you what's going on.

Lucious keeping me down.

And we used to be like brothers.

You know what I'm saying?

Now he treats me like I'm the butler.

Practically raised the kids while you was inside.

Yeah. You're right.

I appreciate you for that, too, Bunkie.

Lucious got you following me, don't he?

Don't he?

What you gonna tell him?

I didn't see you.

My dawg.

Hey, something's going on.

I don't know what it is.

Got... it's got him scared.

Well, you best be careful, 'cause he's on a warpath.

Liable to do anything.

I got his war.

Give me that sandwich.

I can't finish that?

Man, hop on the treadmill.

(laughs)

First of all, who goes to bathhouses anymore, and... Me.

No, but how'd you even get into it?

I told 'em I was pre-op, and they didn't want to check.

Them papers on my desk I need to sign?

Mm-hmm.


Your son's here.

Hey, Mal.

Hey.

How's that roommate of yours, the one with the dress?

Uh, I'm seeing Michael now, Dad.

You met him twice. I'm sorry.

All right, what's up? Was, uh, surprised to get your call.

Look, Mal, this is the last time I'm gonna have this talk with you.

Your sexuality... That's a choice, son.

You can choose to sleep with women if you want.

I'm saying this to help you, 'cause I know eventually, you're gonna release another album.

Yeah, I know, Dad.

And there's people out in this country that don't appreciate people like you.

Yeah, I... I-I get it.

'Cause a sissy can't sell records to the black community. I get it.

Or the white kids that make up 75% of our sales.

And you really need to stop calling yourself that.

Well, that's what I am, Dad.

I'm trying to help you, son.

Then why don't you get to know me? Why don't you spend some time with me?

Get to know you? I know you better than you know you.

Look, you want to spend some time with me?

Release another album.

Why is everything always about business with you?

Take that damn bass out of your voice when you're talking to me!

He be growling like a little silverback, I know, I know.

My little man, there.

Lucious, I don't like the way your voice sound in the mix.

Your voice should be above the mix.

And right now it sounds like you hiding behind it.

What difference it make, anyway? They all passed.

They don't want to hear nothing about Philly streets, they want Color Me Badd.

Well, they all gonna love your gangsta ass soon enough, you hear me?

I love your gangsta ass.

(laughs)

The album is great.

All that's missing is that single to take it over the top.

Yeah, well, why don't you take main man right now?

Okay. I'm gonna get at some of this food.

Are you listening to me?

Yes, I'm listening.

Give me a kiss. Grumpy.

You gonna let me have some tonight?

(laughs) Shut up.

Lucious.

Are you out of your damn mind?

Walking in here looking like a little bitch?

Get over here. Lucious, no!

Lucious!

Lucious!

(baby crying)

Take your pills.

(sighs)

Ow!

He's always loved them more than me.

Even Jamal, who he hates.

You know he's gonna leave it all to Hakeem, don't you?

And Jamal won't object, because he's too passive.

But what if he did?

What if Jamal made a play for the company and your two brothers went to war?

They just may kill each other.

And I'm the last man standing.

And you... are the last man standing.

It could be a tricky play, though. You know they're tight.

Do you really want this company?

(banging)

Who is it?

It's Andre.

Oh. Okay.

Hey, Mama.

Hey, Andre.

So Dad set you up, huh?

I'm proud of you.

You really made something of yourself.

Thank you, Mama.

I'm sorry I never came to visit.

Too ashamed of your dope-dealing ma?

I'm sorry, I truly am.

I'm sorry.

Why you marry that white girl?

We met at school. She's brilliant.

Pretty white girls always are, even when they ain't.

Thanks for helping me with my apartment, baby.

Have you ever thought about managing Jamal?

Yes. I told Lucious I wanted to be head of A&R.

But he's shutting me out.

He doesn't want Jamal to be a star because that would position him to be the head of the company.

Is that what that white girl's telling you?

I want Empire.

I've worked hard for this company.

But I'm not an artist, and Dad's not gonna pick me.

What do you want from me?

I want you to manage Jamal.

You can make him a star just like you made Dad a star.

I've got no leverage to make Lucious give me Jamal.

You have more than you realize.

What's that?

You really love me, Ma?

Okay.

- Here's what we got to do.

We've reached this historic moment.

No other music company has ever accomplished...

Don't forget to thank me, baby.

Don't forget to thank your Cookie on this historic occasion. Hello.

Good to see you, Cookie.

Vernon, kiss my black ass.

Andre.

Now... let's talk business, shall we?

Hey, sistergirl.

Will you guys excuse us for a moment, please?

Yes, excuse us for a moment, please.

Cookie, can I talk to you?

Lucious. Don't touch me like that.

Have some cupcakes on us. We'll be right back.

Page three, ladies and gentlemen.

Are you out of your damn mind?

I told you I was gonna hook you up.

And I'm telling you that's not enough.

I want Jamal, too.

You can't have him.

You messing with the wrong bitch, Lucious.

I know things.

What do you know?

What if I were to disclose to the SEC that I was the original investor with $400,000 in drug money?

Yeah. Your application for an IPO would be effectively denied.

Shut your mouth. You know how stupid you sound?

Tell me to shut up again, bitch.

(chuckles)

You know it's true.

Baby...

Why are you doing this?

(scoffs)

Don't you "baby" me, you two-faced b*st*rd.

I've been living like a dog for 17 years and now I want what's mine.

I want Jamal.

And you would sink this whole empire over that?

Give me Jamal.

You got him.

It's nice to see you again, Vernon.

Good to see you, Cookie.

I never wanted him anyway.

I know.

♪ I give you all of me ♪
♪ But it still ain't enough to make you happy ♪
♪ I give you everything ♪
♪ And still don't measure up ♪
♪ Feel like I walked 5,000 miles ♪
♪ And didn't even come close ♪
♪ Feels ♪
♪ Like I tried to make you smile ♪
♪ But you don't even care ♪
♪ No ♪
♪ I'll never be big enough to pay your dues ♪
♪ But I keep trying ♪
♪ And you just keep making me ♪
♪ Jump through hoops ♪
♪ What do I got to do? ♪
♪ I just want you to look at me ♪
♪ And see that I can be worth your love ♪
♪ I just want you to look at me ♪
♪ And see that I can be ♪
♪ Good enough ♪
♪ Good enough, good enough ♪

- * Good enough *

* Oh! *

Daddy, please don't, please!

Daddy, I'm sorry. Please, don't!

No, Daddy, please don't...

Lucious!

Daddy! Daddy, please.

Lucious!

* Good enough, I can be good enough *

* I try to show you that I'm strong *

Are you out of your damn mind?

♪ Why do I even bother? ♪

I wish you would.

♪ 'Cause it's the same old damn song ♪

It ain't right.

♪ You call yourself a father, whoa ♪
♪ Feel like I'm reaching for the stars ♪

* But Heaven isn't letting me *

You're crazy, Lucious, you're crazy!

♪ I wish that I had longer arms ♪
♪ But I know that that will never be ♪
♪ Never be ♪
♪ I'll never be big enough to pay your dues ♪
♪ But I keep trying ♪
♪ And you just keep making me ♪
♪ Jump through hoops ♪
♪ What do I got to do? ♪
♪ I just want you to look at me ♪
♪ And see that I can be worth your love ♪
♪ I just want you to look at me ♪
♪ I just want to be, yeah ♪
♪ Good enough ♪
♪ Good enough, good enough ♪
♪ Good enough. ♪

(cheering)

(whistling)

You got it, Mal. You got all of it.

Now we just got to show the world.

I mean, I am showing people. I-I showed a whole room tonight.

You shouldn't be selling donuts and cookies with your music, you should be selling out stadiums.

And you will.

What do you know about her?

Think she's real. And genuine.

She just got out of jail.

I just want to play.

All that touring and albums, it... messes up the purity of the sound.

Yeah, you're so pure, only a couple hundred white kids in Brooklyn and San Francisco even know your stuff.

Mal, you got to share what God gave you with the world.

Ma, I'm not that guy.

But I love you.

Yeah, I love you, too.

Go on over there with your friends.

Stupid sissy.

What's wrong with you?

You seen her yet?

Who, Cookie? Mm-hmm.

She crazy. She beat me with a broom, bro.

(short laugh)

Oh, you think it's funny?

Hakeem, they both crazy.

Shoot, I read Dad was in the Illuminati.

What's she gonna do now?

Dad don't want her around.

She's trying to manage my career.

What'd you tell her?

What you think I told her?

You know I ain't ready to release no album.

Yeah, well, if you do end up working with her and Pop's handling me, best believe they try to make us kill each other.

That ain't gonna happen.

Let's go.

I got to talk to a friend of mine first.

Really?

You got studio tomorrow. Come home and get some sleep.

It's all a part of my artistic process.

♪ All bottles on me ♪
♪ What you want, girl, what you see? ♪
♪ You want juice, you want Jimmy ♪
♪ You want this ♪
♪ I give you... ♪ (groans)

Yoruthat back. I got to do that again.

(music stops) All right, this is take 37.

So what? Do it again.

♪ All bottles on me ♪
♪ What you want, girl... ♪

He's hungover again, Dad.

♪ You want juice ♪
♪ You want Jimmy, you want this ♪
♪ I give you f... ♪

What's the damn word again?

The word is you're a mess.

The word is you are a disappointment.

The word is you are wasting my time.

You're wasting my time!

The song's wack, Dad!

Shut up, you little punk.

It's your fault!

Shut up.

Yo.

I need your help.

♪ All bottles on me ♪
♪ What you want, girl, what you see? ♪
♪ You want Goose, you want Jimmy? ♪

Yo, your rap is hot.

But what's up with Dad?

This music is wack.

Man, forget Dad.

Ever since he wanted me to cut an album, I feel like I lost my confidence.

Is this what you really want?

Like, for real, you really want to be Dad?

(chuckles): All right.

Something like this.

That's hot.

(quietly): * What's that over there? *

♪ That that ish right there... ♪

Okay.

Come on.

♪ What's that over there? ♪
♪ That that ish right there ♪
♪ What's that over there? ♪
♪ That that ish right there ♪
♪ Look, what's that on the right side? ♪
♪ That that ish right there ♪
♪ What's that on the left side? ♪
♪ That that ish right there ♪ (laughing)

Yo, that's crazy. I love that.

Lay that down for Dad, you're gonna be fine.

I'll get the band to hook us up.

Yes!

(pounding on door)

Okay.

The last time you called me this late, your brother had been murdered.

You forgot me.

You left me behind.

I been with you since the beginning, and you can't even give me a measly 25 large.

That's 'cause you would lose it.

If I gave you a million dollars, you'd give it away to some bookie.

(panting): A million ain't enough.

I need $3 million.

(chuckles): I wouldn't give you three nickels.

Them four dealers you killed back in the day.

You was a murderer, too.

I'll light a match, and I will burn this bitch down to the ground.

You come to my house... and pull a gun on me?

I want what's mine.

♪ Lights, camera, action, tonight gonna be a movie ♪
♪ I just ordered 50 bottles of Cîroc, Rosé and Goose ♪
♪ I got bad women everywhere ♪
♪ At least three of 'em choosing red ♪
♪ Bottoms on the sofas up in VIP, sue me ♪
♪ For being young and reckless, wild and imperfections ♪
♪ Threw a hundred, hundred ♪
♪ On a stripper named Vanessa ♪

* But I don't give a *

* What? *

♪ I'm just doing what I want ♪
♪ See, I'm young and I got money ♪
♪ Light it up just like a blunt! ♪
♪ Higher state of mind ♪
♪ This is our year, prince of America... ♪

(music stops)

(panting)

You are beautiful.

Jamal helped me with most of it.

Did he?

No...

That was that monster in you that did it.

That was that genius. You did that.

What do you want?

You win. I'm doing this for you, but I want to do it as me.

I love it.

Not only is Lucious' son a genius, but he's a gay, too.

Yeah, we'll make the gay angle all about Lucious not accepting you, and the talent all about you... it'll drive Lucious crazy.

I'm gonna come out.

What's up, Doc?

I got some bad news.

Go ahead.

Well, you know all those tests that we've been... doing?

Kind of confirms it. You got ALS.

There's no cure for that.

It's such a rare autoimmune disease, there's no cure in sight.

(groans)

How long I got?

Three years.

Maybe more.

Most likely less.

This everything?

Yeah, ten large.

You okay?

Something felt off.

I'm sure it was nothing.

No.

Panther was acting all funny and stuff, like... like something was going down.

Something just felt different about the drop.

(chuckles) Baby, I'm telling you, it was nothing.

Lucious, listen to me.

If I were to go down...

You're not... What are you talking about?

Promise me you'll keep playing.

Look, ain't nothing gonna happen to you.

Baby, this album is gonna be big.

I can feel it.

Why don't you stop worrying?

I promise, ain't nothing gonna happen to you.

Nothing's gonna tear my family apart.

Man: In exchange for the salary and control over Jamal Lyon's career, you are signing away your rights to ever disclose you were the initial investor in Empire Enterprises.

Furthermore, I would like to draw your attention to subsection number eight.

This disclosure...

Now, you're the only one that could truly run this company.

I'll do everything I can to help you.

Just don't forget me when you're in that pilot seat.

How could I forget about you, Uncle Vernon?

Looks like Bunkie is getting real tight with Shyne Johnson.

And he owes him $150K.

Now, you know Shyne runs everything from...

Hunts Point all the way up to damn near New Rochelle.

Drugs, cards, girls.

He's dangerous.

It's not gonna be so easy to make him go away.

(train passing)

Boo.

Damn, man, come on, man.

(chuckling)

Did I get you?

'Cause this got me.

So?

So?

So what?

You been a sellout for years.

You can fool this country you legit, but I know you ain't nothing but a punk-ass gangsta.

You gonna give me my money?

Shyne ain't gonna stop till he gets it.

We've been friends since we were 14 years old.

I never let anything come between a friendship... except a bullet.

(gunshot)

(body thuds)

♪ ♪

So, what horse did you steal this from?

(laughing)

Jamal got me wearing this mess.

You know I was never into wearing all them damn weaves.

Girls walking around with their scalps smelling like goat ass.

You know, I miss your honesty.

I'm so sorry I didn't visit you in jail.

Save that pimp talk for Anika.

Or one of them other young girls you messin' around with.

You want to know what I'm messing with?

Listen.

♪ What's that over there? ♪

* That that... right there... *

Hmm. That's hot.

You know what Uncle James would call that, don't you?

A big fat hit.

And you need to chill with all that Uncle James crap, because you are not related to James Brown.

I am so.

You are a pathological liar.

And no matter what you do with Jamal, he's never gonna be as big as Hakeem.

The boy ain't got it.

He's your son, Lucious.

You really aren't ashamed of him.

No.

Really?

I'm not.

I'm gonna make him a star.

And I will take anything down that gets in my way.

I ain't got time for this.

Yeah, well... you better make time, Lucious.

We fittin' to go to war.

Oh. I'm sorry.

Well, this is war.

Come on, Cookie, why are you doing this?

I want to show you a faggot really can run this company.

(cheering, whooping)

Clap.

Ladies and gentlemen... it is my great honor to welcome back the heart and soul of Empire Enterprises, Ms. Cookie Lyon.

To Cookie.

(whooping, clapping)

This year my two sons, Hakeem and Jamal Lyon, both are releasing new albums!

(whooping, cheering)

♪ Armani, Armani, I keep a crease ♪
♪ On my hip like I'm Ronnie ♪
♪ Raised up in Philly, I'm M.I.A. ♪
♪ So be surprised if you spot me ♪
♪ You just made a splash in the game ♪
♪ Well, guess what, I just made a tsunami... ♪

To the Empire!

To the Empire!