01x06 - Out, Damned Spot

Previously on Empire...

You've got ALS.

Is there anything on the horizon?

It's not my area, but I'm gonna reach out.

I'm going after his Empire, and I'm gonna take it.

You know, you're the only one that could run this company.

Rhonda: What if your brothers went to war?

They just may kill each other.

(Gunshot)

Yo, somebody got shot because you wanted to ruin my session.

You still worrying about singles when I'm about to be iconic.

You my girl.

You ain't supposed to be kissing no damn chick...!

Tiana: Look, you got a sidepiece, too.

Detective Walker, good to see you again.

Walker: We think Bunkie was shot around 9:30 on the 12th.

Do you recall where you were at that time?

We were together at his house watching the fight.

Will you marry me?

Yes!

I gave you an anniversary present.

(Fast-tempo hip-hop intro playing)

♪ Whoa ♪
whoa, whoa
♪ Whoa...♪
♪ yeah! ♪
♪ Whoa! ♪
Whoa!
♪ Enter the world of the playboy pin-up girl ♪
♪ Butt-naked, dressed in nothin' but pearls ♪
♪ You wanna meet me 'cause ya know I'm freaky ♪
♪ And ya want me 'cause ya say I'm sexy ♪
♪ Got a man in Japan and a dude in Tahiti ♪
♪ Believe me, sweetie, I got enough to feed the needy ♪
♪ No need to be greedy I got mad friends that's pretty ♪
hey!
♪ Chicks by the layers, all different flavors ♪
and... Whoo!
♪ Mafioso, that's how this thing go ♪
yeah
♪ Now everybody come get with the Lingo ♪
♪ Shake your body body, move your body body ♪
ho! Hey!

♪ With the Bentleys, the Hummers, the Benz ♪

♪ Escalades 23-inch rims... ♪
oh...!

Hey.

Thank you for joining me.

You don't look bad, ole head.

(Chuckles)

Uh, Lucious?

I'm feeling really nervous about all of this.

About what?

You left that rose and...

You are a bad boy, Lucious, you know that?

(Laughs)

That rose?

Th-that's not why I brought you here.

Come on.

We both said some things that we shouldn't have, all right, so, let's just squash all of this.

Hakeem: My video about to drop in a couple weeks.

Dad thinks it's dope.

Oh, well, remind me to get both of y'all autographs after dinner.

(Elegant classical music playing)

What is she doing here?

Lucious: Have a seat, please.

Hello, everyone.

Hey, ma.

Hello, Pumpkin.

Hey, Cookie.

Cookie: Ooh!

A rose.

Lucious: Everyone, I'm so glad that you guys can join us.

Baby, get up for a second.

Mm-hmm.

We wanted you to be the first to know that I have asked Anika to be my lovely wife.

Bam. (Laughing)

It's an asscher-cut krupp diamond.

It's the same one that Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor.

It's... huge.

It's gorgeous, isn't it?

(Anika laughs)

To dad and Anika. Congratulations.

Thanks, Dre.

Thank you, Dre.

Congratulations.

(Slurping loudly)

So, how did he propose?

Tell us the whole story.

Um, last Wednesday, I came downstairs, he opened the doors...

There's champagne, ring, everything, and Anthony Hamilton in our living room,

(Lucious laughs)

Singing "The Point of it All."

Oh, it was beautiful.

He flew him in from London just for me.

Mm! I love you.

Hakeem: Damn.

I love you, too.

Dad doin' it big.

So let me get this straight.

Last Wednesday, you come to my house and give me a rose after you proposed to that bitch?

Watch yourself, Cookie.

What rose is she talking about?

Watch yourself, Lucious.

The rose was a-a friendly reminder of where we were yesterday.

That's all it was.

Friendly?! (Gasps)

You think I came here dressed like this for a friendly get-together?

You know what? Why don't you all enjoy your friendly little family dinner?

Congratulations.

Oh, and Anika, this is an ass.

Congrats, dad.

♪ You got me goin' ♪
Give me my money.

(Melody and rhythm continues, slowly fading)

This is a monster!

You're gonna change the game with this one, Jamal.

I know, right? Isn't it great?

I really want to promote this, though, seriously.

Not even your husband gonna ignore this one.

You mean Anika's husband?

He ain't paying us no mind anyway.

(Jamal laughs) What?

Ma, you a mess.

Why you gonna walk up in there practically butt-ass naked underneath that sable in front of all of us? Was I giving you body?

(Laughter)

Jamal: I need your head completely in the game right now, so, let's hit this song.

I'm getting this song on the charts with or without Lucious Lyon.

Hey, Cookie?

Yeah?

Have you noticed any changes in Jamal lately?

Yeah, he's toughening up. He's becoming a top.

That's what you got to do to make it to the top.

(Laughs)

Do you think, um...?

You need to start preparing yourself.

Fame changes people.

What should I do?

Try not to be all up in his business, you know?

Make sure you got your own thing going on.

Well, I do. I'm at the culinary institute, studying to be a chef.

I hope that cooking school can keep you plenty busy, because Jamal is gonna have less and less time for you.

♪ She do it all night, she do ♪
♪ She goin' hard right ♪
♪ I see you, baby ♪
♪ She love da spotlight ♪
♪ She do ♪
♪ She make dat thang go ♪
♪ Drip drop, drip drippity drop ♪
♪ Drip drop ♪
♪ I do my dance like ♪
♪ Drip drop, drip drippity drop ♪
♪ Drip drop, drip drippity drop... ♪

(Gasping quietly)

♪ Funny how the time flies... ♪

(Music fades)

(Panting)

I saw that cop going through my trash.

So if Walker was here, you already a suspect.

Oh, man, that's ridiculous.

You know what I want to do?

I want to have his black ass thrown off the force.

Yeah, then I start making those calls, you gonna look even more guilty.

Are you?

Am I what?

Don't play stupid.

Did you do it? Did I do what?

Did you kill Bunkie?

(Sighs)

Lucious, I cannot help you if you don't come clean with me.

(Sighs)

(Laughing): He showed up at my house 3:00 in the morning, talking about this is an emergency.

He wanted to shake me down for three million dollars.

What...

What am I supposed to do?

You're supposed to pay the man!

Pay him for what? For wasting his life?!

He hated you, man, he hated me,

'cause we did something with ourselves.

So, you play God?! No, he played God the moment he showed up here and tried to shake me down.

He chose his fate.

He wasn't the Bunkie you and me grew up with.

He talked about tearing this down, everything I done built?

Everything that we've built... he was gonna tear it down.

You should have come to me sooner.

What am I gonna say to you, V?

Look, I'm about to kill Bunkie?

I shot him.

Now, how are we gonna fix this, man?

I'll tell you what we gonna do.

First thing we gonna do is beef up security.

That's first. I've been talking to a guy that's supposed to be the best in the business.

We gonna go to work, we gonna act like everything is normal.

And that's how we gonna work this.

Now you listen me. I'm not approving any production cost overruns this quarter, okay?

Now, the closer we get to this IPO launch, the more critical... one second.

The more critical... Hey, what the...?

Tell me the truth.

You knew that Lucious killed Bunkie, and you lied to protect him, didn't you? You're supposed to have my back.

Right? That's the deal, right?

I don't know what you're talking about.

I sat there and listened to you give a false alibi.

That's what I do.

I give my father alibis.

(Coughing)

What the hell is wrong with you, Andre?

Nothing wrong with me. What's wrong with you?

Hmm?

I cover for him, even when I don't know what I'm covering.

So, I think the next thing that needs to happen is we just need to ex out the things that are cheesy.

All of this girl is not working for me.

(Phone ringing) I actually...

Oh, hold on one second.

Hey, babe. What's up?

I was right about what happened with Bunkie, Rhonda.

Oh, okay.

Well, um, I'm so happy to hear that great news.

Can you go somewhere you can talk?

No, I can't right now, but I'm really glad to hear the great news.

Okay.

Call me back, okay?

Call me back.

Why are you even listening to Cookie?

She was just being honest.

Michael, what do you want me to do?

You want me to swear on a stack of bibles that I'm never gonna blow up and leave you behind?

All right, since when do you talk to me like that?

Listen, all I want is to make sure that we're still each other's priority.

Is that too much to ask?

No, it's not. Come here.

No. Jamal...

Babe, come here, come on.

Come on. Let's go away for the weekend, show Cookie how wrong she is.

For real?

You come first. You know that.

First and second if we're keeping score.

Why don't we go to that bed-and-breakfast place in the berkshires?

The one that Kenny and John told us about.

Supposed to be super secluded, no cell phone, no Internet, no nothing. Just you and I.

Babe, I can't be off the grid like that right now.

Come on, don't get mad, it's a lot happening right now.

All right, all right, all right.

Okay, I'm not mad. I'm cool.

Just as long as we're together.

Let's just hit up fire island with R.J. And Taylor.

That sounds cool.

A bad week just got worse.

Well, sobriety's a journey, not a destination.

You know, you commit your life to another man and his mission...

You know, I practically raised that man's kids.

So what's changed? Why's it getting to you now?

A guy we grew up with got killed.

I mean, he was like a brother to us.

He lived for Lucious.

Is that a worthy life?

Waking up every day to serve another man's needs?

If it's time to move on, maybe it's time.

Jamal: ♪ I don't need it, you can keep ya money ♪
♪ I don't want it ♪
♪ If ya gonna throw it up in my face ♪
♪ I'm still leavin' ♪
♪ You can keep ya money ♪
♪ Because you ain't worth the time ♪
♪ Can't let it go to waste ♪
Money!

Now, that was hot.

Yeah, he's killing it.

I'm so proud of him.

When can I hear a finished version, Cookie?

The song's already finished, miss Calhoun.

Oh, I assumed it was a demo.

You would, because you're a hater.

See, this is the problem...

Uh, sorry to interrupt. Just needed to remind your department about the new IPO mandate of cutting fat from the artist roster.

We're on it. Um, we are dropping Alonzo Hall, Elle Dallas is going and the shadow brothers as well.

Wait, wait, you're cutting Elle Dallas?

Yes, we are.

That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Empire can't cut Elle Dallas.

She is Empire royalty.

Yeah, well, maybe she was, back in your day, but...

Mom, she's costing Empire a fortune.

We haven't seen a new revenue stream from her in years.

And she is difficult.

Yeah, difficult. I know that word.

You see, y'all like to toss us to the side when you can't control us anymore because you're lazy and you don't want to do your job.

Well, just because you don't know what to do with an a-lister doesn't mean we toss her from the label.

No, there is no "we", Cookie. This is my lane. Mine.

Okay.

Cookie: You know the song is good.

You mean the three and a half-minute piece of crap that he keeps telling me to kiss his ass?

(Laughs) Yeah, that's the one.

It's not funny.

Look, it's going to be a hit.

That's all that matters.

What matters is the fact that I came down here personally to introduce you to Elle Dallas and all you can do is jam Jamal down my throat?

Like he said in his song... keep your money?

That's what I'm gonna do... I'm gonna keep my money.

Yeah. Well, the only reason why you're giving me Elle is because you feel guilty about leading me on with the damn rose.

No.

No, you misunderstood the rose.

Oh, man, please.

But I can't wait till Elle is in your hands,

'cause you gonna have your hands filled.

Anika thinks she's hopeless.

Elle's music gave me a reason to stay alive when everything else was telling me to just give up and... die.

No, she got anger, you know, that anger that makes you just want to fight.

That's... Well, here she comes.

Oh, my God.

Lucious: Maybe you can return the favor, because she needs the life-saver now.

Elle.

Lucious. Look at you.

Doll, good to see you.

Hi. Elle.

I know exactly who you are.

I'm Cookie. Your biggest fan.

Wait. Cookie. You're the wife.

Ex-wife.

Darling, don't be shy.

We're all somebody's ex-wife.

I have the most incredible news.

Cookie has agreed to manage you and take over production of your next album.

Uh-uh, Lucious. Forget it.

I-I'm sorry, I only work with the top people.

That's how I sold over 100 million records.

But in the last five years, it's been none.

That's, like, maybe the audience has forgotten you.

Okay, here's what you will get with me: Someone who appreciates your gift and who knows what to do with it.

I won't sleep until you're back on the charts.

I tell you, Cookie is your best bet. I mean, she's been begging to manage you, she's your biggest fan and she's hungry.

I need a real producer.

Hip Boy... Timbaland.

No, no, no. They're afraid of you.

I mean, I think it's time we start building new bridges.

You listen to me, darling.

When Empire started out, it was my record sales that kept the lights on in that black shack.

My back catalog alone floated you.

I opened your company up into a world you never knew.

And now... oh, you've got this nightclub, fashion lines, Empire champagne?

And what do I get?

My career handed over to an ex-con.

Elle...

No, Lucious, no.

Man: Empire must be keeping you busy.

I haven't heard from you in a minute.

Haven't had a job for you in a minute, Lamont. But I got one now.

Any of your guys facing a murder beef they can't beat?

Yeah, how's half my roster?

All right, I need one... a good one.

Come through on this, got a pot of gold for you.

Better be, Vernon, better be a pot of gold.

(Knocking on door)

What are you doing in this scuzzy motel?

I don't have time for this.

You 'bout to make time.

Get that junkie out of here!

Hey!

Party's over, let's go.

Is this your stuff?

(Groans) Come on, let's go.

Thanks for coming.

Party's over. Bye-bye.

You need to get clean, Elle.

I been clean for years.

I know. Mm-hmm.

The first thing you think about every morning is where you're getting your first hit from.

And if your dealer ain't holding, you'll get high off of anything.

Probably get high off your cottons.

It was your music, Elle, that got me through.

When I was locked up, it was your music.

I had to block out everything so that I could survive.

You got me through.

I got to the top by myself.

No one helped me, so don't stand there and try and tell me...

I'm just trying to help.

Just please give me my stuff.

I want to help you, Elle.

Please, just give me my stuff back, man.

No. Elle, this is... no!

Give me my stuff back, bitch!

No!

Give it back!

Give it back, bitch!

(Toilet flushing)

(Whimpers, sobs)

(Sobbing)

I know.

I know.

(Phone rings)

(Ringing stops)

Woman: The person you are trying to reach is currently unavailable.

Please leave a message. (Beep)

Camilla, it's me, Hakeem.

Pick up the phone, 'ma.

♪ ♪
♪ ♪

Porsha, where's she at?

What?

She said ten minutes 30 minutes ago.

Calm down. She on her way.

Jamal, just relax, have a drink.

No, I'm fine, I'm fine.

There she go right there.

Hey, baby.

Hold that for me. Excuse me.

Mama...

Yeah.

Listen, seriously, my personal life is off-limits, mama, listen to me, I'm serious.

What?

For real.

I'm gonna say this one time: Step off.

I didn't say one thing to that boy that ain't true.

Now, I like Michael, okay?

But he ain't my son. You are.

And I hope one day you'll find a partner that is on your same level.

Somebody that has their own career, their own ideas; Somebody that can bring something to the table besides some damn food.

Cooking school.

Now, look, stay-stay focused.

Remember I told you Vince Boyd was here tonight?

Five million Twitter followers.

Get ready.

Go ahead.

("Keep your money" begins)

♪ Uh, uh-huh ♪
♪ Listen ♪
♪ Dollar dollar bill y'all ♪
♪ Everybody lookin' for somethin' ♪
♪ Can make ya wanna kill, y'all ♪
♪ Ya can't get somethin' for nothing ♪
♪ Work hard ♪
♪ And play even harder ♪
♪ Gotta save up all my nickels and quarters ♪
♪ Can't ask you for a handout... ♪


(Laughing)

Yo, stay here and let me work my magic.

All right.

You hear that? (Giggling)

That's your song. Turn it up!

♪ I don't want it if ya gonna throw it up in my face ♪
♪ I'm still leavin', you can keep ya money ♪
♪ Because you ain't worth the time ♪
♪ Can't let it go to waste ♪

How you doing?

They're with me.

Money
♪ makes the world go round ♪

Like to party, get some drink first...

Vince Boyd.

I'm Cookie Lyon. One of the founders of Empire Enterprises.

Sorry, Cookie. My bad.

Sit down.

Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you.

I just wanted to congratulate you on last week's game. Four touchdowns?

Yeah.

The city is loving you, man.

Thanks.

Let me ask you a question: What you...

What you think about this song that's playing?

♪ nickels and dimes, can't ask you for a handout... ♪

It's dope.

It's new?

Very.

Empire's next big artist.

Look, why don't you tweet something to your followers?

(Scoffing)

I ain't really doing all that tonight.

You know how it is.

It's amazing what good music will have these young girls doing nowadays.

What, touching on each other? That's nasty. Porsha.

Shut your ass up.

It is... look!

Shut up.

(Chuckles)

That girl is...

This song is going to be a monster hit.

Why don't you be the first one to introduce it to the world?

I'm only doing this because you two are hilarious.

What's the name of the song?

It says you were awarded the silver star of excellence for courage while under fire stationed in Iraq?

Yes, sir. I was there for four years as team leader of a tactical recovery platoon.

What did you recover?

That's classified, sir.

(Chuckles)

I have 12 years' experience as a Navy Seal specializing in close quarter combat, hostage rescue/recovery, and antiterrorism.

I've overseen personal security for figures such as yourself, executives, religious leaders, and others who face high stakes security challenges.

You know, my company's in the middle of an IPO launch.

Yes, sir. It's a great time to beef up your security.

A lot of friends, but I got a whole lot of enemies that would love to see this IPO not happen.

Well, I've done a thorough review of both your home and your corporate headquarters.

Really!

Yes, sir.

What'd you find?

That this entire building and your home are one giant breach.

What do you mean?

Your security cams are misplaced with black holes about a mile wide, the northwest gate sensor can be tripped by anybody with a cell phone, hell, no. And the night security detail looks more like a donut commercial than a threat deterrent. I would start from scratch, sir.

I like how you do your recon.

Let's get you to work, sir.

Mm.

Thank you, Mr. Lyon.

♪ ♪

Mal. Mal.

Vince Boyd just tweeted a video hyping your song.

There's over 1,000 retweets already.

1,104. 1,159.

I know, right? Isn't it awesome?

Hey, yo, can I get an autograph?

Right here.

Somebody give me a pen.

What's up?

Hakeem, go home. You're drunk.

So what?

I'm drunk and you brilliant.

You the one with all the talent in this family.

Hakeem. Are you okay?

How's your video going?

I got a new song.

I want you to hear it. Can you come over?

Sure. We'll both come over, okay? Let's go.

I didn't invite you!

Shh.

Come on, Jamal.

Please. I need your help.

I can't get the hook right.

Hakeem, I don't care.

You should have thought about all that before.

Thought of what?

How long did you think that I would just sit around and let you disrespect our mother, when all she's trying to do is help you grow up?

How long did you think that I would just let you use me?

I don't care.

Ma, I'm gonna leave.

Thank you, baby. I love you.

Call you tomorrow.

Okay.

Vernon: All right, let's go over this one more time.

I was over by the river.

Which river?

The Hudson. Uptown.

Near west Harlem piers.

And?

I saw an old drunk.

I decided to rob him.

But he fought me, so I popped a cap in his ass and rolled him in the water.

Where'd you get the gun?

Found it. Look, man, tell me when my family gettin' they cash.

Soon as you sign the confession.

They'll get a little bit at a time, so nobody notices.

And who am I taking the fall for?

Don't you worry about that. Just make sure you don't ever deviate from the story.

Easy.

Babe?

Yeah, baby?

"Keep Your Money" is still trending.

Seven hours and counting.

(Chuckles)

Man, Cookie really hooked that up.

I swear, that woman is the ultimate hustler.

Yep.

Hey. Why are people tweeting about some...

Satellite radio interview you're supposed to have this weekend?

Oh, 'cause I am.

Cookie hooked that up, too.

Were you gonna let me know?

Fire Island was this weekend.

Uh...

Can-can I take a rain check?

Wait, Michael, come on now. The song is just now popping.

I have to push it.

Yeah, what happened to not caring about fame and money?

Weren't you all about the music?

You really don't get it, do you?

This is about the music.

God.

(Scoffs, mutters in Spanish)

Hakeem: ♪ they gonna learn ♪
♪ In a minute 'cause they all gettin' slayed ♪
♪ I don't trust 'em, man, these broads ain't about nothin' ♪
♪ Don't call me, don't text no discussion ♪
♪ They all phony and that's why I don't trust 'em ♪
♪ They all phony and that's why I don't trust 'em ♪
♪ Stand too long ♪

(Music stops) ♪ get ya s... ♪

What's up?

I mean, it's really nice for some girl scouts.

But this ain't about being nice.

You've got to go hard with this.

(Sighs)

Come harder.

All right, let me hear the beat again.

(Rap intro playing)

I got something for you.

♪ Hakeem ♪
♪ Fellas, if you clever, trust a lady never ♪
♪ Have you thinkin' back, you wishin' that you never met her ♪
♪ See her in that fitted dress, you know it's designer ♪
♪ She fill it out nice but the devil wears Prada, so no ♪
♪ No, no, I will never, ever trust her mane ♪
♪ Get out my way, chick, 'cause I already know the game ♪
♪ If you tryin' to talk to me, I'm on my college football ♪
♪ In other words, I'm-a act like I don't know the dame ♪
♪ 'Cause you been known to play the field like Notre Dame... ♪

Hey.

Oh. Hey, Cookie.

How's she doing in there?

Things are going.

Let me hear some.

Sure.

Here, play her last take.

(Bluesy instrumental playing)

(Hoarsely): ♪ you stole my money and my cigarettes ♪
♪ I haven't seen ♪
♪ Hide nor hair of them yet, I wanna know ♪

Wait, stop it. Stop.

♪ Won't you tell me... ♪

Damn. What happened? She sounds a mess.

What happened to her voice?

I can make it work. I just need to splice together five different takes from tonight and some from last month and a session back in march.

Hey, Cookie.

We're ready?

(Scoffs) Child, a hot mess.

That's the same thing I said. I know...

Let me call you back.

Hey, girl.

Hey.

You know, I've seen the way she treats you.

Who?

Don't play dumb, Porsha.

I bet she don't even pay you right either.

Who, Cookie? She pay me okay.

Mm-hmm.

That's no reason for her to call you stupid.

She call everybody stupid, okay? That's what she do.

You know, Porsha, what if I knew a way for you to be making double what Cookie pays you?

(Elevator bell dings)

(Sighs)

So what in the world can you do for me, doc?

And I don't want no BS.

I've looked high and low to find somebody, and you might be the guy.

Well, as you know, I'm a concierge doc.

That means I'm your doctor exclusively.

I have no other patients.

My every waking moment will be devoted to your well-being.

Yeah, well, you can can the hand-holding and the bedside manner.

I've been told ALS has no cure.

That's why you need me, Lucious.

The FDA puts tighter restrictions on new medications than any other country in the world.

But in Russia, the ease of regulations has created a breeding ground for cutting-edge treatments.

They're making tremendous strides in ALS.

Are they?

They have a new drug cocktail which has shown a 60% reduction in symptoms, and all the people taking it are still living.

Now, the-the sample size is small, so the data is far from conclusive, but we're cautiously optimistic that this is a breakthrough.

So how do I get in?

It's not gonna be cheap.

Come on, come on. The-the Russian medical community is as corrupt as the rest of the country... it's like the mob.

Yeah, and like the music business.

I don't care the cost.

Whatever has to happen, I need you to make that happen.

I want in.

(Bluesy intro playing)

(Hoarsely): ♪ I don't know why ♪
♪ I love you like I do ♪
♪ After all these changes ♪
♪ You put me through ♪
♪ You stole my money ♪
♪ And my cigarettes ♪
♪ I haven't seen hide nor hair of them yet ♪

♪ I wanna know ♪
♪ I wanna know ♪

♪ Won't you tell me ♪
gotta know
♪ Am I in love to stay... ♪ ah!
Tell me

Stop, stop, stop, stop!

Someone came in late.

Someone came in late.

Wait, no.

Nobody came in late, E.

Let's just reset.

I know what I heard.

One of these women threw me off.

You know what, please leave. I-I'm done.

And, Kevin, get me a cigarette.

(Sighs)

Can you call the driver?

Kevin, sit down.

It wasn't them, Elle. (Sighs)

It's you. Y-you're just not bringing it, baby.

This song just isn't you. You gotta be raw.

Fine. You know what the stupid song needs, you sing it!

(Sighs) All right.

All right, everybody out.

Everybody out.

Y'all stay.

Give us a minute, sweetheart.

Mm-hmm.

I do know what the song needs.

It needs for you to stop pretending to be who you used to be and be who you are now.

This tantrum you're throwing, put it in the song.

That's what I've been doing. No.

You're hiding.

You're hiding behind the mix, behind those fake-ass samples and reverb, behind that fur and... All that makeup.

Take it off.

Get out of here, Cookie. You know what?

I can take care of this all by myself.

I'm not playing, Elle.

Take it off.

You need to sing about your pain as the real you, or it ain't never gonna work.

Take it off.

Do you know who you're talking to?

I had the highest-selling debut album in the history of this company.

I built this place.

But I am fighting for a comeback, too, Elle.

It is do-or-die for me, too.

Okay?

Now, let's do this together, but we-we gotta do it right.

I'm all you got.

Trust me.

Take it off.

Hm.

Yes. All of it.

That's right.

Fine.

(Laughs)

(Laughs)

You happy?

Get rid of those fake-ass eyelashes.

Okay, come on. All right.

Come on, let's get something.

All right, uh, let's try it from the bridge.

(Instrumental interlude plays for "Take Me to the River")

All righty, here it comes.

♪ Hold me ♪
♪ Love me ♪
♪ Please me ♪
♪ Tease me ♪
♪ Till I can't ♪
♪ Till I can't... ♪
♪ Take no more... ♪

(Band plays R&B intro to "I Wanna Love You")

♪ I Wanna Love You, baby ♪
♪ Gonna kiss and hug you, baby ♪
♪ Make you feel like it's all all right ♪

Yeah, come on.

♪ You got them kicks up on you ♪
♪ Come here, darlin', give me sugar ♪
♪ Gonna show you what it feels like ♪
♪ Let's fly ♪
♪ Maybe it's the way you move, yeah ♪
♪ I'm noticing just stuck up in the groove ♪
♪ Aw, baby ♪
♪ Sure it's the way you shine ♪
♪ Ya got silly fools ♪
♪ Stuck up in the line for you, yeah ♪

Come on.

♪ I Wanna Love You, baby ♪
♪ Gonna kiss and hug you, baby ♪
♪ Make you feel like it's all all right ♪
♪ Hey, you got them kicks up on you ♪
♪ Come here, darlin', give me sugar ♪
♪ Gonna show you what it feels like ♪
♪ Let's fly ♪
♪ Let's fly, let's fly, let's fly ♪
♪ Let's fly, let's fly ♪
♪ Let's fly ♪
♪ And le-let's fly ♪
♪ Let's fly, let's fly, let's fly ♪
♪ Let's fly, let's fly ♪
♪ Hey, hey. ♪

(Applause)

Wow. This guy right here, man.

Have a seat, bro.

Oh, that's Jamal Lyon, up-and-coming R&B star.

He just gave you an exclusive peek of his brand-new joint.

It's called "I Wanna Love You."

I know you guys felt it, because your boy sway felt it.

And, man, I gotta tell you, bro, that-that song is a banger.

Thank you, man. I appreciate that. Thank you.

Absolutely, man.

So-so what's the deal with you, brah?

You got... "Keep your money" is starting to get traction.

Yeah. I think "I Wanna Love You" is simply gonna explode.

And soon, Jamal Lyon's gonna be a contender.

(Laughing)

So how does your lady feel about that?

Uh... (Laughs)

Um...

I-I mean... Who says I have a lady?

Sway: Wait. Wait. Hold up, man. You're gonna tell me there's no special girl in your life?

Uh, honestly, no. I'm... I'm just...

I'm really in love with my music right now.

No one special.

Sway: Wow. Okay, you heard it here first, ladies.

Jamal's got a lot talent, he got that billion...

(Sighs)

There you go, big boy.

You want to take a look at it?

Commissioner Marshall.

Thank you.

I know it doesn't bring your friend back.

No, but at least justice is getting served.

I owe you.

How do I pay you back?

So, how you doing, Vernon?

Still thinking about quitting?

Hell, no.

I tell you now, things are gonna be a lot different.

All right. You okay?

Yeah, I'm good.

Doctor, how do we know that this is gonna be safe?

It's already been approved...

For phase two trials in Moscow.

Phase one...

Showed excellent results.

Okay. You're not answering my question.

I can't give you the answer that you want.

It's an experimental drug, but the... the reality is...

I am dead without it.

What is all of this?

I.D., please?

What do you mean you need to see my I.D.?

Do you know who I am?

Of course I know who you are, Ms. Lyon, but there's new security protocol.

I don't care about no new security.

I'm sorry, Ms. Lyon.

They're just following the instructions that I gave them.

I'm Malcolm Deveaux, Empire's new head of security.

Oh. Good.

Okay. Hi.

Hi... Mrs. Lyon.

Oh, please, call me Cookie.

Cookie, until the system is up and running, we're double-checking I.D.'s of anyone coming in the building.

It's for your safety.

Okay. Why didn't you say that?

Here, let me get you my I.D.

Oh... p-please.

(Beep)

Thank you.

Mm-hmm.

I feel safer already, Mr. Deveaux.

(Cookie laughs)

(Malcolm clicks his tongue)

Just so we're clear, I didn't know what my dad did.

I gave him an alibi because that's what I've always done.

I guess we're both guilty of putting ourselves on the line for that man.

My father lied to you.

That is something I have never done.

You're right.

I apologize for choking you out.

Team Andre.

You wash your hands first.

I know it's a lot for you to deal with.

It just means we're gonna move faster on our plan.

One more thing.

You ever put your hands on me again, I will slit your throat.

You just make sure you keep taking those meds, boy.

Cookie: So, I just heard from two pretty decent promoters, but I'm not sure I'm ready for us to go on tour yet.

I want to get you back in that studio while your creative juices are flowing,

'cause, boy, you hot right now!

You hot!

♪ Like Lebron did wade ♪
♪ I ain't trippin' off these broads, man, I'm gon' get paid ♪

What the hell is that?

♪ They gon' learn in a minute ♪
♪ 'Cause they all gettin' slayed ♪
♪ I don't trust 'em, man, these broads ain't about nothin' ♪
♪ Don't call me, don't text, no discussion ♪
♪ They all phony and that's why I don't trust 'em ♪
♪ They all phony, and that's... ♪

Oh, my God!

Hakeem, this is everything.

I want to fast-track it. Put it out ahead of the album.

Oh, absolutely. It's never too soon to start a buzz.

Look, I'm not doing no soccer-mom clean version, either.

I'm going straight hardcore with this one.

All right, listen, you do you.

Okay, this is your brand.

And the good thing about this song is it's gonna generate enough controversy, so we won't even need the promotion spend.

Oh...!

(Lucious and Jamal laugh)

Jamal: Y'all forgetting one thing, though.

You write a song about how much you hate women, it makes you look like a little bitch.

I don't hate no woman who ain't did me wrong first.

Lucious: And when this song drops, the majority of the people on the dance floor is gonna be women.

Exactly. Anybody with common sense can see that the lyrics are just metaphors.

Just drop the damn song.

(Sighs)

I really hope that, when you become a star, you can finally let go of all this childish anger.

Become?

I'm already a star, Cookie.

Y'all want to meet me in the car?

Okay. We'll wait.

Oh, how sweet.

Just one big happy family, huh?

Nobody's expecting you?

No, nobody's expecting me, but it's okay, because if you just tell them that Olivia is here, They'll know me. I've known them forever.

Right... so let me, let...

Just wait right here. I'll...

Okay. Thank you. Thank you.

Mr. Lyon? Um, I need to see you.

There's someone over here claiming to be a relative.

Olivia: Hi!

Hi.

Hi!

You know her?

Yeah.

Olivia: Hey, everybody.

Guard: Wait, please.

Hey!

Hey, wait...

Hi. Hi, everybody.

Hello. Long time, no see.

Hey, Jamal.

What's up, Olivia?

What you doing here?

We heard you on the radio.

Your song... they will not stop playing it, and Lola knows all the words.

Sing the song.

Um... ♪ dol-dol, dollar bill ♪ um...

(Whispering)

♪ Do-do-dollar bill, everybody lookin' for somethin'. ♪

(Laughing)

She wanted to meet her daddy.