02x02 - Without a Country

Lucious: Previously on Empire...

So I don't have ALS.

Myasthenia gravis.

Cookie: Look, no matter what, Tiana, you're family to us.

Yo, you tryin' to make some money up in here?

Plead guilty.

Lucious: I don't care how many of us you've locked behind bars.

You ain't never gonna be nothing but a black bitch in cheap shoes.

Cookie: In partnership with Mimi Whiteman, we have taken a controlling interest in Empire.

Sorry, brother, it's just business.

Yeah, it's just business.

Right, Mimi? Lucious Lyon is Empire.

Without him, the company is nothing.

I'm gonna bury your album, Hakeem.

Get out of my father's house. You betrayed him.

Who do you think you're talking to?

You done now, lady.

I gave my whole life to this place.

My album done... now it's gone.

Stop complainin'.

We don't need this place.

We can start our own company.

I woke up this morning thinking why don't we do what the hell I said?

We gonna start our own company.

Andre: It'll never work, Mom.

The business has changed completely since you and Dad started out.

This could work.

We just need a dope name.

We've got Hakeem.

All he has to do is record one more song for his album.

Empire will never let us have that album.

You heard Jamal. He's going to bury it.

Let me deal with Jamal.

All right, bye.

Look, Mom, we need to go after Royale T, Ratzo and Tiana.

No, I already talked to Tiana.

She's down with us.

We just gotta get you back into the studio.

Okay, Mom, I'm so much more than just a rapper.

Let me develop my own artists.

I bet Anika can get V.

No! No. Anika's out.

I don't want to see her lying face, you understand me, Keem?

I told V we'd get straight to work recording her new single, so...

Are you sure Cookie wants me?

Yeah, she definitely wants you.

Pride of the Lyons is wack.

It's a terrible name.

Did you tell Mom you talked to Anika?

Man, she don't want nothing to do with her, Thank you. but I told Anika to come anyway.

Nah, I like Pride of the Lyons better.

Look, we can call it whatever you want, baby, as long as you in it with me.

I think you should reconsider Anika.

She's one of the top A&Rs in the business.

I don't care how good she is, I don't trust her ass.

I just need you with me on this, baby.

I'm thinking about it, Ma.

Just give me a second to breathe.

I actually think it could work.

(phone line ringing)

Cookie: Hello?

Hey, Ma, I want to start a girl group like Destiny's Child.

That's a great idea, Keem.

Look, I think I got a space for us to rent if Andre can cut us a deal.

Is Andre in?

Well, he's gonna be.

Look, just meet me at Ghetto Ass Studio tomorrow.

She's kidding, right?

Forget Lyon's Den, let's just call it The Pigsty.

Man, we need a name like Em...

Forget the name, okay?

The name is beside the point.

You ain't born with your name. You grow into it.

Yeah, when we started Empire, we wasn't no Empire.

Making music in Carol's living room until we graduated to a garage that was way grimier than this place.

But see, it was those first few songs that planted the seeds.

Then I had to sit on the sidelines and watch Lucious grow it into a multimillion-dollar company worthy of a name like Empire.

It's my time. (chuckles)

So whatever we call it, as long as Momma's got something to do with it, it's gonna live up to its name.

Let's go.

Man: You need what?

I want to make a deal for using this space as our main base of operations.

That's crazy.

You crazy.

Oh, I know I'm crazy.

Everybody knows my mother's crazy.

You're already in one of our studios.

Anika's recording with V. What?!

♪ The hourglass moves on ♪
♪ A grain ♪
♪ And our path is torn ♪
♪ And strained... ♪

Okay, wait. Cut it right there. Oh.

V...

You sound amazing.

Um, there's just one little thing that I think I want to tweak.

I feel like we might need just to...

I know what we need.

'Cause I wrote it.

Okay, look, I am on your side.

All right?

Now, I understand that you're frustrated.

I get it.

You know what?

I can't.

V...

V, wait, wait wait, wait.

Beat it, boo boo kitty.

I'm working with Veronica now.

I don't even know why you here.

Okay, let's hear it from the top.

You know, this place remind me of the free clinic back in Philly.

We all right over there?

Uh... no, actually.

I don't have your authorization form.

What are you talking about?

It was in your file when you got your meds, a few days ago.

Now it's not.

Oh, come on, man, I'm in here every week.

I got myasthenia gravis.

I sit down, you demonstrate on my vein...

I need my meds, pops.

Mr. Lyon, I can't dispense your meds without the authorization form or I'm gonna get fired.

You gonna get worse than fired if you don't give me my meds right now.

I need... Come on, Mr. Lyon.

Oh, come on... Really? Really?

Do I really gotta push the button?

Come on, I know it ain't your fault.

I know you gotta... There's nothing I can do about it.

It's probably just a filing mistake.

If I were you... call your lawyer. Right away.

I'll get a C.O. to take you back to your cell.

♪ I was born to love you ♪
♪ And nobody else will do ♪
♪ I would rather die than live ♪
♪ Without you ♪
♪ And everybody know it too ♪
♪ Don't know why we go to war ♪
♪ But the one thing that's for sure ♪
♪ I was born to love you ♪
♪ And no one... ♪

♪ Born to love you, born to love you ♪
♪ Born to love you, yeah, yeah yeah yeah ♪
♪ I was born to love you ♪
♪ Born to love you ♪
♪ Born to love you ♪
♪ Born to love you, yeah-ah-ah-ah ♪
♪ Born to love you ♪
♪ Born to love you ♪

♪ Born to love ♪
♪ Born to live ♪
♪ Born to die if I lose your kiss ♪
♪ Born to hold ♪
♪ Won't let go ♪
♪ Born to love you ♪
♪ So you'll always know. ♪

(applause)

Woman: Wow.

That was amazing.

Thank you so much. Thank you.

Looking forward to speaking to you.

Oh, looking forward to speaking to you, as well.

I'm so happy you even want to talk to me.

Oh, of course.

Thank you. Who wouldn't?

Okay.

Man: Rolling!

Jamal Lyon. Yes.

Wow, look at you! (chuckles)

Thank you for that incredible song.

Thank you. And for inviting us into your gorgeous home. Of course.

Any time. Yeah.

We're so lucky to have you here on Spilling the Tea.

As you can see from our P.A. over there, who has a little crush on you, you have quite the female fans.

Yeah, they're beautiful.

I love them so much.

How do you deal with that?

How do you feel, having all of these women showering you with attention and going crazy over you? Men, as well, by the way. (laughs)

It's great. I mean, we-we love, we love everybody. It's beautiful.

It must be tough on relationships, though, right? No, I don't think so.

Um, if, uh, if the relationship is solid.

I don't... It doesn't cause jealousy?

No, I don't... No.

Sharon: His name is Michael.

He's a little shy, but trust me, ladies, he is adorable.

Plus, he cooked us the most amazing meal while we were setting up. But still, you know you're a lucky guy, Michael, right?

Yeah.

Jamal: Nah.

No, no, I'm the lucky one.

So, Jamal, can we expect a new album, a new Jamal Lyon album, any time soon?

You know we're all waiting for it.

Uh, I don't know about "soon."

Uh... I am creating music.

You know, it's my everything, and, you know, just been a little...

I've been a little busy.

You've been a little busy, haven't you? A little busy, yeah.

But while your father is still awaiting trial...

Mm-hmm? Can you talk to us about that?

I know it must be hard for you.

Yeah. Uh, I can't say too much about it, but, you know, I'm... just that I'm working on my music, a-as always, and making sure that I continue to make smart business decisions, you know.

But, sure, what my dad is going through, (elevator bell dings) it's-it's hard. It's hard on us all.

Yes, and that's why it's gonna take all of us to get through it.

Uh, Jamal, I need to talk to you.

Wait, isn't this your...

This is my mother.

I'm sorry, you guys. And his producer and manager, until a couple of hours ago. (anxious laugh)

Cookie Lyon. We spoke on the phone, Sharon.

Good to see you.

Mm-hmm. Uh-huh. Yeah, Mom.

Let's go. Come on.

I am trying to do an interview, in case you didn't notice.

In case you have not noticed, I set up that interview.

I have to get to the lawyer after this, to try to get my father out of jail, since you all bailed on him, so can we make this quick? Please?

Look, I need to talk to you about Hakeem.

Oh. Little baby traitor.

He didn't do anything to hurt you, Jamal.

He was hurt. By Lucious.

And I know you know what that feels like.

I need you to give Hakeem his album back.

Why would I do that?

(sighs)

Jamal, you already won.

You run the Empire.

All Hakeem's got is his music.

I know you.

See, Lucious is trying to make you like him, but... you ain't him. (chuckles)

So come on in here, walk me to these elevators.

Show these cameras how good you're being to your mom.

It's Mom. Can't say nothing to Mom.

I'm sorry for the interruption.

Sharon, it was good to see you, girl.

Yeah. Sorry, Sharon.

We just have some business to finish up. That's right. I'll be back.

Oh, and, uh, Jamal... one last thing: I wanted to tell you first, before you hear it out here in these streets.

Me, Andre and Hakeem, we're starting our own company.

(men shouting, whooping)

Man: Come on, man, don't let him by you like that!

Clyde: You see this?

Stayed in Iraq too long.

First off all, we ain't had no business over there in the first place.

Their infrastructure wasn't ready.

Guy: You guys paying attention to Professor Clyde here, showing off about how much he reads the newspapers?

That's what type of time we on.

(men chuckle)

Hey, Lucious, you finish writing that verse yet or what?

Damn Skippy I did.

Oh, man.

Run that.

Run that. Man, I get paid to perform.

Man, you get paid to shut this whole place down.

(laughing)

All right.

(clears throat) Oh, yeah.

Hit me with a beat. I got it.

♪ Temperatures in the hundreds ♪
♪ Hot as hell at this moment ♪
♪ Everything look suspicious ♪
♪ Coming around these corners ♪
♪ A man wanted, you can play around if you want to ♪
♪ Ain't no safety, ain't no holster ♪
♪ And my hands is on it ♪
♪ And I ain't going as easy as you think I'm gon' go ♪
♪ I'm-a lay low fo' a minute ♪
♪ Then I'm comin' for those ♪
♪ That decided to cross the road ♪
♪ And roll with the wrong folks ♪
♪ Like playing a grand piano ♪
♪ But tapping the wrong notes ♪
♪ Clyde told me ♪
♪ Keep your eyes for them jealous hittas ♪
♪ Clyde told me ♪
♪ Keep your head low 'cause they takin' pictures ♪
♪ My partner Clyde told me ♪
♪ When they try to convince you they chillin' with you ♪
♪ Pay very close attention, my hitta, my hitta, my hitta ♪
♪ Snitch (coughs) bitch ♪
♪ Snitching-ass bitches ♪
♪ Snitch bitch, snitching-ass... ♪

(Lucious coughing)

Lucious: Hey...

Clyde: You all right, bro?

Hey, you good?

(coughing)

(heart beating rapidly) (echoing): Tell me what you need, bro.

(echoing): You need some water, man?

(coughing continues)

You cool, Lou?

(coughing)

You having a little trouble breathing, inmate?

Can't you see this man need medical attention?

No, no, no, I'm fine. Give me a minute.

All right, well, party's over.

Now, get the hell off my table, boys.

We men.

Excuse me?

You called us "boys."

Ain't no boys over here; we men.

Oh, come on, Clyde. Don't mind him, man.

We used to punk bitches like that back in the day.

Go on about your business.

Did you just threaten me, boy?

Officer: What? (alarm whooping)

Oh, come on, man! What you gonna do?

(alarm continues whooping)

(alarm stops) Get his ass out of here.

Come on. It's all right, Big Country.

Clyde: Aw, man, ain't stressin' it.

Be cool, man.

Forget whose house this is.

Mine!

My table.

My newspaper!

That's my basketball goal.

My everything!

Don't you forget that.

(coughs)

Punk ass.

(dance beat playing)

Woman: ♪ If you're not down for the game ♪
♪ Then you're not down with me ♪

What's your name? What's her name?

Stacy.

♪ It's about to get mean... ♪

Thank you, Stacy.

♪ Ooh, dangerous... ♪

Thank you, Stacy.

Thank you. Thank you.

Valentina Galano?

Galayna...?

Galindo.

It's an old Spanish name meaning "prophetic, philosophical and opinionated."

Hakeem: Hey.

We'll be the ones with the opinions.

Okay, Valentina, girl, show me what you got.

Chicken: Okay, hit it.

(dance beat starts playing)

♪ Hit me up like every night ♪
♪ Say you want to have a pillow fight ♪
♪ But you're holding back and I don't know why ♪
♪ Baby, can I just be real? ♪
♪ Getting hot when I'm all alone ♪
♪ Every time your name drops on my phone ♪
♪ But a picture just ain't enough ♪
♪ Need a little something to feel ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ All we do is talk about it ♪
♪ But can't we just be about it? ♪
♪ Show me what you gonna do about it. ♪

(chuckles)

Damn, you ain't playing no games.

So, do I have the job?

I'm trying to keep it at three, but we got three girls we like, you know?

You definitely a contender.

What do you mean "three"?

Three girl group.

On Instagram, it didn't say anything about a girl group.

Yeah, it did.

You just missed the fine print.

Whatever. I'm not interested in being a part of a group.

Thank you. We gave you a shot.

(speaking Spanish)

Let me just translate a bitch.

With or without you, I shine.

She crazy.

I love her.

Chicken: You sure you want to do this?

Three girls together?

It's gonna be that... all the time.

♪ Don't keep me waiting ♪
♪ I've been here all night ♪

Hakeem...

♪ Stop hesitating... ♪

Hakeem... Please. Please. Thank you.

What is this mess, man?

It's auditions, bro... When you want to be a mogul.

Keep going, babe.

♪ You're not that typical... ♪

Don't you sing another word. Don't sing another word.

You can't go off and make moves like this without checking in with the rest of us... You know that.

I don't need permission.

We're partners.

Chicken: Isabel, keep going.

Hakeem: Come on, you ready?

♪ I picked you out of the candy shop ♪
♪ One look and you made my heart go pop pop... ♪

Why you letting Hakeem launch a girl group?

Excuse me. Don't knock your brother's hustle.

No, Hakeem needs to be recording new music.

Not wasting his time hitting on girls.

That's how Jay-Z and your father built their careers.

Besides, he gots a whole album ready to drop.

On Empire, Mom.

I spoke to Jamal and I asked him to give it back to Hakeem.

Did he say yes? Not yet.

Hakeem needs to be recording new music or the ship is gonna sink before it even leaves the port.

(sighs)

(whooping)

Look, baby, if you trying to get your demo heard, this ain't how you go about it.

Contrary to the little pack of lap dogs you got following you around up in here, you see not everybody's interested in being up your ass, Lyon.

Then tell me what your interests are, McKnight.

(imitating raspy voice): My interest is that your wheezing and your breath...

(normal voice): I'm a little concerned about that.

Is it, is it getting any better?

(raspy): Oh, it's fine.

I'm touched that y'all care.

(chuckles) We don't care.

Matter of fact, we-we could give a damn.

You see, I think you make us all look bad.

As far as I'm concerned, the world would be a better place without you in it.

But the Federal Prosecutor, Ms. Roxanne Ford... she's more forgiving than me.

And that medication of yours...

It might just magically turn up if you just be a little more cooperative.

Think about that.

So, Tiana's in the big studio tomorrow, working on a new song.

It'll be our first shot at releasing a single.

Hakeem: Can I just worry about my girl group, please?

You mean your personal speed dating service?

Look, I haven't found my Beyoncé yet, but I found a couple girls that's really good.

You know, but they're both Hispanic.

Ain't nothing wrong with a couple of J-Lo's as long as they can really sing.

Well, damn.

What is she doing here?

What-what are you doing here?

We need to talk about Vee.

We don't need to talk about nothing.

You need to get out.

Why do you keep coming around?

Andre: Mom, Mom...

Don't nobody want you here, Anika! - Enough, enough!

Hakeem, what's the problem with the two Latinas?

Uh, look, I thought it'd be cool...

We had one white girl, you know, one black girl and one Hispanic.

I'm-a call 'em Rainbow Sensation.

Boom... platinum album.

That's the dumbest name I ever heard.

Actually, that may be the dumbest name known to man.

Did your daddy drop you on your head?

Anika liked it.

The concept, not the name.

It's a marketable concept.

Yeah... (chuckles)

And Anika knows marketing.

She made a whole career selling her ass.

Oh, as opposed to you and your stellar career in pharmaceuticals?

Let me tell you something, ho.

If it weren't for women like me, bitches like you would spend a lifetime on their knees.

Or underneath my 20-year-old son.

Mom, it's none of your business who I get dirty with.

Good luck.

Hey, you need the luck, girl.

I don't understand what part of "don't want you here" you don't get.

There you go. All right, good.

Thank you, brother. Appreciate it.

I thinking about, uh, giving Hakeem back his album.

With our stock plummeting.

What kind of message that gonna send to the shareholders?

That we're completely unthreatened by Cookie Lyon and her little startup.

What are they calling it?

It ain't got a name yet.

'Cause they plan on piggybacking off of mine.

Hakeem belongs at Empire.

If he wants his album heard, he gonna have to come back to the Empire.

You got to make that happen.

All right.

(grunts)

Dad, what's the matter?

What's wrong with you?

Nothing.

Fine.

In fact, I'm better than fine, man.

I got this new melody that's... my own.

I made my own heat.

Yeah?

I'm actually thinking about doing a Lucious Lyon joint from the joint.

(both laughing)

While I'm still in here.

Be so dope, Dad.

That gonna be epic.

Beautiful. Hey, son.

How you gonna do that up in here?

Just get me, um, some basic recording equipment: a laptop... and, uh, they got a new thing...

A mini twister.

And they got a Step Up, too. Get me a Step Up, too.

Man: (clears throat) Excuse me.

Couldn't help overhearing.

My name is Thurston Rawlings.

Friends call me Thirsty.

I think I could be of some service.

Purple suit, no cross talk!

Okay.

Oh, you're a lawyer, huh?

We got a lawyer, man. Thank you.

I don't doubt that, but if you don't mind me asking, when's the last time they got you a bail hearing?

And where did you go to law school, Mr., uh, Rawlings?

University of Guam.

Now, I know it's not Harvard, but... same curriculum, different campus.

You're preaching to the choir, man.

Harvard ain't done nothing for me these days.

You think you can do better, Thirsty?

Jamal: Wait... I wouldn't waste your time, Mr. Lyons.

Hey, you, you're out of bounds!

I'm sorry, man, hold on one second.

I ain't trying to knock nobody's hustle, but...

University of Guam with the... the discount suit?

Thirsty: Really?

No disrespect, son, but I don't think Ms. Roxanne Ford gives a damn where I shop.

Do you?

What do you know about her?

Withholding your meds?

That's one of her stunts.

She's trying to get you to cop a guilty plea.

Mama plays dirty, but I got no qualms getting in the mud with her.

Discount suit and all.

Officer: All right, let's go.

Yes, I am ready to go, Officer.

Thank you very much.

Set up a meeting.


Chicken: And five, six, seven, eight...

(dreamy dance beat playing)

Yeah, groove it out, groove it out!

Hit this beat.

(steel drum beat begins)

♪ How many girls in the world ♪
♪ Right now ♪
♪ Who know what I'm talking 'bout ♪

A little bit more attitude. Come on, ladies!

♪ A man who calls you pretty at home ♪
♪ But never when he takes you out ♪
♪ Didn't want it when you had it, admit it ♪
♪ And now you're like a light, turned on ♪

Come on, Ti.

♪ Didn't want me when you had it ♪
♪ I get it and now you want me back ♪
♪ But I'm gone ♪
♪ And I'm on fire ♪
♪ I'm like a spark in the dark sky ♪
♪ You're like a deer caught in headlights ♪
♪ You got me wrong, but it's all right ♪
♪ Now I'm like ooh, ooh ♪
♪ See me up in the club like woo-ooh ♪
♪ Don't matter, I ain't worried about you-ooh ♪
♪ 'Cause I left that girl behind ♪

I want to see you dig on this one.

♪ So let me introduce you ♪

Come on, lower!

♪ To the new and improved brand-new, ooh ♪
♪ You didn't want it when you had it, that's coo-ool ♪

Real low!

♪ Now I've gone from the one ♪
♪ To the two... two point oh. ♪

(chuckles)

Take five.

Okay, okay.

You on fire, Mama.

I want to know where you learned that from.

Do you got that song that you owe me?

Nah, not yet.

You know, I'm a little hectic right now, but...

Mm, I get it.

I know how it goes.

You trying to be Diddy and all.

Ti, you know, that's what I want to talk to you about.

What's up?

My girl group.

Oh, you want me to like... rehearse with them and coach them and stuff?

I want you to join them.

You're kidding, right? Listen, Ti.

This could be big for you.

And I'm talking about you being in the forefront of the whole situation.

But I'm already in the front of my own situation.

And if this is what this company is gonna be about, then, like...

Hey, hey, hey. What happened?

Nothing, I just offered an opportunity to be a part of a groundbreaking musical phenomenon.

Cookie, if this is what this company is gonna be about, I'm out.

Uh, Tiana, look, um, Hakeem is just a little overexcited.

Come to my office, I want to talk to you about something.

(tires screech)

Get in.

What's up, boss man?

I ain't your boss man.

I saw Dad today, and he wants you back at Empire.

So do I.

Why now?

'Cause we're family.

And it's time to move past what y'all did.

So that mean you'll bring Cookie and Andre back too.

That's what you're saying?

Let's take it one step at a time, all right?

Hakeem, you got a huge career ahead of you.

Come back to Empire, we'll release your album, give it a huge push, the whole thing.

Come on, fool, don't be crazy, you know it.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Let's go.

Adios amigos...

(speaks garbled Spanish)

Valentina: What?

You got to teach me Spanish.

Mm-hmm.

I studied my ass off in 12th grade, and I still flunked español.

Come here.

♪ Hating on the sideline, debt that ♪
♪ She know exactly where she can find the best at ♪
♪ I'm leaning, two-seater, we rolling ♪
♪ We speeding, stick shift, she holding... ♪

So you're really not doing your little girl group?

I'm thinking about going back to Empire.

See, if that girl group was a part of Empire, then I would definitely be a part of it.

Empire is hip-hop legendary.

I'm trying to be a legend, aren't you?

What can I get for you, pretty lady?

Nothing, thanks. (clears throat)

I haven't really been drinking too much lately.

Oh, well...

I am drinking much more than usual.

(both chuckle)

What's up?

Um...

God, I'm so nervous.

I... Why?

Well... I'm not supposed to be here, so if I could talk to you in confidence.

Andre would kill me if he knew I were here.

I'm not gonna say anything, I swear.

I'm scared for him, Jamal.

He's miserable.

Empire is everything to him, and, without it, he's completely lost.

Yeah, well, then why is he doing the whole thing with my mom and Hakeem like that? I know, I know.

But that's not him.

That's not who he is.

Look, Andre messed up.

Obviously. He knows that.

But I'm asking you, as his brother, to find it in your heart to forgive him.

Because all he wants is to be back at Empire with you and Lucious at the company that he gave his entire life and heart to.

I miss him, too, Rhonda, I do.

There's just so much stuff that I'm handling now.

Trust me, I'd give anything to be able to just hand that off to Andre.

(anxious laugh)

The reason I'm not drinking is because I'm pregnant.

We're having a baby.

Are you serious?

Yes, I'm serious.

I mean, obviously I'm-a talk to Lucious now.

Really? Really? Of course.

Uncle Jamal. Uncle Jamal.

What they know about Uncle Jamal?

(laughing): Sounds good, man.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

Thank you.

And obviously, you know, don't say anything.

Uh-uh. Andre would never forgive me, really, so...

But I'm gonna handle it.

Thank you.

I'm so happy for y'all.

Thank you. That's so amazing.

(lock buzzing)

Lyon.

A little something from your lawyer...

Thirsty Rawlings.

My lawyer?

Officer: Make a left.

Last door.

I know I bust you up the other day.

I had to do that.

You should know Thirsty got a lot of friends in here.

Open it up.

Oh! You ready to smash this, brother?

(Guy laughs)

Afterburners, baby... afterburners.

Lucious: How much time we got?

You got 65 minutes before the shift change.

I'm locking you in, so nobody can get on you for being out of bounds, but you got to work fast. Thank you, bro.

This is what I got... Check it out.

(siren wails, music begins)

Ooh, I like the police car.

I love what you did with the hums.

Open up a track for me.

(whoops)

♪ Sitting back ♪
♪ Uh-huh ♪

♪ Reminiscing ♪
♪ Of how I used to get down and dirty wit cha ♪

♪ Come on ♪

♪ Pull up on a hot block to come and get you ♪

♪ Yeah! ♪

♪ Wit a pistol cocked ♪

♪ To handle all issues ♪
♪ Whoo! ♪

♪ But never would I thought in a million wishes ♪

♪ Man! ♪

♪ After all we stood for, you would start snitching ♪

♪ What? ♪

♪ I disregarded lessons that were shared with me ♪

♪ Go on ♪

♪ 'Cause I was taught I'm not supposed to trust any ♪

♪ Ah! ♪

♪ It's hard to see the frame when you in the picture ♪
♪ But now the picture's faded, bitch, I'm done wit cha ♪

♪ Hey! ♪
♪ So go on 'head ♪
♪ Go on 'head ♪
♪ Handle your business ♪
♪ Handle your business ♪
♪ And get right ♪
♪ Uh-huh ♪
♪ 'Cause I'm coming to get cha ♪
♪ At ya! ♪

♪ Streets are watching, eyes are on me ♪
♪ Closest to me done switched up on me ♪
♪ Days are long and nights are lonely ♪
♪ It's better to know it 'cause now I know it and... ♪
♪ You ain't nothing but a snitch, bitch ♪
♪ Snitching ass bitch ♪

♪ Snitch, bitch ♪
♪ And you are ♪

♪ Snitching ass bitch, and you know it ♪
♪ And you know it, and you know it ♪
♪ And you know it, and I know it ♪
♪ And I know it, and you know I know it ♪
♪ You know I know it ♪
♪ Temperatures in the hundreds ♪
♪ Hot as hell at this moment ♪
♪ Everything looks suspicious coming around these corners ♪

♪ A man wanted ♪
♪ You know it ♪

♪ You can play around if you want to ♪
♪ Ain't no safety, ain't no holster ♪
♪ And my hands is on it ♪
♪ Now I ain't going as easy as you think I'm gon' go ♪
♪ I'm-a lay low for a minute ♪
♪ Then I'm coming for those ♪
♪ That decided to cross the road and roll with the wrong folks ♪

♪ Right ♪
♪ Like playing a grand piano but tapping the wrong notes ♪
♪ Whoo! ♪
♪ Clyde told me ♪

♪ Keep your eyes open for them jealous hittas ♪
♪ Clyde told me ♪
♪ Keep your head low ♪
♪ 'Cause they taking pictures ♪
♪ My partner Clyde told me ♪
♪ When they try to convince you they chillin' with you ♪
♪ Pay very close attention ♪
♪ My hitta, my hitta, my hitta ♪
♪ 'Cause you snitch, bitch, snitching ass bitch ♪
♪ Snitch, bitch ♪
♪ Snitching ass bitch ♪
♪ And you know it, and you know it... ♪
♪ And you know it, and you know it ♪
♪ And I know it, and I know it, and you know I know it ♪
♪ 'Cause you ain't nothing but a snitch, bitch ♪
♪ Keep your eyes open ♪
♪ Snitch, bitch ♪
♪ Whoa... ♪
♪ When they try to convince you they chillin' wit cha ♪
♪ Pay very close attention, my hitta, my hitta, my hitta! ♪
♪♪ (humming melody)

(music track fades, as singers hum melody solo)

That's a great session, man.

That's a Lucious Lyon hit right there.

I wish Clyde was here.

Good thing I got to work early or you degenerates might have got away with this trash.

Come on, man, we just trying to make a little music.

You out of bounds, inmate.

With contraband!

Lock 'em up!

All of 'em!

We already locked up, brother.

I'm not your brother, inmate.

We was just talking about your ass.

Is that right?

Talk about it in the hole.

McKnight: How does it feel to be in there now, huh?

You rap like you some sort of tough guy.

But in here, you just another prisoner.

Matter of fact, I could kill you right now.

Wouldn't be no consequences.

Just another dead rapper.

You sure about that, baby blue?

Oh, I'm sure.

'Cause, see, I'm all about the consequences.

I got consequences from uptown to downtown, from the five boroughs to the seven continents, that know each and every person in this world that you care about.

You threatening me, inmate?

Nah, no threats.

Just stating the obvious.

'Cause that's not a violation.

That's a new charge.

You gonna get hit with more years than all your gold and platinum records combined.

Nah, that's where you're mistaken, 'cause I'm not getting convicted.

You know why?

Let me guess.

'Cause you innocent, right?

No... since when does that matter?

I'm not getting convicted because people like you and that bitch Miss Ford, y'all make mistakes.

I don't.

(tires screeching)

(grunting) (blows smacking)

Where is it?

Don't know what you talking about.

The music, scumbag.

You sure everything is on there?

Yeah, I double-checked before we cracked his ribs.

All right, you two take a dance class.

Yes, sir.

Uh, what is it that you wanted to talk to me about, Andre?

Hakeem: Hey, Ma, I need to talk to you.

Save it, baby.

I already know your father and your brother Jamal are trying to get you back to Empire, and I guess I got to understand.

So you saying you want me to go back to Empire?

No, it's breaking my heart, but I can't stop you.

Taking your Rainbow Abomination with you?

Rainbow Sensation ain't happening.

I found three chicks I like, but they all Latina and feisty.

You are aware that the English-speaking Latino market is the fastest-growing, largest, untapped market in the country, right?

An all-Latina girl group, that could be huge, man.

Really? Yep.

So we may have something here, if I can get Valentina on our team instead of Empire.

I thought you were going back?

I'm not going back to Empire.

I'm not working for Dad or Jamal punk-ass.

I'm gonna be hip-hop legendary in my own right.

So you giving up on your album?

Did I say that?

Check this out.

Chicken, do it.

Your boy is going for the crown.

My album, the one Empire wasn't gonna drop, I just leaked it online.

Are you crazy? Isn't that illegal?

I don't know and I don't care.

You don't know and you don't care?

Are you stupid? Are you?

Empire is gonna sue the hell out of you.

Uh... And they'd be right to.

I don't care if they sue us.

I don't care if I lose money from it.

All I care about is that my music is out to the world and that it's gonna be legendary.

Chicken: You right.

That's it.

I'm done.

Andre!

I don't care. Andre!

Andre!

Andre...

Andre!

You worry too much.

There is no way Jamal gonna sue his own brother.

No, no, you don't worry enough, Cookie.

I'm sorry, Mom.

Okay, it's not you, it's not, it's not even Hakeem.

This isn't me.

This is a scrappy little setup.

It's not what I've been working for all these years.

It's not what I want.

My heart is not in this, Mom.

Please...

I need you to let me go.

Let me go, Mom.

No.

Mom... Andre, please.

I need you... I need you.

Let me go, Mom.

Andre... Let me go.

Let me go.

(sniffles)

This room is full of Torahs.

I copped the building from the Vizhnitz Dynasty.

The Fishnets who?

It's a Jewish thing, a Hasidic dynasty.

You see them all over this neighborhood, the crazy dudes with the curlicues and the big black hats.

Dynasty, hmm.

That's a dope name.

So are you saying this space is available?

The whole floor?

Might be, if it means getting you out of my face.

(chuckles)

Yeah, this could work.

As soon as you clean this place up, of course.

Actually, since you'll be the one renting it, that'll be your ass doing the cleaning.

(giggles)

Mazel tov.

(lock buzzes in distance)

I hear you want to come back to Empire.

I never should've been a part of that hostile takeover.

I messed up big-time, Pop, and I know it.

Hurt me to my core to watch you take sides against me, son.

Empire's in my blood.

When I bleed, I bleed Empire.

Now, I'm ask...

I'm praying... that you'll forgive me, Pop.

You still going to church?

Yes, sir, yes, sir, every Sunday.

Still believe in God?

Yes, sir.

Good.

Then you pray to God that He forgives you, 'cause I don't.

Pop, wait a minute.

Pop!

Pop!

For years, you rejected Jamal because of who he is.

Now he's running the company.

Hakeem, he slept with your fiancée.

Apparently, you want him back at Empire.

Here I stand, contrite, remorseful, humble.

And yet you look at me... like I'm some kind of mutant.

Why do you hate me?

Woman: Dwight, why are you so sad, baby?

You want me to sing you a song?

What song do you want me to sing?

Hmm, "Itsy Bitsy Spider"?

Again? Okay.

♪ The itsy bitsy spider ♪
♪ Went up the water spout ♪
♪ Down came the rain ♪
♪ And washed the spider out ♪

(weakly): ♪ Out comes the sun ♪
♪ And dries up all the rain ♪
♪ And the itsy bitsy spider ♪

♪ Went up the spout again... ♪

I don't hate you.

(lock buzzes)

Jamal: ♪ You know that I never did let you down ♪
♪ Why you don't come around ♪
♪ You don't come around, no ♪
♪ Da-da-da-da, you on top ♪
♪ It wasn't true if it wasn't ♪
♪ And sayin' sorry just don't cut it ♪
♪ Don't cut it ♪
♪ Saying sorry just don't cut it ♪
♪ Just don't ♪
♪ Just don't... ♪

What you think of that?

I love it.

I'm glad to hear you singing again.

I know it's been hard to find time.

Yeah. I wrote this for you.

I did.

Come on home to Empire.

We'll do more stuff together.

That's what I miss.

Yeah, me, too.

But I ain't coming back to Empire.

What about your album?

What about it?

I put it out. I leaked it online.

Seriously?

So that's how we gonna roll, Hakeem?

Yeah?

You'll never see a penny.

We'll sure the drawers off your black ass.

That's exactly why I'm not coming back to your stupid-ass Empire.

But tell Father when I get to Madison Square Garden, I'm-a comp y'all some VIP tickets.

I got y'all.

You ain't gonna sell out the Garden.

Not yet, but I will.

And guess what, we got a name.

It's called Lyon Dynasty.

(sighs)

That's corny.

Get up out of here. You corny.

Jamal, you think you on top now, our little Dynasty's gonna crush your Empire.

♪ Oh, no, chain on froze ♪
♪ Sideline lookin', what you hatin' on me for? ♪
♪ Like, whoa ♪
♪ Don't be too bold ♪
♪ Better get ya coat 'cause I'm way too cold... ♪

So it's just me and you?

This is supposed to be our new kingdom?

Yeah, that's right.

So take this broom and help me.

♪ Better get ya coat 'cause I'm way too cold ♪
♪ Oh, oh... ♪
♪ Yeah... ♪

(siren wailing)

Radio DJ: Whoo! Shots fired, New York.

I cannot stop playing this one.

You already know this... That exclusive Lucious Lyon joint.

Classic Empire for you, baby.

Right here.

He dropped that from prison? How?

Your daddy, he has his ways.

He always did.

Lucious: ♪ Down and dirty wit ya ♪
♪ Come on! ♪

♪ I'll pull up on the hot block ♪
♪ To come and get ya... ♪

Damn, that's hot.

You know he gonna come after us hard.

Well, there's not much he can to do us right now.

That's why we got to hurry up and get this thing together before he gets out of jail.

Come on.

♪ You know I know it...! ♪

(protesters chanting outside)

Roxanne: Your Honor, this is unacceptable.

If the defense counsel isn't present at the bail hearing that he called, then he's wasting our time.

The hell kind of lawyer doesn't show up for his own hearing?

(protestors continue chanting outside)

Woman (outside): Let him go!

(Roxanne scoffs)

Man (outside): you let Lucious go!

Man 2 (outside): Let him go!

(protestors continue shouting)

Thirsty: I'm here!

I'm here, I'm here, Your Honor.

Judge Robbins: I was this close to throwing your client back in jail, Mr. Rawlings.

My docket's backed up enough as it is.

The court still validates, right?

I-I got the new evidence right here.

Just bring it straight up here.

Does counsel think he's not going to share this new evidence with the prosecutor?

I wouldn't think of it, Ms. Ford.

Thank you.

Judge Robbins: I think I've... seen enough.

This court finds that Mr. Lyon poses no flight risk and rules to release him on bail...

What?!

Your Honor, this is a travesty!

(camera shutters clicking)

The people will not stand by while you...

That is my ruling, Ms. Ford.

Bail is granted at one million dollars.

Roxanne: Your Honor!