02x03 - Fires of Heaven

Hakeem: Previously on Empire...

Lucious: I'm-a sign your baby girl, and then I'm-a slip her my bone.

Kill him.

(Gathers screams)

Me, Andre and Hakeem...

We're starting our own company.

It's called Lyon Dynasty.

Hakeem wants his album heard, he's gonna have to come back to the Empire.

Lucious is trying to make you like him.

Hakeem: My album... I leaked it online tonight.

We'll sue the drawers off your black ass.

You need to get out! Good luck.

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

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

Hakeem: She crazy. I love her.

My heart is not in this, Mom.

Empire's in my blood.

I'm praying that you'll forgive me. I don't.

My name is Thurston Rawlings.

Miss Roxanne Ford plays dirty, but I got no qualms getting in the mud with her.

Bail is granted at $1 million.

This is a temporary setback and nothing more.

Lucious Lyon is an arrogant, manipulative sociopath who believes he's above the law.

But I assure you, he will be tried and convicted.

Ms. Ford, does the state actually have any concrete evidence?

There's a rumor you're about to announce your bid for Attorney General...

(reporters clamoring)

Reporter: Lucious! Lucious!

Lucious! Lucious, right here. Lucious!

Did you know that Roxanne Ford is running for Attorney General?

Are you concerned that she's trying to build a campaign on convicting you?

No, I'm absolutely flattered.

Um, let me know where I can make a donation, Ms. Ford.

Thirsty: Uh, we'll make our case in court, where my client's innocence will be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Now, for the sake of America's musical entertainment, Lucious Lyon has to get back to work.

Ms. Ford made it a condition of your bail that you're not allowed back into Empire.

Will that be a problem for you?

Well, that's just a building.

I am the Empire.

(knocking continues)

Hakeem! Get your ass up.

You know you gotta be on Sway in the morn...

(exhales)

Oh, great. Just great.

You know, the night before Jamal had to do Sway, he was in bed by 10:00 p.m.

You know why?

Because that is called professionalism.

Well, I'm not Jamal.

Hakeem, where my chonies?

Obviously not.

(sighs) Uh, Hakeem... hooking up with the lead singer in your all-female group?

That is a Unsung episode waiting to happen, stupid. I'm not his lead singer.

I'm my own person, thank you.

I'm not talking to you, Guadalupe.

You need to find your drawers.

Hakeem: I think I seen 'em under the bed.

Anyway, Ma, how do I look? I'm ready.

You look good, but your album is out on the street and your damn father's out of prison.

Dad is out of jail?

I guess you missed that while you was up in here, livin' la vida loca.

Nobody scared of Lucious, not when we got this hot-ass album to promote.

Trust me, Ma, between my album and Mirage á Trois, we gonna put Lyon Dynasty on the map.

Hope so.

You shouldn't have slept with that girl.

Come on here! Don't forget.

Valentina Galindo.

I'm only a few hundred away from 50,000 followers.

I'm-a give you a shout-out, baby.

Cookie: Hakeem!

Lucious: No, her making it impossible for me to enter my house is more than her trying to piss me off.

She's up to something.

Thirsty: Yeah, well, it's my understanding Lady Ford claims she might have to subpoena employees.

She don't want you exerting any undue influence.

And that freaky judge made it an additional condition of bail.

So wait a minute. I go in here, I go to jail.

You walk in there, you get locked up. Period.

Dad, look.

You can't stop a king from speaking to his subjects.

Blasphemy. I'm a god.

(crowd cheering)

Today is the beginning of a new era for the Empire.

A few months ago, we went public for one very good reason.

That was so that we can raise enough capital to take over the music business worldwide.

Mark this day on your calendar, because today is the day that Lucious Lyon told you that soon the world will not be able to utter the word "music" without mentioning the Empire.

To the Empire!

Crowd: To the Empire!

♪ 'Bout to blow, 'bout to blow ♪
♪ I'm 'bout to blow, blow, blow ♪
♪ I'm 'bout to blow ♪
♪ I'm 'bout to blow, blow, blow ♪
♪ Whoa, oh, oh ♪

♪ Had my eyes on the throne since I came to this Earth ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
♪ Greatness I'm destined for ♪
♪ More than the universe ♪
♪ I'm a king, boss ♪
♪ Rule everything I survey, know my worth ♪
♪ Put in work ♪
♪ Work, work ♪
♪ Twenty-four, seven ♪

♪ I run the turf like a running back ♪
♪ Hand me the ball and I ran it back ♪
♪ Scored every time like I'm in the sack ♪
♪ I run the team, call me quarterback ♪
♪ I ain't come from the bottom but still had to grind for it ♪
♪ Oh ♪
♪ Grind for it, grind for it ♪

♪ Pop plotted on me, but Mama she ride for me ♪
♪ Tell 'em, Tim ♪
♪ Hey! So we 'bout to blow ♪
♪ We 'bout to blow, blow, blow, blow, blow ♪
♪ Say we 'bout to blow, say you 'bout to blow ♪
♪ Blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow ♪
♪ Blow, blow, blow, blow, blow, blow ♪
♪ We 'bout to blow. ♪ Yes!

(whoops)

Hakeem Lyon.

Bold move, the way you busted out of Empire like that.

What did your pops have to say about it?

Yo, Sway, you gonna have to ask him, brah.

Thirsty: Yeah, hello?

A'ight, just give me a sec.

Hey, I got Sway on the phone for you.

He's on air right now, so...

Lucious: No, give me the phone.

Wait, but, Dad... Yo.

My man Sway, what's up?

I guess you got the exclusive on my first day out, huh?

It's a consolation prize, Lucious.

Why you didn't give me the exclusive on "Snitch Bitch"?

No, no, no, it ain't like that.

He won a bet, baby.

Sway: Too bad, my man.

So I'm sitting with your son, and we're talking about how he's following the same footsteps as Azealia Banks and Lil Wayne by leaking his album.

You know, I always said that boy got a lot of growing up to do.

I guess I was right, huh?

All right, I'll catch you later.

Whoa, man.

It seem like your daddy don't sound too happy about you leaking your album.

You know why he ain't stop me? Why?

'Cause he was in prison.

Sway (laughing): Ooh, damn, bro.

That's cold-blooded.

You know, fact is, I'm about to run circles around him.

From what I heard, Lyon Dynasty is just former Empire artists.

I mean, y'all got V, you got Tiana, you got you, but we ain't heard nothing new yet.

Well, I do got this girl group I'm producing right now.

Mm-hmm. Called Mirage á Trois.

Mirage á Trois.

Hakeem: Mirage á Trois, Sway.

You know, it's three girls I handpicked.

They're Latina, they're sexy, they're cute.

You know, you're not gonna hear a sound like this at Empire, so...

Well, you gonna bring that exclusive to Sway in the Morning?

You could bring 'em up this week.

This week?

This week.

(quietly): No. No.

No.

Fo' sho' and some mo', Sway.

Ah!

That's what I'm talking about. My man Hakeem.

Hakeem Lyon, y'all.

You must be relieved, Jamal, that Lucious is out.

Yeah, I'm excited.

I'm excited to get back in the studio.

We're talking about a tour.

He set me up with a really good producer.

Cookie: Oh.

So Lucious isn't working with you.

I just assumed as soon as he got out of prison, you'd be his top priority.

I am.

But he just got out, so... Empire business.

So why'd Dad ask us here, Jamal?

So he can kill us all together, instead of having to do it one at a time?

Same reason why we're all here.

To keep our enemies close.

Jamal: I actually think that he just wants to see his family on the first night back.

Jamal's actually right.

I want you guys to eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we war.

Why aren't you eating?

Did you poison us or something?

Nah, that'd be too easy.

I know I was only gone for a few months, but it gave me a whole lot of time to think about a whole lot of things.

Like my wonderful family and how y'all all banded together to try and destroy me.

Dad, I told you, I'm sorry.

Andre, don't apologize.

I'm not sorry.

Not yet, but you will be.

Unless...

Unless what?

You dismantle this little Lyon Dynasty you got.

And everything will be forgiven.

From the leaked album to the hostile takeover... to your pillow.

So you're just gonna forget everything?

You and me, we done been through a whole lot.

But at the end of the day, we are family.

And I want my family together, and if I can have that, I'll let go of everything else.

Cookie: Hmm.

No, Lucious.

I doubt if Jesus Christ himself could save you without burning his hands, but I'm gonna save my sons.

I'm gonna build something very nice for them.

So... I really don't care what you do with Empire.

Three of y'all are here 'cause y'all failed.

Miserably.

My ex-wife, my ex-CFO, my ex-son who wants to be a rap star, working with my ex-wannabe-girl and with some of my ex-artists?

Ain't nobody scared of you though.

We working on a new project, right?

What, that little girl group y'all cooking up?

Yep. You gonna bet the whole farm on that?

Tell that to Berry Gordy and the Supremes.

They wish they were me.

I'm giving y'all one last chance, because y'all are my family.

I know y'all can't eat without me, 'cause all y'all got is pride.

And it's chewy and it's hard to swallow.

Let it go.

I don't know what happened to you when you were locked up, but you got me twisted, O.G.

I'm always gonna eat.

Just not with you.

Oh, my...

♪ Miss boss lady ♪
♪ Like a boss, boss, boss, boss, boss, boss, boss ♪
♪ Like a boss, boss, boss, boss ♪
♪ Boss lady run it, run it, boss lady run it, like a boss. ♪

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

I didn't think you would show up.

I was curious.

What could you possibly want from me?

Look, if you wanted a go at my boy, you should've asked me.

I'd-a let it happen.

I want the best for him.

Hakeem isn't my type, but you had it coming, Lucious.

Was it worth it?

Called you here because I need your help with Lyon Dynasty.

Wow.

(chuckles)

After all you've done to me, you actually think that I would betray them for you?

You showed up.

See, I figured if you showed up, that meant that things must be pretty damn bad for you over there.

I know Cookie, and she doesn't forgive.

So... it must be a living hell every single second you spend there.

Just like every second I spend here with you?

Lyon Dynasty is gonna fail.

That's just the reality of it.

You and I, we've seen it a million times.

So, let me... let me guess.

I do something dirty for you, and you reward me?

You've always been a little dirty.

Why not get a reward for it?

Lyon Dynasty has a chance, Lucious.

Hakeem is coming into his own over there.

Hakeem is coming back here.

Brothers, they already talked about it.

So that's gonna leave you and Cookie.

And how do you think that plays out?

You've never been stupid.

What'd you have in mind?

♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Where you at... ♪

There's something wrong with that hook.

I told you we're gonna tighten up the verses, then we gonna come back to the hook.

I know, but I need to hear the whole song in my head, Hakeem.

So, please, can we just do this my way once?

This ain't about your way! (music stops)

I'm the producer; let me produce!

I understand that, but, see, you went on Sway and told them we have a female group coming out in three days.

And so now you done put my name on the line.

So... ladies, can we do the hook again, please?

Thank you.

Hmm.

Uh...

Valentina?

Oh, what? So now you know my name?

Uh, bitch, sing the song before...

Mom!

I bet you would show Jamal a lot more trust than you giving me right now.

Please?

Pretty?

There you go.

Hey.

(music resumes)

♪ Ooh ♪
♪ Can we just be about it? ♪
♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Show me what you're gonna do about it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do it, shh ♪
♪ Shut your mouth and listen ♪
♪ Don't you know what you be missin'? ♪
♪ I don't want to keep talkin' ♪
♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it ♪
♪ Know I like that danger ♪
♪ But I need a game changer... ♪

It's good, right? It's good.

♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it... ♪

Now, all they got to do is get that choreography, and I'd say we got us a gold mine.

♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it. ♪

(sighs)

Waitress: Here you go, sir.

Thank you, sweetheart.

(chuckles)

So what brings you here?

Well, I, um...

I wanted to talk to you about Apex Radio.

What about it? Well, uh, you know, I was exploring a merger with them, but... in truth, their management's shaky, they're bleeding money.

I think it's the perfect time to just acquire them wholesale.

And what would that mean for Empire?

It means 200 urban radio stations.

If you purchase them, Empire would control almost all urban content in broadcast radio.

That's huge, Pop.

And you can deliver this?

Yes, sir.

But I want to talk about coming back in, Pop.

I'm sorry, Dre.

That's just not even open for conversation.

I didn't do the hostile takeover on my own, Pop, okay?

But I'm-I'm here.

I'm trying to take responsibility like a man.

Nobody else is doing this.

You're a brilliant MBA.

But I could hire 50 other mugs that can do exactly what you do.

You see, you would have to bring me something so unique, something so incredible, something that nobody else could bring me.

Like what?

You name it, Pop. Like what?

Maybe you should pray on it.

(cell phone ringing)

It's your brother.

What's up, Mal?

Jamal: Just got out of the studio with this last producer you sent.

How's that going?

Jamal: Worse than the last one.

But, look, some girl just barged in here talking about you were gonna sign her.

I don't even know who she is.

I'm on my way now.

I don't know. Security called, said apparently she showed up with a bunch of thugs or something.

Freda... that's the one I've been telling you about.

She means everything to me, musically.

No, you keep her there.

Sign her, Mal, whatever it takes.

Yeah, a'ight.

Empire wants to sign you, Freda.

And we're gonna hook you up and make sure you have a whole new level of people.

Where's Lucious?

He's on his way, but in the meantime, he wanted you to sign these.

Becky: For an unknown artist, girl, this is really big.

It's gonna change your life.

You don'ow nothing abt my life.

Huh.

Where you from?

Brownsville?

So?

So, I grew up in Tilden Houses.

Lucious gave me a shot to get out, and I took it.

When Lucious Lyon believes in you...

So why he ain't here then?

Man, I can't even read half these words.

He playing you, sis.

We are not.

This some bull, man.

Lucious Lyon ain't coming to sign my ass outta no ghetto.

My daddy told me don't trust him anyway.

Let's get it, yo.

(quietly): Wow.

You see her evil little ass that just walked up out of here?

My dad says musically she's his everything.

The hell's that supposed to leave me?

♪ If you really want it that bad, you go on and get it ♪
♪ So I prolly sing this song forever ♪
♪ Since a youngin, I've been on, but never ♪
♪ Had the time to shine, manipulated my grind ♪
♪ Told these haters I would do it, like how I move it ♪
♪ They love the focus and love the way I pursue it ♪
♪ Had to do my own thing... ♪

Lucious: See that?

(music stops)

How could you let her go?

All right, look, she's dope, but I didn't have a choice.

Keem would've signed her.

I-I swear, Mal, don't make me regret putting you in the position I did.

You put me in this position because I'm an artist...

A real one... Because of my music.

And I held everything down when you were inside.

I kept everything afloat. I didn't say anything.

Now you gonna jump down my throat because I couldn't sign some random hood rat.

"Hood rat"?

(chuckles softly)

I was gonna revive an entire label off of that hood rat.

Yeah, well, you didn't tell me that.

Which one?

Gutter Life Records.

It's a defunct label, but they got that raw sound that I've been looking for.

They wanted to take Lucious Lyon to the gutter?

Well, I'm gonna show them what the streets is about.

Lucious, I know where the girl's at.

I mean, as counselor, I would advise you not to go, but you gonna do what you want to do anyway.

It's that raggedy-ass park off Dumont Avenue.

See? That's how we get things done around here.

Look, son, I mean, if you can't handle the streets, it's okay, just work harder at getting your brother back.

Can't handle these streets. You know what?

With you sweating me over Hakeem and Freda Gatz and whoever else you want, you're forgetting what I need, both as your artist and your son.

Dad, say what you want about Cookie, but she was always there when I needed her.

Look, son, you want some attention from me?

Accomplish what I set out for you to accomplish, okay?

Come on, man.

(chuckles)

Let me guess.

Those five job offers never happened?

Are your knees sore? Did you run out of lubricant?

I get it, I get it.

You are the baddest bitch ever.

You are badder than all the animals whose prints populate your wardrobe, okay?

Girl, what do you want?

Lucious.

He still thinks I work here.

At least that's what he said when I met him this morning.

Oh, you spoke to Lucious?

He reached out to me about a proposition.

I'm unemployed, so I figured, why not?

Yeah, but Lucious is not allowed at Empire, so... did you meet him at his house?

I met him at Laviticus, where he is throwing a very snazzy, very large party in honor of himself.

Mm-hmm.

Of course he is.

But what did he tell you to make you slither your ass all the way back to the ghetto?

He wants your music, Cookie.

He wants everything.

Every track that Hakeem has done.

Tiana, Mirage à Trois, V.

Yeah, yeah, it's an old trick called "jack your track."

He takes my music, changes a couple of notes, puts it out so that I can't do anything with it.

(chuckles)

Speaking of tricks, why are you telling me this?

Look.

I understand how ugly this sounds, but it is very important to me to hurt Lucious.

I need it.

So I was hoping that maybe you might... if I...

(laughs)

All right.

Anika.

Tell me more about this party Lucious is throwing himself tonight.


♪ Ooh, no doubt about it ♪
♪ Mr. Worldwide ♪
♪ Ooh, no doubt about it ♪
♪ Reporting live ♪
♪ From the Empire, Jamal, let's show 'em ♪
♪ How to get off the chain, off the glass ♪
♪ Off the flip, off the rip, let's ride ♪
♪ All we want is a party ♪
♪ Have some shots with somebody ♪
♪ Take the music and turn it all the way up ♪
♪ If you came here to party ♪
♪ And ain't no doubt about it ♪
♪ Say no doubt about it ♪
♪ Say ain't no doubt about it ♪
♪ No, no, no, no, no, no doubt about it ♪
♪ Hey ♪
♪ Ain't no doubt about it ♪

♪ Ooh, there ain't no doubt about it ♪
♪ Goin' to the party, goin' to the party ♪
♪ Who they gonna see? Who they gonna see? ♪
♪ It's P-I-T and your boy Jamal ♪
♪ Here we are in the heezy, everybody say ♪
♪ Hey, oh, all right? ♪
♪ Everybody say, hey, oh, all right? ♪
♪ Baby, if you ain't on the dance floor ♪
♪ Then, baby, what you got all that for? ♪
♪ Let me show you how we do it ♪
♪ Show her to the club where the bad ones do it ♪
♪ Line up those shots, throw 'em back, do it ♪
♪ Light it, throw it in the air, do it ♪
♪ You want to take it off, baby, do it ♪
♪ In this party, ain't no social media ♪
♪ No camera phones, so let's get it on ♪
♪ Ella dice que no esta enamorada de mi ♪
♪ Pero le gusta como yo le doy... si ♪
♪ Mami, esta noche fiesta mañana puedes ser honesta, Dale ♪

♪ Don't mean no harm ♪
♪ Please forgive me if I'm causing you alarm ♪
♪ But the deejay, he just played my favorite song ♪
♪ And you look like you're ready, so come on ♪
♪ Baby, come on, hey ♪
♪ All we want is a party ♪
♪ Have some shots with somebody ♪
♪ Take the music and turn it all the way up ♪
♪ If you came here to party ♪
♪ And ain't no doubt about it ♪
♪ Say no doubt about it, say ain't no doubt about it ♪
♪ Ain't no, no, no, no, no, no doubt about it ♪
♪ Hey. ♪

(music stops)

Man: Yo, where the music at?

(music playing)

Yeah, that's right.

Welcome home, Lucious.

I wouldn't miss this celebration for the world.

Welcome home from your loving family, and especially from your loving ex-wife Cookie.

Oh, and welcome to my very own "Welcome to the World" party.

Oh, you know this next artist.

Yeah, see, he used to be one of Empire's top rappers, but he's coming out of his father's shadow to develop his own sound.

Give it up for the new label, Lyon Dynasty, and our number one artist, Hakeem Lyon.

(crowd cheering)

(music playing)

♪ Bounce ♪
♪ I'm yelling "Empire's over" ♪
♪ Dynasty taking over ♪
♪ Got the game in my palms ♪
♪ 'Bout to shut down the Carter ♪
♪ No more sitting on benches ♪
♪ Watching time keep ticking ♪
♪ Now I'm calling the plays ♪
♪ You can sit down and listen ♪
♪ Earned it all, nothing given ♪
♪ Though I grew up with riches ♪
♪ Tell little Mally I'm coming ♪
♪ You number one on my hit list ♪
♪ I'm so ready for war ♪
♪ Brought my soldiers and all ♪
♪ You should call on the Lord ♪
♪ 'Cause you taking the fall ♪
♪ Now tell me what you gonna do about that ♪
♪ I'm taking everything you own, lay you on your back ♪
♪ Ready for whatever you coming with, no sneak attack ♪
♪ I'm-a bury you so deep, it ain't no coming back ♪
♪ You over like the Mack ♪
♪ I told you time and time again that we the ones to beat ♪
♪ We uncontrollable, you tamer than a dog on leash ♪
♪ Dynasty, we number one, and we control the streets ♪
♪ Don't play no games round here ♪
♪ We cookin' the beef ♪
♪ Don't talk about it, we be about it ♪
♪ Got it on lock, we run it ♪
♪ On top while y'all flop ♪
♪ All know that we run it ♪
♪ Took your top spot ♪
♪ Don't be mad 'cause we run it ♪
♪ You had your time, now it's my time to run it ♪
♪ Run it, run it ♪
♪ Run it, run it ♪

♪ Run it, run it, run it, run it, run it ♪
♪ Yo ♪
♪ I just shut down the building with that gold on my arm ♪
♪ I know she used to be yours, but I took her to Mars ♪
♪ Yeah, I gave her that feeling ♪
♪ I'm the youngest in charge ♪
♪ You couldn't stand up right ♪
♪ I'm the stand-up type ♪
♪ It is the Dynasty, we take your roster ♪
♪ And we did it like a robbery ♪
♪ That new money, got it stacking to the balcony ♪
♪ I'm the lion, you the cub, ain't no topping me ♪
♪ Pause ♪

(imitates tires screeching)

♪ Don't talk about it, we be about it ♪
♪ Got it on lock, we run it ♪
♪ Turn up ♪
♪ On top while y'all flop ♪
♪ All know that we run it ♪
♪ Took your top spot, don't be mad 'cause we run it ♪
♪ You had your turn, now it's my turn to run it ♪
♪ Run it, run it, run it ♪
♪ Run it, run it, run it... ♪

Hurry up, hurry up, get the chip.

Make sure you get that chip.

(clamoring)

Hurry up. (music stops)

(microphone squeals, thumps)

Damn, Cookie, now that's a move.

Yeah, you know, we need to talk about Lyon Dynasty doing a huge set at your New Year's Eve special. Hmm. Yeah?

Hey, if you put it down like you did tonight, you can have your own stage in Miami.

Bet.

(phones ringing) Lyon Dynasty, please hold.

Lyon Dynasty, please hold.

You know a girl had to make a grand entrance.

Can I get you to sign this please?

Everybody, shut up!

Cookie can't have everybody talking at once!

Say that again, Sway. It's crazy here, baby.

I said Lyon Dynasty came out the gates blazin' last night, bum-rushing the stage like KRS did PM Dawn.

The Bridge is over.

The Bridge is over. (scats, laughs)

Yeah, you see, we bringing that real hip-hop back.

See, that's what the Lyon Dynasty's all about.

I don't know what to tell you guys. (girls arguing)

Listen. No, no, no, listen. We already spoke about it!

Mala: You can't just take my solo without talking to me.

Who said they're your solos?

Ugh, I'm so sick of your mouth, girl!

Valentina: You couldn't find a C major if it was right in between your legs, which it ain't.

Carmen: Oh, my God.

(arguing continues)

Wow.

What do you want?

I'm just here to see Mom.

How's it going?

We're on Sway in two days.

You sure you want to risk that?

With Dad coming for you the way that he is? - Bring it.

Cookie: Well, you can always come back here with us, Dre.

Empire's where I belong, Mom.

That company's part of me.

But more importantly, I have a vision for Empire.

Now, I want it to be something that I would be proud... to leave my own... child.

That's what I was trying to do here, Dre.

You and Rhonda?

Yeah.

(gasps)

(laughs)

Oh, my God!

Oh, Dre. Thank you.

So, um...

Did you tell Lucious?

No.

Why would I do that, Mom?

Uh, Dre, you just answered your own wish.

Lucious wants the same thing you do.

That's why he's so hell-bent about getting Hakeem back over there.

He wants his own legacy.

And nothing says legacy like a grandchild.

You saw how he acted with Lola.

He about melted with that little girl.

I can't.

And I won't use my unborn child as leverage with him or anybody else.

I won't do it. No.

Listen to me, boy.

All I'm saying is, sometimes, you got to pull at those heartstrings to get paid.

Ain't nothing wrong with that.

(chuckles)

Think about it.

Okay.

(footsteps approaching)

I'll tell you one thing, son, you sure are persistent.

I hope you got something better than last time.

(sighs)

I do have news.

And I wanted to share it with you face-to-face.

Rhonda's pregnant.

You're gonna be a grandfather.

For real?

(chuckles): Yeah.

Aren't you worried?

About what?

The child's mental health.

Bipolar doesn't run in our family, Dad.

There's nothing to worry about.

Leah: Dwight, baby, did you really think I'd forget your birthday?

Dwight: But my birthday's not till next month.

Leah: We're gonna celebrate it now.

Look at all this stuff.

(plays note, laughs)

(chuckles softly)

A heir? A grandson?

Yes, sir, that's right. That's right, Pop.

(laughs) And with this child, everything, a new path is becoming clear.

I got feeling about a second phase for Empire.

(laughs)

Always wanted a grandson.

(laughs)

That's good, 'cause you're gonna get one.

Congratulations.

But I swear to you, you are breaking my heart, the fact that you are using this right now... to get what you want from me.

I'm not using this, Pop.

I'm just letting you know that there's more at stake than just me now.

Pop, there's more at stake than just me, you hear me?

I need this. There's more at stake than just me.

Yeah.

You give Rhonda my love, okay?

(playing slow, haunting tune)

Dwight: We need to eat, Mama.

We need to eat.

And we can't eat until we take all this stuff back.

Dwight: ♪ La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la ♪
♪ La, la, la, la, la, la-la, la-la, la ♪

(indistinct singing echoes)

Freda: ♪ School days, free lunch line, you behind you ♪
♪ Some of the wackest dudes, I spy, too ♪
♪ I'm the realest here, the trillest, yeah ♪
♪ I heard the street say you a ghost ♪
♪ 'Cause your heart we know was never there ♪
♪ You got me feeling like ♪
♪ I done had enough now ♪
♪ No time to cluck round ♪
♪ I make these chickens duck down, one up ♪
♪ You say you a shooter, then pick your gun up ♪
♪ I'm here, boy, 20/20, I'm clear, boy ♪
♪ More chicken than magic Monday ♪
♪ Make a hater disappear, boy ♪
♪ I swear, boy, you ain't nowhere in my vertical ♪
♪ Serving who? Hell, you mean, boy? ♪

She's good.

♪ We never heard of you ♪
♪ Freda been about that ♪
♪ Ask your chick about that. ♪

(crowd cheering)

♪ Yo, came from the projects, wanting more ♪
♪ All-nighters trappin' in front of the corner store ♪
♪ Bitch, you's irrelevant, you don't even matter ♪
♪ I splatter your brains like them cats did "Stank" Gathers. ♪

(crowd cheering)

That's how these females get, man... weak.

What, you gonna cry now?

Hold up! Baby!

(gunfire, crowd screaming)

Let me go!

Stop! Come on.

Your father didn't want this for you.

You've got something, and it don't come around every day.

But, baby, you got it. Let me help you do something with it.

Mr. Lyons, now, unless you like prison, we got to go.

Freda: My daddy was a crazy man, and you don't know a damn thing about that. I promise you I do.

No. You know we gonna run on these fools, Fre!

Baby, don't do something that you can't come back from.

Man: Come on, Fre.

Let me help you.

Man: Come on, Fre. (sirens wailing in distance)

We out!

(sirens approaching)

Thirsty: Got to get you out of here.

I have to get you out of here. Come on.

Jamal: I'm telling you, it's this war between my mom and dad.

It's killing everything, especially the music.

I don't care. Like hell.

After last night, I definitely need a producer that fits me.

What was wrong with this last producer, huh?

What's wrong with the guy that crafted club bangers for Ri-Ri, Nicki and Usher?

Too damn arrogant. Arrogant?

Wasn't the last one too nice though?

The one before that was... too quirky.

The one before that was too short, and the one before that was too tall.

Don't smirk at me like I don't know what I'm talking about.

Lucious has been sending you the top producers in the game, and you are not even...

Ooh! (sighs) Forget it.

Why don't you just call her, yo?

I don't know who "her" is.

"Her" is Cookie, and you know it.

She's the only one that knows how to deal with your moody ass.

I know that Cookie and Lucious got beef right now, but that ain't got nothing to do with you.

Don't let that be the reason, 'cause you need her.

And more importantly, she loves you.

I want you to get some people over to her house, get her to me.

What the hell is... What is this?

Why am I not surprised to find you down here among the bottom-feeders and criminals?

Have I broken any laws? No.

Not yet, but the night is young.

Miss Ford, this is borderline harassment and a bit desperate if you ask me.

Look, don't say another word.

No, I'm starting to think Miss Ford is a little sweet on Lucious.

Look, why don't you come by and, uh, we'll take care of all this tension we've been building up.

Your client is on very thin ice, Counselor.

Then I imagine you are, too, seeing as you're standing right next to him.

(Lucious laughs)

You're never gonna find Vernon Turner.

We've got him hidden far away.

Then why are you here?

Apparently, he must not be cooperating.

Your case is stalled.

I want you to know this.

As long as this case is open, I have a license to dig.

A murder rap... is only the beginning of what I have planned for you.

(scoffs)

Let's go.

Wait till you see what I got planned for you, Miss Ford.

You're gonna like it.

(music playing)

Cookie: Five, six, seven, eight and walk, walk.

Walk! I need attitude!

Uh-uh, uh-uh! She off.

Stop. Do it again. Do you want to be here?!

More attitude, more attitude!

Do we know what we doing here?!

Five, six, seven, eight!

Come on, let's go, ladies.

Oh, oh. Okay.

Put your back into it.

Up, up, ladies. Knees up.

Up! Yes, that's right, ladies. Up, up, up.

Higher! High... Porsha, stop with all of that!

I'm just making sure you ain't going soft.

Well, wait! Somebody's off.

Stop. Stop. Drop, give me 20.

(whistle blows, cane tapping on floor)

No, not those push-ups.

Knees up, ladies.

I want push-ups with your knees up!

You ain't no punk.

Yes. Y'all...

Y-You're not in sync.

I'm not doing this right now.

I'm a singer. I'm not a soldier.

(chuckles)

You think just 'cause you slept with my son that you don't have to work for it?

It's not like that with Hakeem.

I worked my ass off to get here, and I don't need to sleep with anybody to get to where I want to be.

Prove it, because that's not what the rest of the world is gonna say about you if you don't knock this thing out the park tomorrow.

Yes!

Less lip, more work.

See, y'all want fame, but you don't want to put in the work.

Everybody wants to be Beyoncé, but you don't want to put in the work!

♪ Do it, do it, do it, shh ♪

Let's go!

♪ Shut your mouth and listen ♪

Better. Better.

♪ Don't you know what you be missin' ♪
♪ I don't want to keep talkin' ♪
♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it ♪
♪ Know I like that danger ♪

Uh-oh.

♪ But I need a game changer ♪
♪ Want it sooner than later ♪
♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do ♪
♪ Oh-oh ♪

♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it ♪

Finally! Finally! Yes!

♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do, do it, do it ♪
♪ Oh-oh ♪

♪ Do it, do it, where you at? Come get it, just do it... ♪

Damn, Mom. You really whipped them in shape.

Where you learn this from?

Prison.

♪ Where you at, boy? ♪
♪ Where you at? Come get it, just do it. ♪

(whoops)

(faintly): ♪ Do it, do it, do it, do it ♪
♪ Do it, do it, do ♪
♪ Oh-oh ♪

♪ Do it, do it... ♪

How'd you know?

Don't get all paranoid.

I talked to Becky this morning.

I know.

I don't get why you can forgive Hakeem, but I can't have a truce with Cookie.

Have you forgotten what your mother's trying to do to me?

She's building a company to deliberately hurt me.

She tried to take Empire from me.

She tried to take it from you.

Yeah, but none of that matters anymore.

It don't. You said it... the music matters.

And it's got to come out.

I'm telling you, I'm on one, Dad, but those producers that you sent me, they...

I'm way past them. Way past them.

But I do need someone.

I need... I need a Cookie.

No, that's where you're wrong.

You don't need nobody.

You're past Cookie.

Tell me how that is.

Look at where you've been, man.

You've gone through dark corridors of humanity.

What woman's gonna understand that and relate it in your music?

What man can understand that?

You need a god to produce you.

I'm gonna produce you.

Yo, I'm serious. I'm on one.

You think I'm playing?

I'm talking about straight to the top.

(laughs)

And I ain't playing second fiddle to no Freda Gatz or no Shucky Ducky, quack, quack, or whoever else you want to bring on board. (laughs)

I'm serious, Dad.

Superstar status.

I think I know something about that.

You're the one.

Thank you for pushing me.

♪ Drop that kitty down low, pop that kitty down low ♪
♪ Drop that kitty down low ♪
♪ Hey, I know you want it all... ♪

Where is this bitch?

Where the hell is Valentina? They can't go on without her.

I'm checking on her car right now.

She better get her ass up here.

♪ I know you want it all ♪
♪ I'm giving you enough... ♪

What are you doing here?

Oh, the same thing you were doing at my party.

Except when I crash a venue, I own it.

What are you talking about, Lucious?

I bought Apex Radio.

Empire now has a controlling interest in every urban outlet and in every major market in the country.

Wait. Mom... Hakeem.

Well, see, y'all keep acting like y'all don't know me, so y'all gonna have to learn the hard way.

Now your artists got to suffer.

Cookie: Lucious, you can't do this.

No, I already did it.

And don't forget, I invited your ungrateful ass back into my Empire, and you spit in my face.

Sorry I'm late.

Hakeem: Forget it, girl.

My dad took hating to a whole nother level.

He gonna cancel your performance to get back at us.

Lucious: (chuckles) See how little he knows?

She's our next guest. What do you mean, your next guest?

Oh, I signed her this morning.

I'm sorry, Hakeem.

Lucious: No. Baby, come here.

Don't you ever apologize for making the right move.

You want be star, you need a real label behind you.

Why don't you get in there and shine, baby.

I'm gonna make your ass pay for this.

Y'all know about this?

Sway: You rockin' with Sway live on the radio, and Valentina is here, just like I promised y'all.

Hi. All right, beautiful.

Lucious: Now, without radio, your little label dries up and dies.

So rest in peace, baby.

You keep forgetting, Lucious.

You can't keep Cookie down.

♪ I know that when I step up in the room ♪
♪ All eyes is on me ♪
♪ I got that heat, that fire... ♪

Come on, Hakeem.

Huh, little baby lion cub?

♪ Round of applause lead to standing ovations... ♪

Oh, well.

♪ Standing ovations lead to selling out the stadiums ♪
♪ Radios on, now I'm heard on every station ♪
♪ I'm what you waiting for, now watch me take the nation. ♪