02x05 - Be True

Previously on Empire...

I'm not giving up on my group, Ma.

If I don't find a girl in a week, I drop it.

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

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

Let me help you do something with it.

Man: Come on, Freda!

You need a god to produce you.

You need me to produce.

Jamal: I feel like you're the new Warhol.

God, you are gorgeous.


Lucious... he wants your music, Cookie.

He wants everything.

God's been speaking to me.

He wants me to keep seeking Empire.

What'd you do to your Uncle Vernon?

Stop it! Stop it!

(grunts, gasps)

You saved my life.

Welcome back to the Empire.


From the streets of Philadelphia to the top of the Billboard charts to the balcony of the New York Stock Exchange, to a prison cell in Brooklyn, Lucious Lyon has emerged a free man.

(cheering) After a four-month ordeal, all charges against him have been dropped, and Judge Erskine Robbins has granted the motion to dismiss. That's how you close a case.

Yeah, they ain't really calling it a suicide?

Yeah, the feds are embarrassed.

Had no case without him. They didn't feel they want nobody to know the dead body popped up in the prosecutor's car. (laughing)

So I heard.

Good to see you.

(sighs) LUCIOUS: Andre!

Welcome back to the Empire, son.

Congratulations, Pop.

You beat the rap.

Yeah. Thanks to you.

And that prosecutor... She, uh... took a leave of absence.

Let's not talk about that here, Pop.

Okay. Business it is.

Oh, by the way, I signed a new artist to your label, Gutter Life... her name's Freda Gatz.

You're gonna meet her later on.

Andre, nice to see you without a shovel.

We got a slew of reporters outside.

They ain't gonna go away until they get a statement from you.

I'm not saying nothin' to them so they can twist my words around.

No, you really should make some sort of statement, Pop.

Thirsty: Yeah... to the Empire! I mean... (chuckles) that's your thing, right?

Yeah. Y'all want me to say something?

Thirsty: Yeah.

Let me see your phone.

Cookie: Throw your hair back. Uh-huh.

Your angle is here, honey. Up, up.

Work the camera, honey.

Yes, girl! Work!

We need some more oil on her legs, honey.

♪ 'Cause now I'm like, ooh, ooh ♪
♪ Send me up in the club, like... ♪

Yeah, I think you got it, T. Cool?

Okay. Thanks.


Oh, thank you.

(smacks lips)

(sighs) What's up?

Porsha set up this dumb phone with these stupid-ass alerts, and I can't figure it out.

Can you fix it?

Where is she, anyways?

I fired her 'cause she got me arrested.

Now, fix my phone.

(phone beeping)

Uh, it's Lucious.


Hey, Ma, I want you to meet somebody.

Boy, get over here and see what your father posted.

Lucious (on video): The truth is, I'm innocent.

I was being targeted... nobody ever had a case against me.

And all those people that think they got a problem with me, y'all can kiss my ass.

Your father's a heartless b*st*rd.

Vernon's body ain't even... Mom.

Tiana, I want you to meet my new lead singer Laura.

Laura, meet Tiana. Oh, my gosh, I'm a big fan.

Thank you.

Tiana, uh, can you show Laura to the studio? I'll be in there in a minute.

Yeah. Thank you, babe.


Are you two...?

Uh, no. Not anymore.

He's like that with all the girls.

But he was just telling me and Cookie that you can really blow.

What? He thinks you got a million-dollar voice.

You know, I can't wait to see what he's gonna do with you, Laura.

You really think Vernon offed himself?

Look, where we from, if snitches don't kill themselves, somebody else will.

Look, I ain't studying Lucious.

But if we want this craziness to stop, it's got to start with us.

Okay? Now, we got a good thing, son, a good thing... Look at this.

So I need you to focus.

And you got this video coming out with Jamal.

I need you to get back in the studio and make some more tracks so you can ride this publicity that you're gonna get, okay?

All right, handsome?

Why you not smiling?

Fix my phone. Porsha put some damn alerts on there...

I can't get it off.

♪ Get it, girl, get, get, get, get it ♪
♪ Get it, girl... ♪

Welcome home.

(others clapping, whooping)

Gutter Life!

Others: Gutter Life!

♪ Get it, gurl, get, get, get, get it ♪
♪ Get it, gurl, get it, gurl ♪
♪ Get it, gurl, get, get, get, gurl ♪
♪ Bend it over, baby, let me see you act up ♪
♪ Yeah, I have to make the money fly like NASA, I can ♪
♪ I'm electric, you can catch me in that Tesla ♪
♪ Michael Phelps cool ♪
♪ But I could stroke you way better... ♪

Ladies and gentlemen, today is a historic day for Gutter Life and you artists, 'cause on this day you meet your new king and president, my son, Mr. Andre Lyon!


Congratulations, boss.

Ready to get Gutter with us?

♪ Who da wild boys, that dude payin' ♪
♪ Who dat? ♪
♪ You know what it is ♪
♪ Who are my whores? ♪
♪ They do it real clean ♪
♪ Who dat? That's the way we live ♪
♪ Who are my whores? ♪
♪ Who da wild boys? ♪
♪ Who dat? ♪
♪ Who da wild boys? ♪
♪ Who da wild boys? ♪
♪ Who da wild boys... at? ♪
♪ Who da wild boys at? ♪
♪ Step in the room that's the damndest... ♪
♪ 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 ♪
♪ I know I'm... ♪ - No, no, no, no. When you get to that second "I was born to love you," it's the moment of creation, it's the Big Bang.

You've got to feel the whole universe.

All right.

Ne-Yo, what you think?

Be honest with him, man.

Don't hold back.

He needs it.

(clears throat)

It's definitely a record where the passion needs to be epic.

Personal opinion... not bad.

Thank you. Means a lot coming from you. Indeed.

Honest enough?

You know what, if y'all thinking like that, then why don't y'all just do a little collaboration.

I mean lay down a couple of tracks, see what happens.

You real smart, but you behind the game, old man.

We already been talking. It's gonna happen.

Yeah, I got a little free time, I figured I'd come out on the road for a couple dates, you know, debut some of the new stuff.

See, now that's a move your mama can't make.

That's that thing that pushes you up to that whole other level.

Michael: Hey.

Sorry, the gallery opening's in 30, so we got to...

Michael, Ne-Yo.

How you doing, brother? Wow!

Man, I'm a huge fan. I've been to, like, 20 of your concerts or something.

Ah, that's love. Appreciate it, bro. Yeah.

Ne-Yo's gonna come out on a few dates of my tour.

Wait, so he... you're coming with us?

Yes, sir.

I love that!

Michael: Wow.

Michael, why don't you meet me in my office?

I'm gonna just wrap it up.

Yeah. Great to meet you, Ne-Yo.

Nice to meet you, bro.

That's a mistake.

First rule of the road is you don't bring your girlfriend.

I mean boyfriend.

Why is that? 'Cause you need to be... in seduction mode on that stage.

No distractions.

Dad, I kind of feel like you're the last person to give me relationship advice.


Ask your man.

(sighs): Uh... touring gets lonely, you know that, L.

Bingo. Nah, I mean, don't get me wrong, there's a multitude of temporary companionship if you, you know, if you about that life.

I ain't about that life. But... after a while, you do start, you know, craving something real... then if he already got the real...

I say, why not.

To hell with what he's saying.

You need to be focused.

Everything you want is on the line.

Can't let nothing get in the way of your moment.

I'll be back.

Man: Tough first day back, huh?

Andre: My father's reviving an old label, Gutter Life Records, (chuckles): which is exactly what it sounds like.

He appointed me president.

He's testing you.

Just like he did with the music therapist.


And she led you to the Lord.

There's a purpose to all of it.

I need to protect my family.

I think it's time I do.

We take baptism at my church very seriously, Andre.

It requires action... and devotion. I'm committed, Reverend.

You tell me what I need to do, and I'll do it.

First, clear your conscience.

Go to your loved ones, confess all your sins against them.

Then... invite them to your baptism.

Confess to my family?


Your house ain't clean if your closets are dirty.

Reverend, my family doesn't go to a church unless somebody's in a casket.


Maybe he wants you to be his shepherd.

Maybe God... wants you to lead them here.


Woman: Great shoot, T.

You need a lift?

No, thank you... I got a car on the way.

Thanks, though. All right. Bye.


Woman: Oh, snap! Look, it's Tiana!

Hey, yo, could we get a flick with you?


(camera clicks)

Ah... one more, one more.

Get off of me!


I want that bag, bitch.

Oh, my God!

Keep it movin'!


Give me my bag!

What happened?

She got jacked right outside our front door.

By who?

Two ugly-ass bitches.

You good?

Chicken: Hey, y'all, check this out.

Look what I found on YouTube.


Oh! Oh... look at this!

(woman cackling) HAKEEM: Hey, what are they wearing?

(woman speaking indistinctly on video)

Man: Welcome to my kingdom,

Lyon Dynasty.

You wanna chillax here, you gon' pay tax here.

(taunting laughter on video)

What, is this dude trying to get signed or something?


Man: Won't be no collection agency sending you.

Past-due notices, either. It'll me kicking down your door.

(man continues in Spanish)

Damn. We've been marked.

They're gonna try to extort money from us.

Has this happened before? No.

And it's not gonna start.

I'm-a take care of this, trust and believe that.

♪ Be alone, oh, oh ♪
♪ Whoo, I can't feel my face when I'm with you ♪
♪ But I love it ♪

Yeah, go back. Those ones, too.

Just, uh... see that?


This is what I live for.

Everyday people taking photos of my art and posting their own interpretations of it.

You know, when your music video goes viral... Which it will... The price of the original is gonna just skyrocket.

I want the original.

You already got the original.

I do.

Look at you two.

You guys are hot together.

Look, I hope you let me use some of this art for my tour.

That calls for another bottle.

Hey, would you mind?

What about you... you going on the road with him or what?

Uh, my dad's already trying to get into my head and say "don't bring the relationship on the road", so we'll see.

Well, I mean, it's Lucious, so...

Personally, I'm with Lucious on this one.

Relationships are the death of creativity.

Why would you say that?

You mean to tell me you've never been in love?

Every day.

And it's real.

So why would I want to close that off to just one person?

You know what destroys me?

Same-sex marriage.

Wait... wait, what? What?

The biggest advancement of gay rights in American history, and it gets handed down from some archaic institution that doesn't even believe in natural human desire.

I mean, look, I understand the impulse, but why are we so keen on being locked down in these heteronormative shackles?


It's kind of like, um, when-when they ask, uh, "Who's-who's the man, who's the woman?" Oh.

He's adorable.

You're so damn weird, but you make me think, you know what I'm saying? Like, and that's what... that's what artists... that's what artists are supposed to do, they're supposed to be... supposed to be inspiring.

It's just... it's just...

Dude, what the...

What are you doing? This is also an artistic form of expression.

Yo, even if I was attracted to you...

Which I'm-I'm not.

(laughs) At all.

I would-I would never do that to Michael.

Step up, get up.

Baby, you ready?

Come on. Just come on.

A mouth is a mouth.

♪ Uh, uh, uh ♪

♪ I'm yelling ♪

Announcer: Hip hop's hottest new MC, Hakeem Lyon!

Multi-platinum diva Tiana!

Lyon Dynasty's queen of soul, the one and only Veronica!

♪ Put your hands up ♪

And we got a few other acts on hook. I can't say who yet, because their deals... ain't done, but Hakeem is putting together a group with three smokin' hot Spanish girls.

And Pitbull wants us to do a set on his New Year's Eve show, so...

Okay. I'm in.

I haven't told you the challenges yet.

I've been promoting concerts for a lot of years, Cookie.

I am aware of the challenges.

But we're not just some little start-up company.

Well, yes, I do need a promoter to help us with our concert game.

But I, you know, I do know what I'm doing.

You also know that you're Lucious Lyon's ex-wife.

That means that people think you're swimming in cash.

And that makes you a target.

It means you're on a lot of people's radar, including these knuckleheads that got Tiana at the studio the other day.

Okay? The streets are watching, Cookie.

And they're counting your money.

That means they're gonna come for it.

You know, you are the fifth promoter I met with. Mr... Delgado.

All of them bounced when they found out about Tiana.

Well, I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty.

That's what I do.

Really? Yeah.

The wolves are gonna come, Cookie, and when they do, no promoters are gonna touch you... but me.

Hey, Cookie.

Porsha, I'm in a meeting.

I know you're busy, but I heard about what happened and I could fix your security problems.

How? Meet Whoopty Woo.

Whoop their what?

Whoopty Woo. Look, this the baddest bitch in town.

It's my grandma's mutt, and she don't play. I'm so sorry.

Granny said you can keep her, too.

I don't want that mutt.


Well, can I... No.

Porsha, please leave. Please.

I swear in front of Jesus.

Come on, Whoopty Woo.




Really? I will call you when I need you. Get out of here, Porsha.

What were we saying? I'm sorry.

I saw Reverend Pryce yesterday.

Rhonda: Oh, yeah?

I'm gonna be baptized, Rhonda.


I want you there. Family, too.

Oh, come on, Andre, grow up.

You really think that that clan is gonna show up for you? Well, whatever reservations they have, I'm, uh, hoping they can put 'em aside.

Reverend wants me to confess my sins to them, so...

Oh, wow. (chuckles) Confess your sins.

And what, exactly, are you going to confess, Andre?

It is not what you think, Rhonda.

Just about how I wronged them in the past, and... and to ask them for forgiveness.


You don't need their forgiveness.

They're all a bunch of sinners.

But, speaking of confessions, um...

I'm not wearing any underwear.

Somebody might walk in.

I know.



Not right now, babe.

Why not? We haven't in so long.

Things are different.



Okay. Yeah?

I love you.


We're gonna have a baby.

We're back.


Lucious: Long story short, I tell him he ain't go no next of kin, and now we stuck with him.

Cookie: We? Oh, no, that's your boy. You take him, I don't want him.

Oh, hell, no, I don't want no snitch.

Vernon was a bitch, but he wasn't a chump.

And he didn't kill hisself, either.

That's some B.S.

You know something I don't? Do you?

Well, whatever happens, can't leave him here. It don't look good.

Why don't you give him to your sister Carol?

She used to like him. You know, he told me Bunkie was about to shake you down.

Probably thought it was a matter of time before you turned on him.

You knew he was a snake?

I ain't know anything.

So... did you off him?

Did you get one of your goons to do it?

No, I did not kill Vernon.

Get out of my way.

Everybody we know, people that helped build us up, ended up in boxes that you don't even want to claim.

How we gonna keep our family safe, Lucious?

I feel safe. You don't?


That's what happens when you don't have me looking after you.

You better not have had nothing to do with that purse snatching.

(chuckles) What you talking about?

Somebody must have got at you.


This must be really liberating for you, Lucious.


Having no morals.

Why don't you prove you're half-human and take the damn ashes.

Go on, take it, Lucious.

He was your boy.

(sighs heavily)

Where's Lucious?

Hey, what's up, Andre?

You're father's out today.

He asked me to take care of a few things.

You on the payroll now?

I'm replacing Vernon.

No one can replace Vernon.

Yeah, you're right about that.

But there is work to do.

Uh, Lucious asked me to look into, uh, Anita Calhoun.

Anika Calhoun. Anika, yeah.

She doesn't work for Lyon Dynasty, right?

Never did.

Cookie shut her out from the jump, yeah.

Are you on good terms with your mama?


Lucious want copies of Lyon Dynasty's music.

Finished and unfinished... all of it.

And he was thinking you might be able to work your magic and, you know...

He wants me to steal their tracks?

He thought you might be down.

I'm not.

I'd never do anything to hurt my mother.

And in the future, you can tell him to tell me directly about our family affairs.

Of course, of course.

Excuse me if I overstepped. You did.

I'm just trying to make the boss happy.

And I'd appreciate if you forget this conversation ever happened.

I'd appreciate if you left the glass on the table, leave my father's office, and don't come back until he returns.


So articulate.

And here I thought we made nice, digging in the dirt.

♪ ♪
♪ So long ♪
♪ Sweet words ♪
♪ Don't have no use for you anymore ♪
♪ No one ♪
♪ To say them to ♪
♪ So what in the hell ♪
♪ Would I hold onto them for? (music cuts out)

Okay. It's good, but you seem like you're not focused, so in this next part, I need you to, like, really push the passion. So...

♪ And today is a special day ♪
♪ A celebration ♪
♪ 'Cause I've finally come to accept this fact ♪

(vocalizing) ♪ I'll never love ♪

You know what I'm talking about? The...

No, I love it. I got you. (phone vibrates)

Sorry. You-you good?

Yeah, I'm sorry, hold on a second. Okay, um, I been sitting there watching you fiddle with that phone since we started. If you need to take a five, we can take a five, bro, that's cool.

Yeah, I told him I didn't want him to come on tour with me.

He took it as me saying as I want a open relationship, which I don't. Okay.

But it kind of spinning out of control after that.

Spun out of control 'cause that's 'cause that's not what you want?

Hey, you know how it is. Like, this is everything.

This is the only thing, and he knows that, so, I mean, like, this is stupid.

Like, look what's happening right now.

I'm in a studio with my boy Ne-Yo...

You know what I'm saying?... In this dope session, and here I am talking about this foolishness.

He's's trippin'. It's all good.

Okay, none of my business, you didn't ask for this opinion, but I personally feel like you should bring him.

Really? Yeah, and I've done it both ways.

I've brought my lady, I've been without my lady.

And both work, but it's really about what it is that you want.

Now, if that dude is your serenity, if that's the one, then, he's supposed to be there, 'cause the road is hectic. Yeah.

Plus, I honestly feel like you had it right from the other day.

The whole... not-taking-relationship advice-from-Lucious-Lyon.

Right. Yeah, not the move. Uh-uh.

All right, I'm gonna take him. I'll tell him tonight.

Thank you for that.

Hey, come on, man. Yeah.

(phone buzzes)

Yeah, I'm gonna take this. Okay, take it.

Yeah. Once again. From the top let's go.

It's all good. I'm sorry.

(instrumental intro to "Never Love Again" plays)

♪ So long, sweet words ♪
♪ Don't have no use for you anymore ♪
♪ No one to say them to ♪
♪ So what in the hell would I hold onto them for? ♪
♪ And today's a special day ♪
♪ A celebration ♪
♪ 'Cause I finally come to accept this fact ♪
♪ And the fact is that ♪
♪ I'll never love again ♪
♪ I'll never love again ♪
♪ I'll never love again ♪
♪ The way that I loved you... ♪

Pharrell: Why y'all girls standin' together like that?

I can't take it.

♪ Uh, hey, uh, hey ♪

♪ I can do anything you like, I can do anything you need ♪
♪ And I got a better body than the magazines you read ♪
♪ None of them boys know the first thing about your fantasy ♪
♪ And if they tried, they can not do it just like me ♪
♪ I know you certainly been gone ♪
♪ And it's been much too long ♪
♪ And there's some things we need to do ♪
♪ So I know you need to get home... ♪

I'm feeling this music.

You feeling me?


What? I'm so stupid.

I should have known this is what this was all about.

Laura, where you going? I'm not about this.

I'm not one of those girls.

She talking about us?

Sounded like it.

Your eyes aren't even focusing. Focus.

And I'm recording this dope-ass song with Ne-Yo.

Obviously. Obviously.

And we going on the tour, and he's gonna be doing some dates.

You going on tour with Ne-Yo?

Mm-hmm. What?

Jesus do love you. I don't care what the bible says.

(laughter) Jesus.

Where is Michael? He's on the balcony.

♪ You hit hard, I hit harder... ♪

Jamal: Baby, come back in...

(zipping up)

♪ Holding it in only gives me more to get out ♪
♪ I got the strength to dig... ♪

I thought you two had discussed this.

♪ It's getting harder... ♪

Discussed this? It's my fault. It's not his.

If you don't get up out of my house right now, swear to God, you're about to go over that balcony.

Chase One: Can we talk about this like...?

Get up out of my house!

♪ Cross me, baby, and if he has your girl now ♪
♪ Won't be your bait. ♪

So, Birdman didn't feel some type of way when you went on tour with Lil Wayne?

(laughs) Yeah, he did.

I told him I got to go where the checks clear.

Mm-hmm, and right now, the cash money is just not as liquid as the young money.

Really? (barking)

Whoopty Woo, shut up!

This damn dog.

(barking continues)

(glass breaking)


(clinking and thudding)

Get him.


Drop it, bitch!

Drop it! (grunting)

(grunting) Open it up.

Let me see what you stealing!

(gun cocking) Who sent you?

Who sent you?

Who sent you?! Thirsty.

Thirsty. (grunting)

Lucious's slimey-ass lawyer.

You was taking my masters?

Lucious, I should blow your head off.

Ooh, surveillance bugs. What?!

You want to call the cops?

No! No. No cops.

Hey, get out of here.


You better not come back. (grunting)

Tell Lucious to kiss my black ass!

You packing?

See you are, too.


(elevator bell dings)

Oh, so, you had a party, you didn't invite me?

I'm offended.

I don't even know why I let you up in here.

Try not to slash none of my artwork.

Wake up. (groans)

Andre: Will you two stop fighting?

Wanted to talk about Uncle Vernon.

Jamal: So sick of talking about Uncle Vernon.

What's there to talk about?

He tried to sell out Dad, it didn't work, and he took the easy way out.

Whatever happened between him and Dad doesn't negate the fact that he always wanted what's best for us, Jamal.

He taught me that it was my responsibility, as the oldest, to always look out for you guys, to protect you.

Instead, I made sure you were at each others throats.

I wanted Empire so bad that I...

I was prepared to let you two kill each other so I'd be the only one left.

Come on, Dre.

What you talking about?

It wasn't Hakeem that had you robbed at Ghetto Ass Studio, Jamal.

I set that up.

Wait. When Jamal almost got shot?!

I didn't think it would go as far as it did, okay?

But it did. He could have got killed!

I did... I didn't think it would got as far as it...

It was wrong of me. I was sick.

I'm sorry.

It's unreal.

There's nothing I can do to change the past.

I can... I can just say that I'm sorry?

I'm getting baptized this Sunday.

And I'd appreciate it if you both would come.


I guess we all make mistakes, right?

I'll come.

Thanks, bro.

Jamal: I'm not gonna go get shaded by the pastor just 'cause I can't pray away the gay.

I don't know where he stands, Jamal.

You should ask, Dre.

It's important.

But you know where I stand.

You'd be coming to support me, man, not the church.

I want to help heal this family.

I want us to be whole again.

I mean it with all of my heart.

Think about it.


Thank you.

All right.

Thanks, y'all.

Andre: Thirsty sent some guys to break into Lyon Dynasty.

Thirsty does whatever I tell him to do.

Yeah, for your business, not mine.

And certainly not our family affairs, right?

This family is my business.

What, Thirsty too hood for you?

Me? No.

I remember it all, Dad.

I could have been in the streets if I wanted to.

I chose not to.

You're testing me.

That's obvious.

I'm not testing you. I'm just telling you, the only commandments I want followed here are mine.

Check your faith at the door, son.

I can't do it.

My faith is who I am, and it's not gonna change.

Dad, I want to make a confession to you.

Why? What you do now? When Cookie first got out of prison, I'm the one that told her to blackmail you and produce Jamal.

I knew she had somebody smart in her corner.

I want you to know that I'm fully committed to you and Empire.

I regret ever jeopardizing this company for my own personal gain.

Okay, good. I forgive you.

Can we get back to work now?

I'm not finished, Pop.

When I was off my medication, before I went into treatment, I felt hated and rejected by you.

I wanted to hurt you so bad... that I went into your studio, put a gun to my head, and I pulled the trigger.

I wanted to die.

Lord saved me.

I know you don't believe in this stuff, Pop, but you gave me life... and God gives me hope.

Will you come to my baptism this weekend?

It would mean everything for me to have you there, Pop.

You're asking me to come and watch somebody dunk you in tap water and pretend that that's gonna make all your sins go away?

There is no... God. There's...

You just need to man the hell up.

Hakeem: Laura, hold up.

You're stalking me now?

You won't answer my calls.

I have a train to catch.

I'll make it fast.

Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come on to you.

Did I lead you on somehow?

No, you didn't, but I just never met a girl singer that didn't get down like that.

Well, I don't get down like that.

Okay, I get it, and I respect that you're not that type of girl.

You forgive me?

Don't you want to sing?

All I ever wanted to do was sing.

Not for money or fame or any of that.

It's corny, but I like making people happy.

When I seen you in that little bar in Brooklyn, I was in a bad headspace.

But I want your voice to touch the world.

You know, plus, I'm on my mogul swag now.

And you're the real deal. And I don't want to mess that up.

I won't ever push up on you ever again.

I swear.

Look, my driver will take you wherever you're going.

I'll catch a cab.

(car door opens)

Take her home.

♪ I never know what's really comin', I do ignore it ♪
♪ If I'd've known a few years ago, I'd've made a hit ♪
♪ I probably would've bought some clothes, even brushed my hair ♪
♪ I'd probably be the one or maybe be the only ♪
♪ Go... go get in my lane, I swear, this hater's phony ♪
♪ So I c... ♪ So I ca... so I ca...

Who are you talking about? (sighs)

You're talking about your pops, right? Yeah.

He 'posed to be here. Every time I spit a 16 for him, it put a smile on his face.

He ain't here, 'cause he's a rotten b*st*rd.

Hell you gonna say that?

'Cause it's the truth.

I didn't come here for this.

Doesn't mean he didn't love you.


A lot of fathers don't know how to show love.

Look, I knew your daddy.

And he loved you so much that if you cut off his right arm, he'd reach over and hug you with his left one.

That's what you got to lay down.

You got to stop runnin' from it, and you got to turn and meet it face-to-face.

(music begins)

♪ Should've never left me, oh, my ♪
♪ Tell me why you had to leave me, oh, why ♪
♪ Why you had to go, why you had to go ♪
♪ Try'na keep a grip on my sanity, right ♪
♪ 'Cause they don't really know what it cost ♪
♪ For this life, the hurt, the hunger, the time never right ♪
♪ Thoughts of killing everything in plain sight, your word ♪
♪ Is your bond, if I could say word to my moms ♪
♪ You know what I'm on ♪
♪ But you was my world ♪
♪ Never did wrong in my eyes, forever your girl ♪
♪ Crazy, what you made me indirectly, but you saved me ♪
♪ From a lil' girl to a lady ♪
♪ Still a hustler like you raised me ♪
♪ God bless your soul ♪
♪ 'Cause you're gone now ♪
♪ All is forgiven 'cause I'm grown now ♪
♪ Gotta make it out here on my own now ♪
♪ I pick the pen up and put the guns down ♪
♪ Every word spoken, never when in vain ♪
♪ Speak it to the world, take away my pain ♪
♪ They say you live once, when you go it's a shame ♪
♪ I guess that I'm sayin' the same ♪
♪ Should've never left me, oh, my ♪
♪ Tell me why you had to leave me, oh, why... ♪

I'm glad you're here, Ma.


You know, when you boys were babies, my mama wanted me to get y'all baptized.

Babies don't know what sin is.

No, I think you should choose the Lord, then get baptized.

That way it sticks.

I'm gonna make it stick. Mm-hmm.

I have to.

I'm not a good person, Ma.

Stop saying stuff like that, stupid.

I've done horrible things.

So have I, Dre.

But we are good people.

You wouldn't be here trying to make it right if you weren't.

God knows your heart.

Now, keep your mouth shut.

I don't need to hear about what you did, and neither does anybody else.

You look good. I'm proud of you.

(playing "Amazing Grace")

(indistinct chatter)

Hi. Thanks for coming.

Of course.

Thanks, brother.

Great to have you. Thank you.

What's up, man? How you doing? What's up, man? You all right?

I'm happy you could show up for your brother.

Actually, I'm surprised.

I don't know why, Ma. We're family.

We show up, and we support each other.

Even if we don't actually believe in each other.

I believe in you, Jamal.

Always have, always will.

How are things going with your father?

He's taking me to the next level.

I'm working with Ne-Yo, planning a tour.

It's everything I ever wanted.

Everything you ever wanted.

I'm happy for you.

You ain't got to lie, Ma. We're in the house of the Lord.

So is he comin'?


It's probably for the best.

That devil walk in here, this whole place might catch fire.

(all chuckle)

♪ ♪

(door shuts)



Mention the devil's name, and he will walk right in.

God help us all.

I'm Andre's father, Lucious Lyon.

Reverend L.C. Pryce.

Grateful you could join us.

Thank you. Your son is an, um... exceptional man.

He never ceases to amaze me.

Andre: Thanks for coming, Pop.

I love you.

I know you do.


I think I seen some angels runnin' for cover.

Ooh. (chuckles)

Oh, let me make space in case lightnin' strikes.

What happened, Dad? I thought you couldn't make it.

I was in the studio with Freda Gatz, and her rhymes moved me.

She reminded me of how... important my presence is to you boys.

I was the one that provided for y'all when your mama was locked up.

I made this family.

This family that you spy on, rob, and beat down when you can't control us? Huh? Oh, I got something.

Take this bug and stick it up yours.

I'm sorry, Cookie, are you under surveillance? (chuckles)

Sucks, don't it?

Quit tryin' to steal our tracks.

Quit sending those tired-ass thugs to harass us.

And quit tryin' to turn us against each other, turn us all into sinners like you.

Preach, Ma, preach.

From the book of John, "when these things came..."

(quietly): When it comes to sinning, Cookie, you don't need nobody's help.

And for your information, I don't ever, ever quit.


Andre Martin Lyon, you repented and confessed your sins.

Do you agree to turn from your old ways and embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Andre: Yes, I do.

L.C.: Then upon the confession of your faith, I baptize you in the name of the Father...

You don't cuss at your mama!

Get in that tub!

Get in that water!

Get in there! Go on! No, Mama!

I'm sorry! Come on!

Dwight: I won't do it again! No!

I'm sorry!

Mom, it's me!

L.C.: and the Son...

♪ Mona Lisa ♪
♪ Mona Lisa ♪ Mama!

♪ Men have named you ♪ (gasps)

♪ You're so like the lady ♪
♪ With the mystic smile ♪ (Dwight gasps)

L.C.: and the Holy Ghost.

♪ Is it only ♪
♪ 'Cause you're lonely ♪
♪ They have blamed you ♪
♪ For that Mona Lisa strangeness ♪

(fading): ♪ In your smile? ♪

L.C.: Amen!

Congregation: Amen!

(applause) (man shouts indistinctly)

L.C.: Will you all stand and rejoice!

(whooping, shouting)

God is good!

♪ For every mountain ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ You brought me over ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ For every trial ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ You've seen me through ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ For every blessing ♪
♪ And I will sing ♪
♪ Hallelujah ♪
♪ For this ♪
♪ For this ♪
♪ I give you ♪
♪ Praise... ♪
♪ For every mountain ♪

Hakeem: What is this! What is this!

I warned y'all. Get down or lay down. Get off me! What is this!

♪ You brought me over ♪

Hakeem: Help!

♪ Lord, you brought me over ♪


♪ For every trial ♪

Man: Get in!

♪ You've seen me though... ♪

Man: Go!