A true nostalgic millennial, I can’t help but watch BET’s Being Mary Jane with a serious sense of, “Oh my God, I’m watching me and my friends.” A late 20-something working in the media industry, I can relate to Mary Jane’s career-driven perfectionism while balancing the needs of her family, many of whom are vastly different than the larger-than-life TV belle.
The writing on the show is impeccable. It captures the imperfection, sometimes-dull and brutally honest perspective on what it is like to be a black woman in 2015. We come from broken families. We drink alongside our peers at work. We are career-motivated, not to be confused with angry. We carry the weight of our ancestors — centuries of separated families — as we date and struggle with fidelity. Unlike our peers, we often do not marry and work through these troubles. Being Mary Jane explores this through its protagonist. We are also simply broken. We see this in Lisa, chronically depressed without the will/resources to seek professional help.
Mary Jane is oddly reminiscent of teen heroine Moesha – a hit UPN sitcom that boasted Mara Brock Akil as one of its talented writers. Moesha is a teen from Crenshaw with a name that is present-day Raven Symone cringe-worthy. She is a talented high-school journalist with a girl-next-door attitude that attracted some of the '90s most talented African-American men; she dated everyone from Usher and Fredro Starr to Kobe Bryant. Like Being Mary Jane, Moesha’s protagonist struggles with a blended family while grieving the loss of her mother during her adolescent teen years — a time when girls need their mothers the most.
Moesha, like Mary Jane, defeats the odds of her environment. While some may argue that this plays into the black superwoman syndrome, each of these series’ take a close look at the fragility and complexity of its title characters, sometimes through the lens of their supporting characters.
We applaud the move in the right direction for shows that prominently feature African-American casts. There’s a little something out there for every age range right now, from Doc McStuffins to Black-ish to blockbusters Scandal and Empire. What Being Mary Jane and Moesha get right is focusing on a single black woman — void of stereotypical attitudes and a need for validation from white counterparts — who are dually balancing their professional and personal dreams while tackling challenging backgrounds.
Mary Jane and Moesha are both authentically themselves. It’s so refreshing to have an honest look at black women’s lives — the good, the bad, the ugly and the trite — as an accurate reflection of many of our personal lives. It’s kind of like watching a grown-up version of HBO’s Girls with women in their late 30s who’ve matured a bit and look like me. You’ve got a serious fan base, Mary Jane.
Ashley Stoney is a Washington, D.C. native and Howard University alumna who enjoys debating news topics, sharing way too many articles on social media, living in plaid flannels and chambray, and sampling craft beers. You can follow her...
The music was pretty sparse this episode, but super star Ne-Yo was around to offer some sound relationship advice. Although Lucious attempted to discourage Jamal from thinking about love while following his dreams, Ne-Yo helped put it all in perspective during a recording session where we got a glimpse of a powerful song “Never Love Again.”
I enjoyed hearing Ne-Yo tell Jamal that love can equal serenity — it's always nice to hear that the person helping Jamal create hits believes in the power of love more than the power of Lucious. Too bad Jamal’s boo, who I was rooting for last week, turned out to be shady and messy. I have to say, getting fellatio on the balcony at his boo’s party is high-level disrespect. I suppose there is a reason that one of the longest running soap operas on TV is titled The Bold and the Beautiful, because Michael is very good looking and well-beyond-bold for that tacky move.
We got a glimpse of Season one Jamal in the heat of the moment and I thought I was going to see him hang someone over the balcony again. Time to say good bye to Michael, it's too bad Lucious was right.
Mess with Jamal's boo and you will feel his wrath. #Empire pic.twitter.com/CpaEJV7XOy
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) October 22, 2015
Speaking of Tacky, Teyana needs a bigger budget and some security so she doesn't get robbed by razor-wielding selfie fans moving forward.
Ratchet thieves! #Empire pic.twitter.com/krJFmPyRNF — Empire (@EmpireFOX) October 22, 2015
Freda Gatz rapping over techno beats as Lucious pretends like he didn't murk her dad ended up being the inspiration he needed to go to church and watch Andre’s baptism. Enough devil jokes were made in the episode, so I will avoid them and instead focus on how happy I was to see all of the brothers support Andre. He's suffered so much and he needs a win. The Lord works in mysterious ways, thankfully Freda Gatz “picked the pen up and put the gat down,” otherwise Lucious might have left Andre hanging.
Freda (@BREZOFFICIAL) is back, baby! #Empire pic.twitter.com/TIpcdW7YUw
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) October 22, 2015
Too bad watching Andre be saved caused Lucious to flash back to his mom, aka Kelly Rowland, singing and drowning young Lucious at the same time in the bath tub. I'm ready for him to confess this family trauma to Andre so they can find some common ground. Last but not least, I'm happy that Hakeem was a gentleman and kept it professional with his latest rising star. However, I cannot pretend for one second that I am not very stressed about his kidnapping. Based off the previews for next week, I'm in full panic mode. If Empire kills off Hakeem I will never watch this show again.
@JussieSmollett @EmpireFOX We are on the case. #findHakeemLyon pic.twitter.com/zZAqw2WxsV
— Dionne Martin (@deedy1104) October 22, 2015
Some questions I have after tonight's episode include:
How much deeper can Jamal’s deep-V shirts get before they are full on vests?
What church hosts private baptisms?
Why are the characters on Empire so afraid of the good Lord?
What did you think about this episode? Let us know in the comments below!
Effortlessly blending music, dance and drama, Dream: The Urban Musical makes for great entertainment. The new web series debuted last month and aired its second episode last night after Fox's hit series, Empire.
The web series follows a group of aspiring artists as they navigate the drama of everyday life. The characters — largely played by creator Theshay West's art school friends — battle money problems and relationship drama in relatable, comical ways.
West says he drew inspiration for the quirky characters from his own friends, adding that, in some aspects, the storyline mirrors the lives of the cast members. He created the series in part so all of his ultra-talented friends could have a project to work on together. "We all found ourselves in the same situation where we were trying to make it and trying to get ourselves out there," West says, "[The web series] incorporated the dancing, singing, acting and my filmmaking all together."
Before creating Dream: The Urban Musical, West was shooting music videos for big names like Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri. West and his crew look to today's biggest artists to inspire their own choreography. "When we're preparing for shooting those scenes, we're practicing and looking at videos," West says, "The actors are basically being Beyoncé and all that in those musical sequences." West also writes all of the music for the series, co-producing tracks with his younger brother. Though the undertaking makes series production more time-consuming, it certainly offers benefits, "Instead of finding a song to fit the story line, I can just create it."
It took a grueling seven months to shoot the first six episodes of the series. "I think after it's finished, thinking about the journey is when you get the most joy," West says, "'Cause when you're doing it, sometimes it can become a little difficult. But then you finish and you're like, 'Yeah, we did that.' And it doesn't matter what we went through to get to that end goal."
You can watch Dream: The Urban Musical here, and be sure to tune in to catch episode two!
What did you think of the trailer? Tell us in the comments below. ...
Right away you know the Lyons were ready for war as Jamal belted “Battle Cry” in the studio right before the feds rolled up to the Empire headquarters in search of answers. While Jamal is desperately trying to piece together a struggle album in the midst of his murderous family drama, a throwaway character playing an artist thirsty for Jamal’s loins captures his essence in primary colors.
Which brings us to Jamal’s house where he jumps on the keyboard to play “When Love Finds U” and the man paid to capture his spirit is mesmerized by Jamal’s fake piano playing. I am on #teamshade for this guy along with Jamal’s boo. I thought this moment was hilarious, but the beat was real and Jamal is provided with all the ingredients to make a solid album. “When Love Finds U” is wonderful, and I'm willing take a wild guess that Jamal, aka Jussie, is going to release a real album when the season is over.
I have to say, as ratchet as these people are, they are not about to let anything come between their family. When it's time to make money or keep someone out of jail, they will shoot a music video or make a beat before you can say Boo-boo Kitty.
I want to take time to give a shout out to Empire saluting the injustices black people go through every episode with very direct commentary on real issues. There are no subtle themes in the music or in the lines delivered week after week. That is something to sing about.
The “Aint About the Money” video speaks directly to that. This video attempted to do a lot of things, but the ode to "California Love" was a nice touch. Tupac was always about black power and the people. I also felt a "Run This Town" Vibe, which was well played. I'm always here for direct allusions to black power. Black people need to make powerful statements about how we are oppressed. Empire never lets their larger statements get in the way of the show, nor does it turn those statements into a token. Instead, it highlights that black people are capable of being complex. They can make hit songs, they can be ratchet, they can have a strong family and they can care about justice.
When Cookie leaves the video shoot and says, “If I die in police custody, I did not commit suicide." I didn't think that was in poor taste, instead I thought it was expressing a wider truth for all black people. Whenever we encounter police we don't know if we will leave the encounter alive. Hearing songs about war and power throughout the episode shows how black people have to juggle both realities, sometimes back to back.
Hakeem is winning my heart for being a “mama’s boy.” I'm not sold on him being a drinker who hangs out in jazz bars, but I am impressed with his ear for music and finding talent. He's living up to his word about behaving like a mogul and I hope he continues to grow into a talented artist.
"Lago Azul" was a stand-out moment, but the way the clips went back to the body digging for Vernon (R.I.P.) was a bizarre use of the music. Jamila Velazquez has a beautiful voice. I hope they don't ruin her appearance on the show by having to reduce her musical talent to automatically equal sleeping with Hakeem, that is a boring use of strong female characters and we have seen that enough.
My dream for the next episode is too see Hakeem continue to succeed and for the holy water Andre has been sipping to give some inspiration to Lucious the Lying. I could use less of Jamal's singing at this point and more cameos from other artists.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE OF EMPIRE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! ...
We watch the good, the bad, & the ugly so you can curate your Fall TV schedule to perfection.
by Ira Hobbs, II & Raven Powers
This week (10/4–10/10) in fall TV really separated the real from the fakes. We’re really good at picking the hotness (#humblebrag), so all of our fall faves are going up like your favorite song, after Drake adds a verse to the remix. Hopefully, you’ll take our advice and give up on this season’s obvious flops, because not much makes you look like a bigger lame than talking wack TV. Here’s a quick recap of what really went off, and what let Nas down.
Premiered this week:
American Horror Story: Hotel - Wednesday @ 10 p.m. on FX
Ryan Murphy is losing. Scream Queens did so badly in the premiere that Fox re-aired it later that week. Only AHS’ reputation is saving it from the same fate. If you’re a die-hard AHS fan like Raven’s little brother, you won’t be alone live-tweeting it. We’re gonna DVR it.
Quantico - Sunday @ 10 p.m. on ABC
Alex Parrish will choose America’s safety over you. She ain’t scared to lose you. One of us was really against watching another crime drama (because she’s lame), but we could only ignore the stellar reviews for so long.Quantico is at least three fire emojis, fam. Live-tweet it.
Minority Report — Monday @ 9 p.m. on FOX
Megan Good has caught her tempo. Stopping crime in a futuristic District of Columbia is clearly her calling because this show just hit a trifecta — every episode has been lit. The only questions we have that need answers are about what brunch is like in 2065. Do the bottomless mimosas refill themselves or nah? Live-tweet it.
The Muppets — Tuesday @ 8 p.m. on ABC
Kermit, Piggy an’em are doing a great job of making enjoyable TV for the whole family. Fozzie had a little “Come to Jesus” moment and Petty Piggy’s revenge plot didn’t work out, but their ratings are growing. We’re still wondering when Piggy is gonna show Denise that her hands are rated E for everybody, though. Unless you’re looking, specifically, for TV that grown folks and the kids will enjoy, you can DVR this.
Empire — Wednesday @ 9 p.m. on FOX
The Lightskin Battle Royale was on and poppin’ this week! Papa Lucious ruined Little Baby Traitor’s dreams of being the next Matthew Knowles, Cookie showed that she DGAF about who GAF about how she gets hers, cuz she gon’ ALWAYS get hers, and Andre was just lost in the sauce. Oh, and Jamal is like the “lite,” free app version of Lucious which is… interesting. Live-tweet it.
Black-ish — Wednesday @ 9:30 p.m. on ABC
The second season of Black-ish has been some of the best television in the game. Kenya Barris does a great job of addressing issues that are very prevalent in the black family and making sure that the jokes are, for real, laugh-out-loud funny. This episode tackles black people’s relationship with medical professionals in literally the funniest, most accurate way ever. Figure out how to live-tweet it while Empire is on.
The Blacklist — Thursday @ 8 p.m. on NBC
This week on How to Get Away with White Privilege, Uncle Ray and Keen are doing the most. Keen is trying to be Russian, she and Uncle Ray took a few hostages at the local diner, and Ressler is sick to death that his mediocrity has caught up with him. Also, the #prayforDembe campaign solicits your thoughts and prayers. That Don Cheadle replacement holding him hostage knows he ain't right. The Blacklist is a hell of a rollercoaster that you should ride every week. Live-tweet it.
TGIT — Thursday @ 8–11 p.m. on ABC
How to Get Away With Murder is definitely this season’s MVP, but Grey’s is a strong second-string player. Raven was highly disappointed when she found out Karev wasn’t on his way down Fatherhood Lane. Also, Scandal, which we want to love, is ANNOYING. Olitz is ANNOYING. This “sad boy” Jake is ANNOYING. We’re giving multiple big eye emojis to this Papa Pope situation, though. Live-tweet it.
Scream Queens — Tuesday @ 8 p.m. on FOX
Trash. Basura. Déchets. Takataka. Not worth the time or the DVR space or the tweet counts. There’s ill-placed racism, idiotic dude-bros and half-assed stereotypes galore. We don’t have the time or space to explain all the ways this show is bad, folks. Ira and Ravey watched it, so hopefully you don’t have to go through it. Sorry, Keke.
Rosewood — Wednesday @ 8 p.m. on FOX
If a scrub is guy who thinks he’s fly and is also known as a buster, then Rosewood is the television equivalent. Rosie and his partner do not have the chemistry to pull off their wannabe love/hate relationship. We cannot save this show. It don’t wanna be saved.
Dr. Ken — Friday @ 8:30 p.m. on ABC
Nah, fam. The plot, punch lines, and wanna-be-funny Asian stereotypes are weak sauce. Dr. Ken ain’t it. Skip it.
Black millennial couple, in ATL, making content for the TL. Dwayne + Whitley 2015. @spikehobbsjr + @_ravey_ on Twitter.
So what are y’all watching this fall? Is there anything we should’ve added to our list? Leave a comment and let us know. Share this post so our time & DVR space weren’t wasted.
Well, the drama is certainly heating up, but not as much as the musical charts will be thanks to Ne-Yo’s consistent songwriting credits for the show. Jamal's still on my list because he spent most of the episode frontin' like he doesn’t need his mama, when we all know good and well that he does. Lucious is doing his best to out-evil himself at every turn, but not before dinner is served. Gotta love a gracious host.
We saw some real promise from Hakeem’s girl group Ménage à Trois. I must say, I was not in support of this group last week but once I saw Cookie whip them into shape and offer some serious sound to Sway I was excited. But Sway still does not have the answers and I am giving him the side eye for helping Lucious pull a fast one on Cookie, so I ask "HOW SWAY?"
Although the Latina trio was destined for greatness, Valentina decided to remain weak and be a traitor. She's not good enough to be a solo act in my humble opinion, so in theme with my hateration on Ludacris last week, I'm rooting for her downfall. I hope her lil' solo project is a flop like her life choices to align with Lucious and leave the girl group.
Peace to Frida Gatz because her battle rap skills are next level and they took me back to the good old days when I used to watch YouTube videos in college waiting for the best diss bars to emerge from random settings. She really takes her name seriously though because she was quick to spray the clip when the raps got too real. I'm looking forward to a grittier essence of hip-hop making more of a cameo on the show.
Even though I'm currently not on #teamJamal because he still doesn't know how to act, I have to say that his club hit with Pitbull is amazing. Out of all the music to come out of the Empire franchise, there's no question that this song can make a legitimate impact off the screen. Mr. 305 sounds the exact same on every song he creates but his formula is that of a hit factory. I would not be mad if this song comes on in the club this weekend.
An additional perk is the official video :
Hakeem is winning my favor this season. Last year I thought he was immature and annoying, but I'm happy to see him take his work seriously and bond with his mother. Working with Cookie has been the best thing for Hakeem and his rapping abilities have improved tenfold. Bringing out Timbaland at his daddy’s welcome-home-from-prison party was like the rap version of a hostile takeover. Last week a rap battle between Lucious and Hakeem was on my wish list and I think this moment came pretty close.
This week’s honorable mention goes to Cookie’s gold chain shirt.
Although some might argue gold chains aren't about music, I would say gold chains are a character in black music culture that have garnered thousands of lines on several hits.
Lucious still hates Andre and it seems to me that his mom having mental issues is the reason behind that. Can Empire afford to pay Kelly Rowland to sing as his mama? Only time will tell. I hope he works that out instead of playing the piano after being evil. I'm also over him saying he is God.
Jamal finally came to his senses in the end and knows he needs his mom, but he is so thirsty for his dad’s approval that he would rather have Lucious the lucifer produce a hit track. Well, like Jay-Z and Freeway Ricky Ross once rapped “the devil is lie.”
I'm looking forward to more great music and all the drama that's sure to produce some regret-themed hits while the family continues to battle one another. I'm still wishing for Andre to get a musical gift from God because his chips remain down.
I would love to see Cookie rap in that gold chain shirt as well. Until then, I vote for less Valentina and more celebrity cameos supporting Hakeem — maybe he can take the other two girls and make a great song. Check out the music from this episode here.
What did you think of the music in this episode of Empire? Let us know in the comments below! ...
There’s no way I can begin this recap without diving into the hit, surprise and comedy that is #SnitchBitch. I am tempted to spend the entire recap on this one song, but I promise not to.
"Snitch Bitch" was hilarious because it was marvelous. While Papa Lyon and his prison yard #squad were beatboxing on the tables, enjoying the fresh air and laying the groundwork for their janitorial closet hit, we were treated to a rapper cameo with a serious dose of haterade thanks to Ludacris. I must say that I'm not here for Luda in any way. If he had to be included, it should have been as a rapper. His acting skills are not for me and his speaking voice sounds exactly like his rapping voice, which I find to be a distraction. I'm hating hard on his presence and hoping he ends up murked and off the show (all tea, all shade).
But the magic happened in spite of Ludacris and his full-time hating. Like the medical marvel that beat death last season, Lucious managed to create a head-nod hit in one take. Never doubt a man wearing a t-shirt-turned durag, that is always a marker of serious business. The Hustle & Flow comparisons are unavoidable, but what impresses me most about Terrence Howard is not his ability to recreate DJay in Empire, but his actual ability to rap. Although it’s unlikely he did that scene in one take, I believe that Lucious could, and musical moments with the super villain are when this show is at its best. I got a good laugh out of the fact that his posse was ready to make music and seemed to have serious command of studio equipment, in prison or not. From the Robin Thicke knock-off working the keyboard to the auto-tune and the Ruben Studdard-esque vocal assist, the whole thing was triumphant and almost makes you root for Lucious (even though he's a horrible person).
Speaking of knock-offs, I'm so happy to see Tiana back. I'm all the way here for an overload of Tiana with her Rihanna-inspired sound and her Yeezy season 1 & 2 rehearsal outfits. I'm happy she didn't have time for Hakeem and his Rainbow Sensation pipe dreams, but I do hope she doesn’t end up losing out by being on Team Cookie.
I don't have much to say about the audition process for the girl group except that Valentina can clearly sing but her character annoyed me. I'm sure we will see more of her being one of Hakeem’s play things (poor boo boo kitty).
I will, however, need more of Veronica. Her voice is incredible and I hope that her storyline isn't corny. I can see her leaving Cookie to head back to Empire, because if I sounded like that, I'm not sure I would waste time taking moral stands with beefing family members.
Honorable mention goes to Jamal’s two songs.
“Born to Love You” was a great way for the audience to get a glimpse of the old Jamal, the one that had time to smile and sing.
“Sorry Don’t Cut It” sounds excellent if you take the time to peep the Itunes preview. It was nice that we got to see two of the brothers take a break and spend time together. I need to see more of the them working together and acting like a family. Jamal and Hakeem are a good team, it's sad that their dad has been able to put a wedge between them.
On another note, someone needs to write a song called “Andre’s Pain” because the shade in his life is harsh and unnecessary. Am I the only one that wants him to learn how to play an instrument or something so he can be included?
Kelly Rowland playing Lucious’ mom still doesn't explain why he's so evil or good at making music, but she was there and I had to mention it.
I hope to see Jay-Z on this show. I know that's a crazy thing to say but a girl can dream, after all, if you're going to make an ode to the one-take strategy, you might as well go big.
I hope some real-life superstar helps co-sign Cookie’s Dynasty. She deserves brownie points for still being proud and impressed by Lucious even though he has treated her like garbage. Her leftover love for him means anything is possible and gives me hope the family will reconcile.
Last week I wished for a "Drip Drop" remix, but I think "Snitch Bitch" made a case for a rap battle between father and son. If that happens, Empire will out Empire itself. I can’t wait.
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This week, a video surfaced of The Hollywood Reporter's interview with six of the most popular television creators. In the video, Lee Daniels, one of the creators of Empire, called out all of the other roundtable guests for the lack of diversity in their writers' rooms. He legitimately went around the table and asked every single person how many writers of color they had on staff.
After that, Beau Willimon, the showrunner and writer for House of Cards, got defensive and gave a roundabout explanation of why the diversity of stories and not the diversity of the writers' room, matters.
But Lee Daniels wasn't having it.
"It's repulsive is what it is," Daniel responded, "It's inexcusable is what it is," He then explained that, aside from the success of Empire, "What is important is that people of color know that they are wanted. Cause y'all done told me that we ain't wanted. So it's a beautiful thing."
Watch the whole interview below, and look out for Lee Daniels' truth telling at the 50-minute mark.
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Empire is a cultural behemoth that has developed a cult following because of the quality storylines, over the top outfits, endless Shakespearean family drama and a musical score that mirrors the modern day music scene. The music shapes the focus of the show and is arguably an additional character in its own right. So what better way to revisit each episode than the Lyon way, with the music first.
The family strives above all else to share their musical gifts with the world. And while the drama, squabbles and murder plots tangle up their lives, the central goal for all of the characters one way or another is to ensure that quality music is a direct result of their blood, sweat and tears. Music is the driving force of this family. In a perfect world, we would all have a curated soundtrack to our lives, but thanks to Empire, the Lyon family does. So let’s dig into the musical highlights of the most recent episode.
The #FreeLucious concert got the show off to a great start. As usual, Empire packs a ton of punch in every minute and we were treated to Swizz Beatz hosting and a DMX-like character rapping about black suffering and the prison industrial complex. I was thrown off by Cookie being a Gorilla in a cage, but the message of the music was something I wish the show could have spent a bit more time on. We got some choice lyrics from the DMX-fashioned character, as well as a Jamal and Hakeem mashup. With the stand out lyric of that musical selection being Jamal’s “Do you live for love?/Do you believe in the creator?”
That's something deep to ponder as the audience tries to digest the layered meaning in the opening credits of the show. With references to Mike Brown, police brutality and Eric Garner, it was good to have Empire acknowledge that this issue is still front and center in the minds of most people. Some real musicians should take a cue from that very ratchet-inspired freedom concert for Lucious, we need more music with a message. If Empire can make it sound good, so can real artists. I would love to see Don Lemon (who made a brief appearance during this scene) rap, by the way. Dreams for later in the season?
Even while sporting an orange jumpsuit, Lucious manages to discover the next big thing in the form of Frank Gathers’ daughter. Her rhymes are going to be a highlight in episodes to come, I have no doubt. I am looking forward to seeing her either become competition for Hakeem or a welcome collaborator. It will be nice to have someone outside of the Lyon clan giving the musical brothers a run for their money so that both of their projects improve.
Shout to Ms. Lawrence for sannnging to get Jamal to join in on actively supporting LGBTQ rights. I don't know if the level of queendom was a stereotype or if it was there to highlight that Jamal still has issues. But musically, I was here for Ms. Lawrence. The sequins, the baldness and the piano theatrics. Not sure we absolutely need to see that character again. But it would be great to have that duet really happen.
Jamal finally makes it to the studio as the episode comes to an end and, as usual, he has some powerful feelings and falsetto realness to deliver to the people. Before Cookie interrupts his creative flow he croons, “You won't get what's mine.” I assume these lyrics are prophetic. We see him get slapped twice, but close the door on his mama (rude) shortly after. I’ll spare you the metaphors surrounding that moment and pose a question instead.
Will Jamal’s shutting the door on being a good person and his strange loyalty to his dad harm his musical output?
That's what I’ll be watching for all season. I could see things going either way. Some musicians make the best music when they have a lot of dramatic things going on in their lives, but Jamal seems best when he is happy and fulfilled. I am curious to see what musical selections this dark side of Jamal will bring to the show.
Because Jamal is on the dark side, here are my dream collaborations and/or guest appearances that will suit Jamal's current #mood:
The Weeknd. He is emo De Jour. We need this combo
Frank Ocean. This is a long shot because he is hiding, but this cameo is obvious for a long list of reasons. We need Ocean’s deep feeling and layered storytelling because these people are a mess.
Miguel. Although Miguel does not make dark music, he has an uplifting message about being yourself and the Lyons need all the help they can get.
Am I the only one that would love a "Drip Drop" remix before the season wraps?
Honorable mention goes to the gospel references. Because these people most definitely need God in their lives with all the mess surrounding them, including Chris Rock playing a cannibal while having a gospel brunch. Becky even spoke life into the theme all these people need, especially Jamal (who is being all kinds of evil).
Until next week, que the Donnie McClurkin, “We fall down but we get up,” for Jamal is just a sinner who fell down.
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Following a historic first season, Empire is back for a new season and is already setting record highs on social media. Each week the Blavity team heads to Twitter to curate the best memes and gifs on the internet. With each episode we'll pick our favorite meme to share with you - either the most creative or funniest or BOTH!.
Season 2 Episode 1 brought a funny meme featuring Luscious Lyon's smug look of accomplishment - Twitter took it to new heights. Enjoy:
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Trai Byers, if you don't already know, plays Andre Lyon on the hit show Empire. If you haven't already watched Empire, you better get on it before the second season premieres September 23rd. I had the honor of actually meeting him in person when The Association of Black Harvard Women, an organization I am a member of, honored him as our Man of the Year. I got to shake his hand and he even complimented my dyed hair. It's only fair that in honor of his birthday I tell you 7 reasons why he should be your bae.
1. He is everything your MCM should be.
2. He does an amazing job at playing Andre Lyon.
3. He's a loving Christian boy.
4. He makes horses look good.
5. I've never seen a better looking Essence cover.
6. He makes me actually want to go to the gym.
7. Did I mention he can sing? Lawd, take me to church! *faints*
Happy Birthday, Trai Byers!
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