The Respin: Emery's 'Empire' recap — "Without a Country" S:2 E:2
October 01, 2015 at 6:00 am
“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.