I have a confession everyone.
I’ve been listening to Fox’s Empire soundtrack pretty much nonstop since the finale. This premier season had me feigning in anticipation for my new favorite song every episode.
However, you can’t talk about Fox’s Empire music without mentioning the drama. This year has been on fire with the TV dramas. Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder and now Lee Daniel’s Empire has me glued to the television screen. If you have yet to tune in, no worries I won’t spoil it for you; but they’re definitely worth a watch. Now back to the music.
Rolling Stone recently posted about the Empire finale online. One of the takeaways was “Hakeem is the voice of our generation”. The article goes on to say:
“After reluctantly being groomed for superstardom and used a pawn in the war between Lucious and Jamal, the favored son finally stands up for himself. He is not just the fictional rapper we want, he is the fictional rapper we need. Also, bring back “Drip Drop.” We want more “Drip Drop.” Give us our “Drip Drop”!!!”
First of all I’d like to say I’m not quite sure why Hakeem is ‘the voice of our generation’. For those of you who don’t know, Hakeem is the youngest of the three Lyon sons. Spoiled, girl crazy, and slightly pretentious. Obviously dealing with some mother issues, Hakeem (Yazz) uses his issues and passion to fuel his raps. His break out song was “Drip Drop”.
The beat was crazy, the hook was great, but let’s be honest. “Drip Drop” is no better than the “new hip hop” on the radios. Seriously, the song is about sex, money, and fame. Not to mention the video is full of the common video vixens. So tell me, what is so great about “Drip Drop”?! I like Hakeem as a character, but I can do without his music (even though I did enjoy his “Age Ain’t Nuthin But A Number” performance on the finale). I prefer his brother Jamal.
Jamal Lyon’s music is just what we need in the R&B world. Where are the Music Soulchilds, and Donell Jones of today? This exactly why my iTunes is stuck in 2003. Why do I have to search for underground UK artists just to hear some feel good R&B? Am I over-exaggerating, or do ya’ll feel the struggle too?
Jamal doesn’t let his family issues stand in his way, instead he uses life to flow through him and into his music. The second Lyon brother learns to embrace his sexuality and follow his dreams. As they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Jamal (Jussie Smollett) will have you vibing with songs like “I Wanna Love You”, feeling sexy with “All of the Above”, but he can still get nitty gritty with “Keep Your Money”. Needless to say, it was mostly his songs that I had on repeat.
Whether you’re Team Yazz (Hakeem) or Team Jussie Smollett (Jamal), you got to give props to Timbaland. He made so many hits on this one album. If you ask me, all three versions of “You’re So Beautiful” are bomb. The Empire soundtrack features so many great collaborations. I love how they brought underrated artists like Estelle, and V. Bozeman into the mainstream eye.
For your listening pleasure I linked the Empire videos below. Let me know if “We want more “Drip Drop.” in the article’s words, or if it’s time for the return of R&B. Or, do we love them both? No need to pick a favorite, the whole family is talented!
-Much Love! XO