A New Empire in the Making
The episode opens with Cookie, Hakim and Andre leaving Empire Records because they got the boot. Remember last week, when Lucious let it be known that their plan to get Empire from him didn’t work? So, yeah…this is the aftermath. You know Cookie is a hustler, though. She and her sons are already planning to start their own company. They’re already plotting on the artists they’re going to steal from Empire, and planning to look for new talent. In a surprising twist, Anika is right along with them in trying to set up their new dynasty. This is not part of Cookie’s plan, but Andre and Hakeem seem to think it’s a good idea to try to convince Cookie to at least tolerate Boo Boo Kitty.
Skinny Black is a Cop Now
Remember Ludacris’ character, Skinny Black, from Hustle and Flow? He’s basically a CO now, and he has a bone to pick with Djay Lucious. Their reignited beef started with Lucious rapping on the yard with his prison flunkies, then he starts coughing like a madman—actually—he has been coughing all episode and is currently on medication for it. Salty CO (Luda) starts being a jerk about Lucious coughing and wheezing, so this is where we see that this relationship is obviously going to be trouble.
Jamal And Lucious Are Still In An Alliance
Jamal visits Lucious in jail, and they plot to bring Hakeem back to Empire before his album drops, because according to Lucious, “Hakeem belongs to Empire.” In the middle of their convo, a random, and definitely shady, lawyer who just so happened to be there with another client swoops in to try to convince Lucious to hire him. Lucious is intrigued and wants to set up a meeting.
Lucious Prison Jams Vol. 1
Lucious’ fellow convict crew got him back in the “booth” (or makeshift studio in a closet, is more like it)…to record again. Lucious’ records a song about snitches that’s basically “Whoop that Trick” part two. Salty CO gets wind of this impromptu and also illegal session, and busts up the fun. Just to show how much of a jerk he is, he puts Lucious in the hole, and then threatens to kill him. Lucious ain’t the one, though. But we know this already.
Later on, Salty CO gets beat up by some goons and forced to hand over the laptop with Lucious’ new song on it. That sleazy lawyer mentioned earlier is the one who made this all happen, probably with Lucious’ blessing.
Hakeem Is Still Impulsive
Hakeem, at a meeting with Cookie and Andre about their new venture, reveals that he leaked his album that was supposed to release via Empire. This is the last straw for Andre, because he’s concerned about the legal ramifications from Jamal and Lucious. Cookie seems to be naïve enough to believe that Jamal won’t sue (but um…Lucious sure would, and probably this new version of Jamal too), and tries to convince him to come back to the company. Andre then reveals that it’s not just Hakeem’s stupidity that pushed him away. He’s just not into “their scrappy set up,” and needs to be somewhere that’s established aka he wants to be a punk and go back to Empire.
Later on, Andre goes to visit Lucious in jail and asks for forgiveness and begs to return Empire. Luscious says he doesn’t forgive him, because…petty wap. Andre then brings up the fact that Lucious hates Jamal because he’s gay, yet Jamal is running Empire, and that Hakeem slept with Anika. All Andre did was jump ship to start a new company for a hot second, so considering the circumstances, why is Lucious being so hard on him? We then get a flashback from Lucious of himself as a boy, with his mom (played by Kelly Rowland) singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”…um…not quite sure what this flashback is supposed to be, but my theory is, Lucious’ mom may have been bipolar and therefore passed the gene to Andre. Still random, but Lucious is petty enough to hate his child for genetics. I guess we’ll have to keep watching for more Lucious flashbacks for clues.
Jamal Tries To Get Hakeem Back
Jamal tries to get Hakeem to return to Empire. Hakeem decides to stick with his mom and turns him down. He also reveals that he leaked his album. Jamal threatens to sue, but Hakeem isn’t scared and says to Jamal, “This is exactly why I’m not returning to Empire.” Hakeem also reveals that he and Cookie’s new company name is Lyon Dynasty. Jamal, like the rest of us, thinks it’s a corny name and tells Hakeem to kick rocks.
Hakeem then goes to hang out with Cookie at Lyon Dynasty’s new office. Lucious’ new song just so happens to come on the radio, fresh from the bing and even they admit that the song is a hit. They resolve to take over before Lucious gets out, but that day may be coming sooner than they think.
Cut to Lucious in court. The sleazy lawyer dude from earlier comes in with “evidence” that could get Lucious free pending his trial. Said “evidence” is actually photos of the judge all tied up and kinky like—photos that could cause major embarrassment. The judge grants Lucious bail as a result. It looks like the sleazy lawyer is good on his word after all.