It's only a few weeks into Season 2 of Empire and already the hit series has treated our ears to so many awesome songs. Nothing can stop the music on this show — I mean, Lucious Lyon (played by Terrance Howard) is even recording tracks from prison. I know it's early, but I think it's time to take a look at the best songs from Empire Season 2 so far. With even more episodes and guest stars to enjoy this season, that means there is even more music to enjoy — with songs featuring Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Bre-Z, Swizz Beatz, and now series regular Serayah.
According to Billboard, the first installment of Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 2 is slated for release in late November or early December, just in time for the holidays. "It’s a whirlwind," senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records Shawn Holiday told Billboard earlier this year. "Eighteen episodes multiplied by four songs … that’s 72 songs to prepare, mix and master." And that means the audience gets plenty more high-quality tunes from the show produced by Jim Beanz, Timbaland, Ne-Yo, Swizz Beatz, and J.R. Rotem. But hey, I'm getting ahead of the game here. There are still many episodes left in the season and so much to see in the saga of the Lyon family.
Let's take some time to appreciate the best songs so far from Empire's second season.
"Snitch B*tch," Terrance Howard & Petey Pablo
Viewers rarely saw Lucious at the mic in Season 1, but Season 2 opened with the Lyon patriarch in jail and finding a way to record a brand new track, which is very likely inspired by his ex-wife, Cookie. Still, even she is impressed with the song and her former husband's resourcefulness.
"No Doubt About It," Jussie Smollett & Pitbull
This was one of the first songs released from Season 2 and with good reason: It features Mr. Worldwide himself, who refers to himself as his nickname and Smollett as his character Jamal. And that means Pitbull exists in the Empire universe as himself, because how could he not? Pitbull must exist in all universes (ahem, that's what "Worldwide" means).
"Ain't About The Money," Smollett & Yazz The Greatest
This track pretty much acts as the Season 2 theme song. "It ain't about the money / It's about the power," Smollett sings. Season 2's theme seems to be power and how it affects people, because we're clearly seeing that Cookie is all about setting up a new empire to gain her own power, while the struggle between power and art is real for Jamal. In contrast, Season 1 had a distinct theme of money — Cookie wanted her money and slice of Empire, Jamal rejected his father's money after Lucious rejected him, and Lucious was all about Empire's big IPO. This song makes it clear, the Lyons have new priorities in Season 2.
"Bout2Blow," Yazz & Timbaland
The audience has heard a lot of intense rhymes and up-tempo songs by Yazz and his character Hakeem, but this track is much more subdued and melodic. Plus, there's some very unique autotune from Timbaland in the chorus.
"Get No Better (2.0)," Serayah
Hakeem asked Tiana to lead his new girl group as she practiced this song, which proves that Tiana is a star all on her own — no group needed.
"Born To Lose," Sean Cross, Swizz Beatz, Smollett, & Yazz
Empire took on the important Black Lives Matter movement with the above track, which was performed at the #FreeLucious concert in the Season 2 premiere. Co-writer Cross told MTV News that the tune was inspired by Marvin Gaye’s "Trouble Man."
"Same Song," Bre-Z
Remember when Frank Gathers (Chris Rock) said he had a daughter who raps? Well, she's played by the talented real-life rapper Bre-Z, who gives us this gritty and raw song about ignoring her haters and doing her own thing, to "shine forever."
If this is what Empire has given viewers in just a few weeks, I can't wait to hear what's next.
Forgot what happened last season on Empire? Check out the (drunk) recap below.
Image: Chuck Hodes/Fox