A lot of awesome stuff has gone into Empire Season 2: Special guest stars, tons of family drama, and — of course — rockin' music. This season welcomes artists like Ne-Yo, Bre-Z, and Becky G for a whole new soundtrack. We may only be a few weeks in, but I think it's already time to shine a spotlight on the best Empire Season 2 song lyrics, because Fox is giving us 18 episodes of the hit drama this season, and that means there are a ton of great songs to fill our playlists.
"Eighteen episodes multiplied by four songs … that’s 72 songs to prepare, mix and master," senior VP of A&R for Columbia Records Shawn Holiday told Billboard earlier this year. And that'll be enough to fill the first installment of Empire: Original Soundtrack from Season 2 (to be released this winter) and beyond. Already, the show has given viewers unforgettable tracks featuring Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Bre-Z, Swizz Beatz, and series regular Serayah. But perhaps what's always been the greatest thing about Empire's music is that the lyrics always have to do with the themes of the episodes, so the songs actually add a whole other layer to the show.
So let's get analytical and take a closer look at the best lyrics that Empire Season 2 has to offer.
It's hard to see the frame when you're in the picture But now the picture's faded, b*tch I'm done wit' ya So gon' head, handle ya business And you right, cause I'm comin' to visit
In Lucious Lyon's jail rap, he takes shots at ex-wife and sometimes lover Cookie, who he believes snitched on him. Here we get a picture frame metaphor that suggests both that he has been "framed" and that he's done with Cookie. He also references her starting Lyon Dynasty ("handle ya business") and ends with a suggestion that he won't be in jail long ("cause I'm comin' to visit"), which was true.
"Ain't About The Money"
Get that Money, keep that powerNo they not the same thingMoney can't be anybodyThis somebody, that nobodyWhen it comes to powerCircle, super smaller maintainMoney make em' do it cause of what you give to em'Power make em' do it cause you told them to do itMoney make you fly, power never die, don't know whyMoney can't be lost, power never need an alibiBlood thicker than the champagnePower in my pride, power in my last name
Jamal and Hakeem sing what I consider to be the Season 2 anthem. Think about it: Last season was mostly about money — Lucious not funding Jamal's life, Empire's IPO, and Lucious trying to decide on the ultimate heir. This season is all about power and the struggle to attain it — and that's where these lyrics come in. This track compares money and power, making the latter sound a lot more important and, well, powerful.
"Bout 2 Blow"
Had my eyes on the throne since I came to this EarthGreatness, I'm destined for more than the universeI'm a king, boss, rule everything I survey, know my wordPut in work, work, work (20, 40, 60)I run the turf like a running backHand me the ball and I ran it backScore every time like I'm interceptI run the team, call me quarterbackI ain't come from the bottom but still had to grind for itPop plotted on me but momma, she ride for meTell 'em Tim
Hakeem collaborates on this moody tune with Timbaland and it really sums up Hakeem's character with the bravado and youthful cockiness. Hakeem is always talking about being the best and being the king, but here he also references that he wants to be the quarterback, too — as in calling the shots. And if you didn't notice it, there is definitely a "Started From The Bottom" Drake reference and a Lucious diss in here.
"Get No Better (2.0)"
So let me introduce youTo the new and improved, brand new-ooYou didn't want it, when you had it, that's cool-ooNow I've gone from the 1 to the 2, 2.0
After a bit of an absence, Tiana returned to Empire with a dance song that welcomes her to Season 2. We've seen many sides of Tiana during Season 1, but this song promises we'll regularly see a whole new gal — and so will her ex, Hakeem.
You over like a map
In this Hakeem track about striking out on his own with Cookie's company, this lyric stands out to me because I have never seen such a metaphor. At first, I didn't think it would work, but after giving it some thought, it totally does. Maps do cover places all over, but maps are also over in the sense of they're obsolete — we have the Internet for directions now.
Round of applause, with a standing ovationStanding ovations, we be selling out the stadiumRadio's on, now I'm heard on every station
Considering what happened in last week's episode, I feel like Valentina's song foreshadows Lucious buying the radio station, signing her, and making her his star, rather than Hakeem and Cookie's client.
If the music of Empire is this good so far, I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of Season 2.
Forgot what happened last season on Empire? Check out the (drunk) recap below.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX