What Real Songs Will Be on 'Empire'? The Original Music Should Be Accompanied By These Hip Hop Stars
Empire has already produced plenty of enjoyable original songs, but not even the most dedicated '90s gangsta rappers turned-record company moguls only listen to their own music. So while FOX may want to focus on the original music produced by Timbaland for the show, that doesn't mean that adding non-original, real-life music to Empire would take anything away from the show — in fact, it might even add something special. And the show is a hit, so we know they can afford to pay for expensive music rights.
But there are a few musicians who have already spoken out against Empire's success, so we have to eliminate 50 Cent and reportedly Diddy, even though their music would probably work beautifully on the show. We did hear little snippets of Drake and Cee Lo Green songs in the background music, so hopefully we'll get even more non-original music in a few scenes.
But Empire is getting some more big name music stars turned-actors, too — Jennifer Hudson will become the fourth Oscar nominee (and first Oscar winner) to appear on the show, Entertainment Weekly reported, along with the news that Rita Ora will also make an appearance. It hasn't been confirmed whether or not they'll be playing characters, but if they're playing themselves, hopefully they'll be able to perform some of their popular songs. And if they're just playing facsimiles of themselves, like Courtney Love, then there's another reason why the show would sound great with some real hip hop. Here are some real musicians whose songs would not only make for an even more entertaining hour of Empire, but add to the resonance to the main characters' storylines.
With a background that mirrors that of Lucious Lyon, Jay Z's music often references his past dealing drugs, and how he's risen to become one of the most successful producers of all time. Especially given that "Blue Magic" was written in 2007, when Jay was way on his way to becoming incredibly successful and is peppered with '80s and '90s references, it would basically function as a biography for Lucious' character. Unfortunately, the samples from American Gangster probably make this one unusable.
Sure, it's a cliche — throw in one of the few LGBT members of the hip hop community to represent Jamal because he's also a gay singer/songwriter. But how could Jamal not perform "Forrest Gump," the song Ocean used as his subtle coming out anthem in a triumphant moment?
Any & All Female MCs
Look, maybe I'm still just high from her halftime show, but wouldn't Cookie love to get down to some early 2000s Missy Elliot in her apartment as she plots how she'll win back the company from Lucious? Obviously she loves her son's music most of all, but I feel like she prefers to support female MCs. Plus, she's been in jail for years, so she needs to listen to everything she missed, from Lil Kim's tragic transformation to the emergence of Azealia Banks.
As one of the biggest groups proudly repping Philadelphia, throwing some Roots on in the background of the next scene with Cookie's family would work as a reference to the characters' past and be suitably chill for a family get-together.
Aaliyah (with Added Timbaland)
"Are You That Somebody?" is a song that matches Aaliyah's beautiful vocals with a beat from Timbaland, who's not only the executive music producer for the show, but also a superstar producer like Lucious — and the song is a classic.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX