The 'Empire' Finale Is Full Of Real Hip Hop Stars

The Lyon family is sure to serve us some dramatic twists and turns, but what about the guest stars in Wednesday's Empire finale? It's hard to keep track of who exists and who doesn't in the fictional world of Empire Entertainment. Gladys Knight played herself at Bunkie's funeral and Kanye West has been mentioned, but Courtney Love, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell, and Estelle all play fictional characters when their real life personas should exist in this universe. The show is so committed it's already booked Oprah and Common for Season 2! It's confusing, but I'm glad that the show is getting so many big names and that we'll be delving into the real world again on Wednesday's season finale. The episode was even directed by Debbie Allen, a star in her own right! The guest star list is stacked, and we can expect many performances from these working artists and stars.

We already know that Academy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson will reprise her role as Andre's music therapist/possible love interest. Was I the only one feeling that chemistry? How awesome would it be if she sang another song from NBC's Smash like she did at the Oscars? Anyway, here is everyone else who will be making an appearance and what I hope to see when they take the stage.

Snoop Dogg

Honestly, I think this picture says it all. The only thing I need to see from Snoop on Empire is him judging Hakeem from afar. Someone needs to show the youngest Lyon how it's done. It would also be cool to have a MILF weed reference and make this a Weeds crossover. Why not?

Rita Ora

The British singer was recently recognized for her work on the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated film Beyond the Lights. My dream is for Tiana, Hakeem's sometimes boo, to gush about that movie and ask Ora what Gugu Mbatha-Raw is really like. The film is about a young artist coming up in the business just like Tiana, so you know that she saw it, loved it, and has the Blu Ray preordered on Amazon.

Patti LaBelle


Patti LaBelle is a legend. There's no confirmation as to whether LaBelle will be playing herself of a character on Empire. She is an acclaimed actress and has recently been seen on American Horror Story. However, I want to see Patti LaBelle play Patti LaBelle. I want her to have meaningful scenes with Jamal and Cookie where they drink tea and talk about the old days.

Juicy J


You can expect some Hustle & Flow references from this Three 6 Mafia member. I'd also like to see some tension between the Lyon family's Philadelphia roots and Southern rappers and hip hop artists. It's not exactly an East Coast/West Coast thing, but they are different experiences that a show like Empire can really dig into. I would also not hate it if someone made fun of him for his collaboration with Katy Perry.

Images: Chuck Hodes/FOX (3); Getty Images (2)