'Empire' Soundtrack Beats Madonna's 'Rebel Heart' On Billboard Charts, Because It's About More Than Just The Music
If you're not already a fan of Empire, then this should be all the reason you need in order to become a fan of Empire. FOX's hit show about music, family, and one of the most colorful villain protagonists ever is a smash and, in addition to making Bryshere Gray a.k.a. Hakeem Lyon a household name and "What Would Cookie Do?" the motto we all should live by, it seems that Empire is collecting praise and accolades left and right. The latest in its string of groundbreaking achievements? Empire has beaten Madonna on the Billboard 200 chart. For an example how impressive this is, Empire is the first album to beat a Madonna album on the charts since Titanic in 1998. You know, Titanic — one of the most iconic films of all time? Who would have thought Empire and the James Cameron film would have anything in common?
I haven't listened to any of Rebel Heart, so I can't compare it to Empire: Original Soundtrack From Season 1. However, even without being able to compare the two, it's not difficult to understand why the Empire soundtrack was the album to achieve this honor above any other album. And, no, it's not just because the music is incredibly addictive, or because Timbaland is involved. It's not even because even the songs that didn't make it onto the soundtrack are amazing. No, the success of the Empire soundtrack is tied directly into the success of the show itself.
1. Every Song Is A Memory
Every song on the Empire soundtrack brings with it a memory of the time that it was sung in the show. The context that goes along with each song makes it twice as great to listen to, because you can close your eyes and visualize the cast of characters that you've come to love and root for.
2. Some Of Them Are Way Too Short
Let's be real. Some of the songs are only a minute or so long — requiring you to binge listen to a bunch of them in order to feel like you're actually listening to a full album. OR MAYBE THAT WAS THE PLAN.
3. All Our Favorite Artists Are Featured
I'm sorry, did you say this album has everyone from Courtney Love to Rita Ora on it? Did you say we've had everyone from Snoop Dogg to Jennifer Hudson on this show? Sorry, guys, I can't hear you anymore; I'm busy standing in line to buy a physical copy in my hands as well as the digital edition. #Bye.
4. Even The Artists We Don't Know Are Amazing
Empire introduced us to Jussie Smollett and Yazz The Great, among numerous others. The first-time and lesser known artists on the album more than hold their own against the bigger name stars, to the point where you're more excited for Hakeem's next rap than you are for any of the established artists' songs.
5. They Have A Place In The Universe
Unlike, say, Glee, the songs on Empire aren't random covers that only vaguely have to do with the plot of the episode. Jamal breaking into "Tell The Truth" was really the only time that a song was randomly inserted to show a character's emotional state rather than as a performance, as a brainstorming session, or as part of a music video. And that's amazing.
6. Brothers (But Not Really)
Can't hear you over my Jamal and Hakeem feels. I can't hear you over my Lyon family feels in general, but, aside from the goddess Cookie Lyon, Jamal and Hakeem are the heart of the show. Thus, the fact that they collaborate on so many songs on the soundtrack is more than enough reason to buy it — even if Smollett and Yazz aren't actually brothers in real life.
7. We Can Dance Like Cookie
You know you want to. Sorry, Madonna, but you didn't stand a chance.
Image: Chuck Hodes/FOX; dailyempire-gifs/Tumblr (7)