Hakeem escapes captivity, Jamal makes a step towards media ubiquity, and Gutter Life Records takes it to church on this week's episode of Empire: "A High Hope for a Low Heaven".
From The Gutter To The Alter
Andre is taking one strong step forward in his leadership role with Gutter Life Records. He interviews potential talent to get properly acclimated. J Poppa raises his interest, as his name is derived from biblical influences (and he's currently sleeping with Becky). Andre convinces him to incorporate scripture into his raps to make them more authentic.
While Andre's interest lie on Christian Blend Rap, Lucious wants the focus to be authentic street hip-hop and he continues to champion her. He feels more of a connection to her than her own sons! he even gives her a beat originally intended for Hakeem and she absolutely kills it!
Line of the night had to go to Lucious when Andre challenged him on his continued meddling into Gutter Life's affairs:
Just an Artist
Jamal's still reeling from catching Michael cheating on him, and he's still working on his music. (The tracks that he sings weekly are by far the musical highlights on this show.) Lucious sees that the music is suffering and suggests Jamal use the pain of infidelity to bolster his music.
The Staples Center decides against Jamal performing and he feels it's because he's gay. He wants to bring in Jamison (a marketing mogul who's gay and has a negative history with Lucious) to help market him better than Empire currently does. Jamal doesn't want to be marketed as a gay artist. He wants to be an artist period. Needless to say Lucious wasn't pleased:
It will be interesting to see whether Jamison is friend or foe...
Last week, Hakeem was kidnapped and we all held our breath as we wondered about his whereabouts. We discover that he's being held for a "hood ransom". Cookie and Lucious organize a drop-off of $40K for Hakeem's safe return. The kidnappers comply, but Hakeem leaves the drop-off van to… meet up with Anika and have relations?! yeah, you aren't the only one who was confused:
Hakeem seems to be suffering from PTSD as he continuously spazzes out, becomes confrontational with his girl group and his family, and can't seem to concentrate. His exchanges with Lucious are always spirited:
Cookie speaks to Laz about Hakeem's kidnapping and wants to resolve it in any way possible. Laz agrees to get a meeting set up between Cookie, Hakeem and the "Longhorns Crew" (The ones with tattoos on all of their backs).
Cookie and Hakeem attend the meeting, and while Cookie says to be cool, Hakeem has other intentions, pulling out a gun on them. Cookie calms him down, only to take the gun and brandish it towards the crew, making sure they know any more advances made on her family will be met by death:
Cookie and Laz have had extreme sexual attraction this entire season and it culminated this week with hot kisses and Cookie getting her groove back. The only problem? Laz has the SAME tattoo as the crew who kidnapped Hakeem! What's his true motive for Cookie and the Lyon Dynasty? Find out next week!
To hear an in depth review of this week's Episode, listen to The Lyons Den Empire podcast from NBCBLK Contributor Jeff Johnson and friends on That ADHD Show.