Empire Episode 8 Recap: "My Bad Parts"

Image: Guest star Bre-Z and Bryshere Gray in the "My Bad Parts" episode of Fox's television show Empire
Guest star Bre-Z and Bryshere Gray in the "My Bad Parts" episode of Fox's television show Empire on Nov. 18.Chuck Hodes / Fox

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By Jeff Johnson

Empire takes it to the cypher as Hakeem and Freda battle for the Lyon musical legacy on this week's episode of Empire: “My Bad Parts.”

Terrence Howard in the "My Bad Parts" episode of Fox's television show Empire on Nov. 18.Chuck Hodes / Fox

Daddy’s Little Girl

Lucious wants to teach Hakeem a lesson for the disrespect he’s shown throughout this season, so he gets his #1 rap soldier Freda to record a diss track aimed at his son!

This is classic rap beef 101 where Freda would land an opening shot, and goad Hakeem into accepting her challenge to battle rap for the right to his last name.

Hakeem confers with Cookie over strategy when Laz throws in his two cents. Hakeem isn’t impressed and banishes him from the discussion. Remember, to him, Laz is just a promoter, NOT the dude who’s part of the crew that kidnapped him! They have a scuffle and Cookie intervenes, checking Laz to never touch her son. Cookie also tries to caution Hakeem on battling the lyrically stout Freda.

Needless to say, Hakeem is very confident that he’ll win and wants to battle Freda!

Boo Boo Kittens?

We haven’t seen Anika in a while, and this episode gives us some insight into that. We find Ankia standing over the sink with a huge knife. I thought she was attempting suicide (and maybe she contemplated it?) but instead, she opened a home pregnancy test, taking a few to confirm her fears that she's pregnant!!

When she goes to Hakeem’s apartment to break the news, her affectionate ways are not reciprocated. Anika wants love and thinks the baby might bring that with Hakeem, but Hakeem wants to talk about a different love...the one between him and Laura! He thinks the love is real, but still wants to be friends with Anika.

That’s right he wants to remain homies with Boo Boo Kitty.

Anika didn’t take the news too well. but played it off nicely.

National Exposure

Jamal has a great opportunity to have an original song be included in a National Pepsi campaign. Lucious sees this as another opportunity to collab with his son to make great music, but as we all know, Jamal would rather work with Cookie.

Cookie and Jamal continue to work in secret on this song and almost get discovered by Lucious when he makes an unannounced visit to Jamal’s apartment to play a beat he thinks will be perfect for Pepsi!

Jamal finally has had enough of the sneaking around. He organizes a studio session and invites both Cookie and Lucious!

Jamal’s plans to combine both Cookie and Lucious’s tracks to make one excellent song! Lucious refuses at first, claiming that since his money funds the studio session what he says goes. Little did he know this session was all Jamal!

Lucious and Cookie begrudgingly accept their son's offer, but their competitive spirits could not be quelled.

They make a bet that if Hakeem loses in the rap battle, Jamal’s next record would release on Lyon Dynasty, and if Freda wins, Hakeems album would release on Empire. Let the games begin!

Jamal invites Cookie and Lucious to the Pepsi presentation for the song, and while his parents can’t stand one another, once the song got going…

Jamal’s efforts were rewarded with the Pepsi campaign! The family was finally able to exhale and celebrate! Jamal also tells his warring parents that his next album will feature both Cookie and Lucious as producers, meshing one beautiful sound and producing his best work possible, but one question still remains:

Lyricist Lounge

Guest star Bre-Z and Bryshere Gray in the "My Bad Parts" episode of Fox's television show Empire on Nov. 18.Chuck Hodes / Fox

The moment we all waited for, finally arrived. Freda Gatz vs. Hakeem in one of the most entertaining musical moments on Empire to date! Twitter went nuts with anticipation and immediately chose a side:

Hosted by Funkmaster Flex, they had a two round battle. The first round was pretty even. Hakeem made his presence known.

That second round?! Oh that second round…

Freda absolutely destroyed Hakeem lyrically! So Hakeem’s only option was to actually perform to get the crowd involved. He got the crowd chanting his name and was declared the winner. Many however didn’t agree:

Hakeem gets the victory and also announces that he’s dropping his last name! Madonna. Bono. Sting. Hakeem?

As a result, Jamal’s album will be released on Lyon Dynasty. Chalk up another win in Cookie’s book!

The end of the episode brought us two quick yet poignant revelations. Cookie’s sister Candace (played by Vivica A. Fox) crashes the party to tell Cookie that their sister has gone off the deep end and abandoned her kids. Even more important, we find out Cookie’s real first name:

Lo-Re-Tha. Wow. There has to be a great story behind that!

Finally, Hakeem and Laura’s relationship look to rise to the next level, but Anika disguised as a chauffeur picks up Laura after the rap battle. Did Anika Boo Boo kidnap her? What’s the endgame! We will find out next week!

Empire Episode 8 Recap: "My Bad Parts"

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: