By K.B. Tindal
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Even with all the accomplishments has made, it has taken so long for the hip hop culture to gain footing in the mainstream world. Finally, the world seems to be accepting the hip hop culture. Always known as the rebel network, of course FOX became the first regular network to claim hip hop.
This television season saw FOX greenlight the series, “Empire,” which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. They play the roles of a divorced head of a family music dynasty. “Empire” is, essentially, the first-ever hip hop soap opera.
Whether it be daytime or primetime dramas, modern shows all have that one powerful leader and Terrence Howard’s Lucious Lyon is that and then some. Not only is this the first hip hop-themed drama in history, it is on a regular television network and it shows the characters in positions of power. As many know, this isn’t always the case in the hip hop industry.
But, those who watched last night’s episode surely picked up on the fact that Lucious Lyon, portrayed by Terrence Howard, is close to being a billionaire. In some ways, he is comparable to “Dallas” powerhouse, J.R. Ewing, portrayed by the late Larry Hagman. With Hagman dying in 2012 and “Dallas” being cancelled last year, real primetime drama lovers needed a fix and it came with “Empire” and Lucious Lyon.
Understand, the soap opera staple is filled with powerful men who run their companies and their families with strength and power. On daytime, such guys as Victor Newman, Sonny Corinthos, Stefano DiMera, Bill Spencer, and Victor Kiriakis all built empires and families from nothing and are powerful. In primetime, there are figures like Jim Cryer, Fitz, and David Lee.
All of those men are “large and in charge” figures who have been around much longer than Terrence Howard’s portrayal of Lucious Lyon. But, none of these characters have shown the ruthlessness that Lucious has, as the daytime figures all have twenty-plus years of ups and downs wearing on them and all of the other primetime guys are portrayed as “safe.” These are boundaries that Lucious simply doesn’t have.
A show like “Empire” existing at all is a win for hip hop, but it brings up this question, is Lucious Lyon the most-powerful character in all of TV?
Watch episode 1 of “Empire” here.
Watch episode 2 of “Empire” here.
Watch episode 3 of “Empire” here.
Watch episode 4 of “Empire” here.
Watch episode 5 of “Empire” here.
Follow K.B. Tindal on Twitter @KBTindal.