Mixtape Music News/’Empire’ Edition

1.The ratings for last night’s season two premiere proved that…

…the sizzling show is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Returning for its sophomore season, last night the Lee Daniels fronted FOX sensation showed its second best ratings to date. In fact, the network dominated the opening Wednesday of the ’15/’16 season overall, benefiting from the much hyped Empire  premiere to deliver solid numbers. 

Season two opened with 16 million total viewers and a 6.5 rating (per fast nationals), dipping just 6 and 9 percent from the second hour of its record-setting freshman finale (17.6 mil/6.9). Since its premiere in January, the show had seen its overall audience grow with every episode, but that out-of-this-T.V.-world streak came to an end last night. 

But compared with last season’s premiere in January, last night’s Empire premiere was up by 71% in 18-49 (6.5 vs. 3.8) and by 62% in total viewers (16.0 million vs. 9.9 million), all making for the biggest improvement from season 1 premiere to season 2 premiere for any scripted series since FOX‘s now defunct House  in 2004 and 2005.

Empire season two sophomore slump? Never heard of it. 

2.This article featured in The Hollywood Reporter will quench your Cookie thirst….

If you’re looking quite a riveting Cookie-sized Empire read while you patiently wait for next week’s episode, than this recently published article in The Hollywood Reporter is just the one for you.

The glamorous mag takes you inside the Empire writers room, in which they say is just a world full of “bat shit crazy.” The article goes into detail describing how it all comes together, with most of the ideas coming from the brilliantly twisted mind of shows master, the esteemed Mr. Lee Daniels.

“For so long, we’ve had conversations that have ranged from challenging to unproductive with various creative partners about the value of having our shows reflect the audience that watches television,” says Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden. “The result is that you can have a big, fat hit.”

Indeed…they do. For more on this fascinating read (if you’re a fan, you better), check your Cookie life right here

3.EW has an interesting way in reviewing Empire from here on out….

Warning….Empire spoilers a….head….

Always being one to recognize their readers, has now said that they’ll be reviewing Empire season two episodes a little differently from here on out. 

Every week, instead of a traditional recap with that trademark EW flair, they’ll now give you their latest edition of Empire: How Crazy-Awesome Was It?, in which they will rate the characters in terms of their sheer genius….or Kimberly from Melrose Place insanity.

For their first round-up, including what was up with that head-in-a-box(calling Jimmy & Justin?), sing your heart out for that Empire recording contract right here. 

4.Just who will be popping up this season??

Get ready….Mariah and friends are coming to Empire this season…

While we’re all anxiously awaiting to see just what kind of music shenanigans Luscious (Terrence Howard), Cookie (Taraji P. Henson), Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and the rest of the Lyon family will no doubt get into this season, we’re also dying to see just how all of those fabulously announced season two guest stars will hold their Empire hoops this season….

Among the long list of coveted guest spots will be Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Chris Rock, Mariah(let’s not forget Mariah and Daniels worked together in Precious)  and Vivica A. Fox, who will be stiletto-ing it up to play Cookie‘s sister, who according to rumors, is coming on board to test audiences’ interest in members of Cookie’s family, of which creator Daniels has recently suggested an interest in a spin-off. 

According to reports, Henson and Fox are besties in real life, and it was at Henson’s request to get the lovely Ms. Fox to take on the role. While we absolutely can’t wait to see how this all plays out (hint-they won’t get along), this casting news takes us back to another time Fox went diva-to diva…with Uma Thurman‘s The Bride in Kill Bill Vol. 1, all making up for one of the bloodiest, best catfights since Empire‘s comparative show, Dynasty

5.This Empire groove from Swizz Beatz will set your day off right….

Another reason that Empire just gets to werk  is because of the dazzling display of Timbaland produced bangers that are served to us every week. Last season’s grooves were no exception, with artists like Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, and cast members including Yazz and Jussie Smullet who added their own funkdafied flavors to cuts from season one. 

This season is already looking musically tight, with Timbo back on board, as well as many more music artists including Swizz Beatz and Pitbulll, who have already provided some new music for season two. 

Turn up the Swizz volume below and get ready for what is sure to be an incredible sophomore season of Empire


Mixtape Music News

1.Adele threw music shade towards Sia’s new single…

Sia has decided on her next single, “Alive,” but it was actually written for Adele. According to RTV Slovenija (translated via Google Translator), Ms. Sia said that the almighty Adele rejected the track at the very last-minute. But, being the true diva she is, Sia decided to take on the groove anyway. “It’s about [Adele’s] life, so I now sing a song from [Adele’s] perspective,” she stated.

“Alive,” which will be officially released on Sept. 26, will be serving as the lead single from Sia’s highly anticipated album, This Is Acting, which is due later this fall. Coincidentally, the track fits perfectly with the theme of the LP, as Sia told NME in February that the title was conceived from cooking up songs not necessarily meant for herself. “I’m calling it This Is Acting because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go into it thinking, ‘This is something I would say,’” she said. “It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.”

And we absolutely can’t wait for it.

2.The Empire season 2 heat is on….

With the season two premiere of FOX‘s runaway smash, Empire, just weeks away (Sept. 23), we can expect to be getting served with a whole lot of buzz from the new season of the hit show. What we do know is that three months have passed since the arrest and incarceration of patriarch Lucious Lyon(Terrence Howard), and that there’s no doubt that the twists and turns that have become those 2015 water cooler moments will continue to keep us thirsty for more. Besides the fact that Ms. Oprah (!) is coming to Empire as well this season…

Another big part of season 2 will be the introduction of Freda Barz, which will be played by pint-sized Philly native rap diva, Bre-Z (pronounced breezy). Fox describes Barz as “a baby-faced emcee (aka The Queen o’ 16s) from Brownsville, Brooklyn. Unapologetically butch, she has won more rap battles than the best male vets on her block. Charismatic and witty, but with a street lean, she’s done some dirt but rhyming is her way out. Moody. Outspoken. A hardhead who is silenced and humbled only in the presence of her gangster father.”

Get ready for this one, kids.

Ms. Barz will officially be introduced in the “Fires of Heaven” episode that is set to air on Oct. 7. Watch the season 2 premiere trailer below.

3.Chelsea Clinton is ALL for Kanye in 2020….

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton, recently shared her thoughts on a Kanye West’s now infamous VMA presidential bid, and guess what? She’s all for it.

In a recent interview with MTV, Clinton told the reporter, “Who runs for office is really important,” And even if [West] just saying that helps spark a little boy or a little girl who was watching the VMAs to think, ‘Oh wow, maybe I should do that,’ that’s awesome.”

Although West hasn’t approached Clinton for her for campaign guidance (yet), when asked if she thought Kanye would actually run, she said, “You’d have to ask him.” As for whether her support extends to the ballot box, Clinton added that her vote would depend on the competition, saying “I think it depends on who he’d be running against.”\

For the full MTV interview, go here.

4.Sam Smith is about to own the new James Bond theme…

Get ready to swoon this upcoming holiday season–Sam Smith has officially recorded the new Bond theme song.

The overseas soul singer’s upcoming release “Writing’s On The Wall” is set to be the feature track in the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre.

“This is one of the highlights of my career,” said Smith in a statement. “I am honored to finally announce that I will be singing the next Bond theme song. I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations. I hope you all enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.”

This news only makes sense being that Smith’s female soul counterpart, Ms. Adele, provided us with the last Bond theme song, ‘Skyfall,” just a few short years ago, in which she also took home an Academy Award for. Do you think Mr. Smith can achieve the same accomplishment?

Spectre is set to hit theaters on Nov 6th.

5.Kid Cudi said he just auditioned for Star Wars:The Force Awakens 

We can all rest easy….

Rapper Kid Cudi has confirmed that he just auditioned for the most anticipated film of our lifetimes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

After a fan tweeted that he should have a role (wonder which one?)Mr. Cudi responded by saying that he actually did try out for the upcoming film.

While these days he may be known more for his music, Mr. Cudi has certainly made his mark in the television and film world as well, appearing under his real name, Scott Mescudi. On his resume includes a small part in this this year’s Entourage film and another role in the FOX comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Past tweets by the rapper have also shown that he’s a huge Star Wars fan, so who knows, maybe director J.J. Abrams will put him in after all. Guess we’ll have to patiently wait until Dec 18th to find out.



Why Isn’t ‘Empire’s’ Music Destroying the Billboard Charts?

Let’s talk about a little FOX show called “Empire’ for a minute, shall we? Perhaps you guys have heard of it? Actually, of course you guys have because the show about Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie Lyon snatching music industry wigs has proved to be an out-of-this-world success, with ratings going up EVERY week since its premiere last month. (Its pilot started off with 9.9 million and last week’s showing was at 13.2 million. #unheardof) With superb acting, fantastic dialogue and delicious Timbaland provided beats, ‘Empire’ has proved to be unstoppable. However, something seems to be off…the original songs from the smash show have yet to do much chart damage, and we wonder…why? In its glory days, THAT other FOX musical show, Glee, was a ratings champ much like ‘Empire,’ and by its fourth season in 2012, the show had sang up more than 32 million downloads and the cast had become the No. 8 digital artists….of all time. WTF?

Personally speaking, when it comes to choosing a crisp Timbaland groove over ANOTHER Lea Michele pop show tune rewire thing, I think it’s obvious, Timbo all the way. So, really, what gives? While original tracks like “Good Enough” and “Keep Your Money,” which are both sung to perfection by co-star Jussie Smollett, have sold moderately, shipping between 50-75, 000 downloads, they still have yet to bulldoze down a top position on the Billboards singles charts. It’s a mystery that we’re sure the execs at label Sony and FOX are all patiently waiting to solve and truly time will tell. But, let’s face it, ‘Empire’ is certainly here to stay. In the meantime, dive into the show’s top-five Missy’s best friend produced bangers below.

Jussie Smollett/”Good Enough”

Jussie Smullett/”Keep Your Money”

V. Bozeman/”What Is Love”

Jussie Smollett/Yazz/”No Apologies”

Yazz/Serayah McNeill/”Drip Drop”