This is a safe space where I'll only judge you a little bit for admitting you can't get last night's Empire song "Drip Drop" out of your head. I can't either. It's an undeniable smash.
Before we even get to hear the beat drop on this classic record, Hakeem (aka Yazz, the voice of a generation) teases it in the show's opener during a red carpet interview where he's accompanied by his girl Tiana, who's featured on the song. She helps pump his ego, telling him and the interviewer that this single will bring Hakeem out of the shadow of his dad Lucious.
Immediate thoughts: "Drip Drop" is a tragic title, partially because it could happen in real life. Head over to Billboard and note that Chris Brown and Tyga's "Ayo" and Omarion's "Post to Be" (brilliant) are currently in the top 25 on the Hip-Hop/R&B chart.
Hakeem first plays "Drip Drop" for Lucious and Anika in a conference room and then presents his storyboard idea for the music video. "I don't wanna win this game. I wanna change it," says Hakeem, parroting every struggling rapper today. "We show them I'm the king, bet you they believe it." Terrence is so proud that he murmurs in a wobbly voice as if in the middle of a Broadway musical monologue staring at the audience: "I love it."
Lucious' oldest son Andre, not a Yes Man, is the only sensible one in the room: "'Drip Drop' is good. I guess."
Right, Andre. "Drip Drop" and its hook ("She make that thang go/ Drip, drop, drip drippity drop") is the epitome of everything good and wrong about Empire's soundtrack so far. As David Turner notes in his Deadspin piece about the show's outdated score, there's a disconnect. This is a bad song. But Hakeem's raps are so cliché and over-exuberant that it fits perfectly with the show's intentional parody and campiness. I don't expect Number One hits here.
"Drip Drop" plays again as Hakeem records the music video, which features green-screen footage of him on a jet ski and a bed scene where he's surrounded by women in lingerie. Since he and his crew are obsessed with recording Vine videos as proof of their exploits, Hakeem gets a clip of himself bragging, saying, "When this video drops, it's gon' put Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and all those cats on notice. I'm dead-ass serious. I'm not playin' with these dudes, man."
"Drip Drop" plays again when Hakeem shoots additional video scenes with Tiana and some fake rain (watch above).
"Drip Drop" is about to turn Hakeem into a legend. He tells Jamal: "You still worrying 'bout singles when I'm bout to be iconic." Bigger than Drake. Good news: You can buy "Drip Drop" on iTunes. Sad news: Drake has yet to respond to my challenge about a "Drip Drop" freestyle.
Other notable moments from last night's episode:
—After their red carpet event, Hakeem drops off Tiana. Waiting for her at home is… her side chick India. Tiana is cheating on Hakeem, which is a slap in the face to an already cheating Hakeem. When he learns about it through some unknown blogger named Perez Hilton, Hakeem confronts Tiana and she lets him know, "Look, you got a sidepiece, too." He can't argue with that logic.
Lucious later tries to cheer up his son using math: "Your girlfriend has a girlfriend. Add that up. Two girlfriends. That's a mathematician's dream."
—The sibling rivalry between Hakeem and Jamal continues as Jamal holes up in a Bronx studio to record his own smash record. It's good. But it sounds like a song that'll be somewhere in the top-10, looking up at "Drip Drop" at No. 1.
—Cookie is slipping. The federal agent who got her an early prison release has tricked Cookie into testifying about the guy she saw shoot an undercover Fed. "I just snitched on him in court," says Cookie. "Dead bitch walking. That's me." Cookie later screws up when she prematurely orders a hit on an innocent man, after finding a rose in front of her door and assuming she's a marked target.
—This week in Cookie-isms: After learning about Tiana (who's now managed by Cookie) and India, Cookie tells her, "You's a freak, but that's a good thing. We can sell that." When a racist cabbie makes a "You people" reference, Cookie quips, "You black like me." Her most iconic statement to date comes earlier in the episode when she leaves Jamal at the studio: "The name's Cookie. Ask about me."