There’s talk swirling on the Internet about Hip Hop’s favorite White dude – Eminem – joining the cast of Empire, Hip Hop’s favorite urban drama.

On paper, this could be epic. Eminem is easily the most recognizable figure in the rap record industry and Empire is still riding high on the tips of everyone’s tongue. A uber-popular show about rap life starring the most popular rapper ever? How could that miss? This is what Hip Hop heads have been dreaming about for years…to have our culture so high up on the pedastol that they have no choice but to look and accept, right?

The idea is fallible and the execution could kill Empire’s momentum, though.

Simply put, Eminem doesn’t need to go on the show. Not for his career nor the betterment of the program. And conversely, the show doesn’t need – nay – have any extra room for a celebrity of that caliber. In essence, I don’t see anything happening other than him taking over the show. Like it or not, Marshall Mathers would cast such a shadow on the show that if they decide to include him, they should change the name while they’re at it. It just doesn’t look like a good fit from this vantage point.

There have already been big name cameos on the show but the average person wouldn’t have known because it fit in so well with the premise of the narrative. Even Courtney Love’s forgettable character made sense for that plot. And if they use Em in the same-sized capacity, I’m all for it. But if he is brought into the cast as a regular, I believe the balance of the show will be affected.



Lee Daniels can totally pull off the intergration although I don’t see why he would want to. And if I didn’t know any better (which I may not) I’d say this is a knee-jerk reaction to any negative aboveground attention the show is garnering.

Empire is off to a phenomenal start. Let’s not ruin that by thinking the already successful formula needs tweaking. Because it doesn’t.

Words by Tony Grands
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