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18 minutes | Dec 3, 2015
Episode 10: Talking Race & Writing with Empire's Creator
Midway through its second season, Empire continues its reign, remaining one of the most-watched and talked about shows in recent memory. This week, the show's creator Danny Strong gives us an peek inside the royal Lyon family: revealing how he "discovered" the reason Lucious can't trust Andre; detailing the revolutionary diversity of the writers' room; and explaining why the show's total craziness all stems from ten minutes of Kanye YouTube interviews. What was your favorite moment of the season? Get at us on Twitter @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC.
17 minutes | Nov 26, 2015
Episode 9: All in the Black Family
The Sanfords. The Jeffersons. The Cosbys. The Winslows. The Banks's. And now the Lyons. In this special Thanksgiving episode, we talk about family: specifically, the evolution of the black family on television. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans tells us about his first encounter with the Evans family on Good Times, and explains why Lucious, Cookie, and their three sons might be a new thing in the TV world. What do you think? What did you eat? Get at us on Twitter @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC. Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
15 minutes | Nov 19, 2015
Episode 8: Young, Gifted, and Black — and Gay
The first season of Empire pulled no punches when it came to addressing social issues pertaining to black families and hip hop culture. And one of the biggest plot-lines was Jamal’s: the talented middle Lyon child who is spurned by his dad because he's gay. But Season Two has by and large ignored this provocative throughline. We ask writer Michael Arceneaux why that is. And what does that mean? What do you think? Get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC! Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
18 minutes | Nov 12, 2015
Episode 7: The Art of Blackness
Much has been made of the fashion on Empire. But the show's visuals are stunning across the board — not just the costumes, but also the sets, and especially the visual art that decorates seemingly every surface. Walking through the Lyons' world is like taking a stroll through a gallery of contemporary art from black artists. We talk to one artist, Toyin Ojih Odutola, whose piece featured prominently in the season two premiere, and explore what it means for TV's biggest show to highlight modern black artists. Tell us about your favorite art on the show! And get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC! Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes. A Kehinde Wiley painting conspicuously graces the wall of Lucious Lyon's estate. (FOX)
16 minutes | Nov 5, 2015
Episode 6: An Empire GIF for Every Occasion
That scene where Cookie takes Lyon family dinner to-go? Lucious's reaction to Jamal's coming out? Anika's killer dance moves? Tyler Menzel is the guy behind the GIFs. Maybe he didn't make them himself (though he's made plenty), but his company Giphy is responsible for the wild proliferation of these compulsively meme-able, shareable images. We find out why Empire is the most GIF-able show on TV, and Tyler shares some useful GIFs for everyday moments. In the studio with @giphy's @tylermenzel talking about #Empire gifs! #GiphyCam @jozenc @WNYC pic.twitter.com/EHMGDi136Q — Empire Afterparty (@EmpirePodcast) October 21, 2015 Send us your favorite Empire reaction GIF; get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC. Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes. Here's a handy GIF for when... ...someone plays you a song that you really hate but they really like: via GIPHY ...you’re standing in line at the checkout and you're not sure if your card is going to go through: via GIPHY ...someone you don’t like walks into the room: via GIPHY ...you see the person who owes you money, spending money: via GIPHY
16 minutes | Oct 29, 2015
Interlude: Walking in Cookie's Shoes...and Fedora
Empire was pre-empted this week by the World Series. Whether you're a Mets fan or a Royals fan, on this we can agree: Everybody's a fan of Cookie Lyon. So this week, we went in search of someone who could tell us what it's like to walk in Cookie's shoes. And dresses. And leopard print fedoras. Jazmine Hughes wrote an essay for Cosmopolitan about how dressing like Cookie for a week made her feel like a badass, so we invited her over to talk about the experience. Get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC — send us your best GIFs and your hottest takes! Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes. Jazmine admits that wearing leather shirts kept her 'schvitzing' all day. (FOX/Kathleen Kamphausen) Jazmine Hughes says she had "residual Cookie attitude" after her week of dressing like the Empire star. (FOX/Kathleen Kamphausen)
14 minutes | Oct 22, 2015
Episode 5: Talking #JaMichael with Rafael de la Fuente
Sure, Episode 5 had some notable developments. Cookie found both a doggie and a lapdog. Andre got right with God. And that dirty hippie photographer...well, the less said about him, the better. But you know who really owned this episode? Michael, that's who. So we talk to him! Rafael de le Fuente joins special guest host Kevin Brown (Dot Com from '30 Rock') to take us backstage for his big American TV break, and talk about what to expect next for #JaMichael. Get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC — send us your best GIFs and your hottest takes! Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
18 minutes | Oct 15, 2015
Episode 4: Gimme That Bomb Beat From... Hakeem?
Empire is, at its dramatic heart, a show about hip hop culture. So it's about damn time we talk about the music. We dial up super producer Mark Batson, who crafted that anthemic Season Two opener, and also talk to writer and author Shea Serrano about where Empire's music falls in the hip hop canon (and try to understand why he likes that terrible Lucious single). Get at us each and every Wednesday night @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC — send us your best GIFs and your hottest takes! Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
18 minutes | Oct 8, 2015
Episode 3: Prowling the Catwalk with the Lyons
We know … we’re only three episodes in, but we strongly felt the need to hit “pause” this week and acknowledge something fiercely consistent about Season 2 that we can no longer ignore – the threads in the Lyons den. From Cookie’s power ensembles that bring a new sophistication, to her “fat gold chain” power suit, all the way to Andre's sweaters...this show's fashion game is on fleek. This week we chat with style gurus Serena da Conceicao, Creative Director for the Nicki Minaj line, and GQ's "Style Guy" Mark Anthony Green who break down for us why the wardrobe and style for this show matters. And, as always, there's plenty of Cookie love. via GIPHY How are we doing? What do you think of Lucious' new tunes? Get at us: @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC. Let's keep the conversation going. Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
23 minutes | Oct 1, 2015
Episode 2: Ludacris, You Could've at Least Taught Lucious to Rap
Thank you, writers of Empire, for letting us stop and chill for a minute. The season 2 premiere was so bonkers, we needed an episode to regroup, to catch our breath, and to watch Hakeem hold auditions for a girl group. Yes, Lucious managed to record some dopey raps in the clink. But then you gave us prison guard Ludacris, who came in and shut it down! And this episode also came at a good time because our last Afterparty left us with some unfinished business. The comedian Kevin Brown, a.k.a. Dot Com from 30 Rock, brought up some excellent points about race and celebrity and why every black actor in Hollywood is trying to get on Empire. So we had him back, and gave this conversation the focus it deserves. We also spend some time with Morgan DeBaun, founder & CEO of Blavity.com to discuss race and how black women are developed as characters on television. How are we doing? What do you think of Lucious' new tunes? Get at us: @EmpirePodcast and @JozenC. Let's keep the conversation going. Subscribe to Empire Afterparty on iTunes.
23 minutes | Sep 24, 2015
Episode 1: The Lyons, the Gorilla Suit, and the Wardrobes
Listener discretion is advised, and spoilers ahead! The season 2 premiere of Empire was lit! We got Cookie in a gorilla suit, Cookie in a peacock suit, Lucious in jail, Lucious Skyping from jail, Marisa Tomei hitting on women, and Chris Rock playing a hard-ass dude with skinny-ass arms. The only thing more fire than the show was watching the show at our live viewing party in The Greene Space, and then going deep with our all-star panel on questions like, Is the music actually any good? How does one mail a severed head from inside prison? And what do we make of the opening scene's comments on the criminal justice system? Our guests include Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux, New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica, and 30 Rock's Kevin Brown. A scene from the live taping of Empire Afterparty from WNYC. (Kyle Smith/WNYC) From L to R: Kevin Brown, Empire Afterparty host Jozen Cummings, Jamilah Lemieux, and Jon Caramanica. (Kyle Smith/WNYC) Remember to follow Empire Afterparty, host Jozen Cummings, and all of our guests on Twitter for vital supplementary content like this: I want Chris Rock to bulk up for me like Drake did Serena — jamilah (@JamilahLemieux) September 24, 2015 In case you all need it: some background on Tammy Faye Baker https://t.co/r2t0bLpsm5 — Jozen C. (@jozenc) September 24, 2015 Anyone else remember Marisa Tomei from 'A Different World'? #EmpireSeason2 #Empire #throwback pic.twitter.com/FJd5r7HtHi — Empire Afterparty (@EmpirePodcast) September 24, 2015
12 minutes | Sep 17, 2015
The Lyons Return
Welcome to the Empire Afterparty, a weekly reflection, meditation, take-down, and twist on FOX's hit hip-hopera. In this episode, meet your host, writer and commentator Jozen Cummings, and learn about his affection for Lucious' scarves. Plus: New York Magazine Editor-at-Large Carl Swanson helps us set the stage for Season Two, and takes us into the mind of show creator Lee Daniels. Get your Drip Drop on, it's time to talk Empire! And when you watch the season premiere of Empire on September 23, tweet at us @EmpirePodcast.
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