Danny Strong one of the creator’s of Fox’s hit show Empire was on with Sway in the morning to discuss the show and the inspiration behind it. Strong Strong shared that Empire is actually loosely based on the life of rap mogul and business magnate, Jay Z. Did you know they were considering Wesley Snipes for the part of Luscious Lyons?
Which would of been dope…. It would of took be back to the days of New Jack City…
We all know Terrance Howard’s character Luscious Lyon built an empire a musical dynasty for himself and his family off of his drug dealing past and his ex-wife who went to jail so he could pursue his dream.
Sway asked Danny if he’s received backlash from viewers regarding his decision to give the lead character the stereotypical past of a Black man. ”The Jay-Z story, which very much inspired Lucious Lyon, certain elements of Lucious Lyon, was that story,” replied Strong. He then went on to explain why he and Daniels decided to give Howard’s character the drug-related background.
He tells Sway:
“For me, I don’t think in terms of ‘we have to be careful of certain things because of certain negative stereotypes’,” said Strong. “I view it as, the entire cast is African American, we’re gonna have all different types of characters, and we’re just gonna tell good stories. We’re not gonna sit here and play defense or think that our show is a representation of Black culture in it’s entirety. It’s not. It’s just this story. And for me, the story of people who have some sort of criminal past or gangster past is not individual to Black culture, it’s individual to so many cultures within American society. To me it’s an American dream story. This is metaphorical to so many people in America. How they rise up to power is through these means. Our goal is to tell a great story and to do the best that we can.”
I wouldn’t say it was based off of Jay, it would of been believable if he said Diddy, with sprinkled bits of Russell and Jay Z..
Watch the full interview below: