While all of us are playing checkers, the Lyon clan is playing chess, and in the words of the ever slick and seductive Lucious Lyon, “It’s game time bitches!”


Like the knight in Chess, Hakeem is an unusual player in the game to run Empire that stays close to the action. As the youngest brother and artist with the most charm and appeal, he is of much value to both Lucious (King) and Cookie (Queen). Although Hakeem marches to his own drum, he often shows his allegiance to Cookie (The Queen). Ultimately he wants to be his own boss and ascend to his own throne and does so by reckless actions in order to assert himself.


Hakeem’s top 3 power moves to check Lucious include:

1. Hakeem leaks his own album. (Episode 202)

Hakeem pulled a fast one once he realized that Empire still had control over his music.

2. Hakeem teams with Cookie to start Lyon Dynasty and crashes Lucious’ welcome back party with a Lyon Dynasty performance. (Episode 203)

No longer a part of Empire, Hakeem re-introduces his self with a bold entrance worthy of pissing Lucious off.

3. Hakeem’s tie-breaking vote removes Lucious from Empire as Chairman and CEO. (Episode 210)

Daaaamn Hakeem! This is Hakeem’s ultimate checkmate move.



Hakeem Lyon is more than just the kid with the cool haircuts, he has a few hot bars as well:

“I’m The New Flava, Hi Hater/ New paper, life saver/ No sucker here/Top 10 I belong with the greats / Talkin Big, Talkin Nas, Talkin Pac, Talkin Jay” (Episode 208)

One of the standout lines Hakeem says when he wins the rap battle against Freda Gatz.

“I run the turf like a running back/Hand me the ball and I ran it back

Score every time like I’m in the sack/ I aint come from the bottom but still had to grind for it

Pop plotted on me but momma, she ride for me” (Episode 203)

Hakeem does his first Sway in The Morning interview/performance while with Lyon Dynasty.

“I” (Episode 210)

All it took was one syllable to remove the king from his throne. Now THAT’S powerful.



Hakeem is the only character to have the experience of running Empire and Lyon Dynasty. The next step for him is to start his own label and manage his own career like other great artists of today. By brushing up on his business weaknesses (Lucious embarrassed him in that press conference) and focusing on becoming a better artist (while cooling down on the ladies, just a bit) Hakeem actually has a good chance of running his own empire.

Did you miss “The Pawn”? Next, we’re analyzing Cookie Lyon as “The Queen”. Don’t miss our Season 2 Empire Binge-A-Thon, all day Saturday, starting at 9 am!

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