“The Streets Ain’t Made For Everyone, That’s Why They Made Sidewalks:” The Best Empire Quotes
Premiering to strong ratings, Fox’s “Empire” has continued to soar in the weeks since its debut. While we had the utmost confidence that the Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard-led hip-hop drama would kill it, we were just hoping that everyone else would jump on the bandwagon. And, thankfully, it looks like they have (the series’ third episode climbed to 10.9 million viewers and a 4.3 rating among adults 18-49). So with episode 4 about to premiere tonight, we take a look back at some of the most ridiculous, sassiest and awesome quotes of the series so far.
Cookie Lyon: “The streets ain’t made for everyone, that’s why they made sidewalks”
If there is one line the sums up “Empire” in a nutshell, it would have to be Cookie Lyon’s declaration above. If there is one thing we’ve learned a mere three episodes in, it’s that Ms. Lyon is certainly no casual passerby. She’s running those streets, not letting them run her.
Jamal Lyon: “I’m a man. You can keep that song, and your money. My obedience is no longer for sale”
One of the most compelling relationships within “Empire” is certainly the dynamic between Empire head Lucious Lyon and his gay son Jamal. While Jamal has all the talent in the world, Lucious is completely unable to see past his son’s sexual orientation. Their contentious relationship came to a head in Episode 3, culminating in Jamal turning his back to his father’s wealth and influence to stand on his own two feet and forge a path to musical superstardom.
Anika Gibbons: “Do you even know what a debutante is? A ho who can slice your throat without disturbing her pearls”
While Anika Gibbons will ultimately be no match for the feisty and driven Cookie Lyon, we have to give credit where credit is due. She busts out with her own brand of sass and it’s an utterly delicious foil to Cookie’s character.
Cookie Lyon: “You gonna Ray Rice me?! I’ve faced bigger in prison — with more talent, b!tch!”
When Rapper Kid FoFo’s antics landed him on the wrong side of the headlines, Cookie had no problem sharing her feelings about him and the situation. And when he argued back, showing nothing but disrespect, Cookie was not about to have that. Hence the gem above.
Lucious Lyon: “My music expresses my world, that’s how I grew up, where you either sold drugs or you watched children go hungry, where half of your family is locked off in prison. Our music is more of a narration of an oppressed people. You see the Empire artists are telling the next generation that even though they live in a world where Trayvon Martin can get shot down like a dog without…”
Reporter: “How does it give them hope if all the songs do is promote more violence.”
Lucious Lyon: “While there’s hope in the fact that these kids are expressing their anger with music and poetry and not with a 12-gauge shotgun.”
Most of “Empire” shines a spotlight on the buttoned-up, corporate hustler that is Lucious Lyon. But in the midst of the Kid FoFo controversy, he shows the specter of the man who truly understands the struggle and sees the value that music can provide to millions of young men and women looking for a way out of the circumstances life has dealt them.
Rhonda Lyon:”For most people cancelling a doctor’s appointment it’s just lazy, for someone who is bipolar it’s life-threatening. And your life is mine.”
Not the most salacious of quotes to make our list, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t equally as effective, particularly with the action that accompanied it. Rhonda, Andre Lyon’s right-hand woman, gave fans a peak behind the curtain at the ticking time-bomb that is her husband. But knowing how she can leverage her feminine wiles, Rhonda drills home the importance of Andre staying on top of his bi-polar meds with a little “special service.” Call it one of the show’s most notable OMG moments.
Anika Gibbons: “I see you’ve met Cookie. She’s visiting from prison.”
Anika throws a handful of salt Cookie’s way when she tells a songwriter power duo that Cookie is trying to court for Jamal now that she is fresh out of jail. In Swedish, Anika was a millisecond away from two snaps in Cookie’s face. Gotta appreciate the cojones on that one.
Cookie Lyon: “I want to show you a faggot can really run this company”
Cookie will never back down from defending her own … especially if it means taking a shot at her ex-hubby.
Lucious Lyon: “Effective immediately your contract with Empire is terminated. Cuz she’s right, your lyrics suck”
With Lucious and Cookie fighting at every turn, this was the first instance where we really saw a willingness of Empire’s head honcho to go to bat for the mother of his children. After the Kid FoFo incident in the elevator, Lucious quietly fires the pretentious rapper after his disrespect toward Cookie.