'Empire' releases new songs ahead of season 2 premiere

To keep rabid fans sated until the premiere, Empire has released two original songs

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Real-life chart-toppers Pitbull and Ne-Yo collaborate on the latest music from the sensational show.

Empire, the show that feels more like a national phenomenon than a simple, soapy TV program, is returning for its second, super-sized season in less than a month. To keep its rabid fans sated until 23 September, Empire has released the audio from two new original songs on its VEVO channel.

The first, an uptempo dance track called “No Doubt About It,” features Jamal (Jussie Smollett) and Pitbull, and was co-written by Ne-Yo. Both real-life artists are slated to appear at some point during the second season.


Of all the performers regularly featured on Empire, Jamal has the least specific sound. He’s done everything from sappy ballads to futuristic electro-pop, and “No Doubt About It” is yet another track that doesn’t fully jive with the singer’s previous output. It feels like a transparent attempt to get Pitbull on the show — and if there was ever an artist with a signature sound, it’s Pitbull, though that sound isn’t exactly beloved by most listeners. Of course, it’s difficult to judge Empire’s music without seeing the scene or episode within which it’s set. “No Doubt About It” sounds like it would fit perfectly into a Miami DJ’s club set, if not Jamal’s repertoire.


The second song FOX released, “Ain’t About the Money,” is more promising. A hard-charging hip-hop anthem, the track is a duet between Jamal and Hakeem (Bryshere Y Gray).

“Ain’t About the Money” fits much more readily into the dynamic Empire set up in its first season. The Lyon brothers can be cocky, especially when they’re paired together on a song. Though this duet doesn’t quite pack the punch of “No Apologies,” it’s confident and catchy enough to get listeners in the mood for Empire’s second season.