Hustle And Flow, Empire Connection

Bustle explains that Empire feels like a Hustle & Flow sequel.  Hustle & Flow is a 2005 movie that starred Empire‘s Terrence Howard as a Memphis drug dealer with dreams to become a rapper.  In the film, Howard’s character, DJay, is also a pimp and he’s not happy with his life.  Taraji P. Henson plays Shug, DJay’s love interest.

According to Billboard a trailer was recently released promoting Empire‘s third season which premieres on September 21, 2016.  The trailer showed Cookie explaining to Lucious that they build their family and their family is strong.  This article will analyze the similarities between the movie and the television show.

Hustle and Flow Empire Connection
Hustle and Flow Empire Connection

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson

Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson have undeniable chemistry with each other.  In the “Et Tu, Brute?” episode of Empire, Lucious and Cookie’s son, Hakeem, votes against Lucious and he is removed as CEO of the company.  As a result, Lucious decides to relieve his stress by shooting his gun in his office, destroying his beautiful home.
Lucious Cookie Lyon Hug
Lucious Cookie Lyon Hug

Cookie enters the room and explains to Lucious that he has to clam down.  She wipes his tears and they share a passionate hug.  The word passionate doesn’t quite give the scene justice.  Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson have the ability to make viewers believe that they are actually in a relationship off-screen.

Lucious and Cookie’s love for each other reminds us of DJay and Shug’s romance in Hustle & Flow.  Initially, DJay treats Shug like a pimp must treat his woman.  He gains control of her mind and is able to manipulate her from there.  then, Shug is featured on the song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” which helps DJay get closer to his goal of becoming a rapper.  This is similar to the way that Cookie helped Lucious become a music mogul.

Cookie spends 17 years behind bars so that Lucious could live his dream.  She sells drugs and Lucious is able to use the money to start the record label.  The couple’s three sons also play a major role in the company’s success.  Shug also sacrificed her life by using her body to earn money for DJay.  The money helps him accomplish his goal to become a rapper.  As a result, Shug becomes pregnant yet DJay is most likely not the father.

Cookie Lyon Compared To Shug

Cookie Lyon is everyone’s favorite character on Empire.  She has seen it all.  Flashbacks which show her in prison make you feel sorry for her.  Shug is also a wounded character that you feel sorry for.  Seeing DJay use Shug makes you wish that she had access to better opportunities yet she is a product of her environment.

Loyalty is a them that we see in both Cookie and Shug.  Cookie knows that Lucious killed her cousin, Bunkie, yet she loves him.  When Lucious marries Anika it breaks Cookie’s heart proving how much Cookie still loved him.  Shug is vulnerable and must be loyal to DJay similar to the loyalty that Cookie has for Lucious.

By Jason John

Jason John is based in Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers. More