Hakeem Lyon

Hakeem Lyon is a main character in the television series, Empire. He first appears in Pilot. He is the youngest son of Lucious andCookie Lyon. He is a rap artist for the record label, Empire Entertainment, and works for Lucious.

Hakeem is portrayed by actor and rapper, Bryshere Y. Gray.


Born to Lucious Lyon and Cookie Lyon; he is the youngest of three sons, including Jamal Lyon andAndre Lyon. It is implied that he and his mother have an estranged relationship; when Hakeem was a baby, Cookie was sent to jail for 17 years. Hakeem grew up in the spotlight because his father’s rap career was just taking off as he was born. Because of their father’s work ethic and their mother’s incarceration, Hakeem and his brothers had a caregiver, Dottie, who died a few years after. As of now, Hakeem vies for his father’s throne as the CEO of Empire, and his musical talents may be the catalyst to his success.

Empire Chronology

Season One



Hakeem performing Right Thereat the studio.

Hakeem, first introduced as the youngest, lively, fame-hungry son, seems to get to his head. He first performs Live In The Moment with his brother, Jamal, and realizes that his father, Lucious, will relinquish his leadership of Empire Entertainment to any of Hakeem’s brothers. Although Hakeem is determined to take the throne, he takes advantage of his success to flirt with women and drink alcohol. His party-behavior continues throughout the episode. Once Hakeem’s mother returns from 17 years of jail, it is evident that his relationship with Cookie is estranged, thus expressing his distrust. However, Lucious plans to rev up Hakeem’s music career, requesting that he performs songs that he wrote for Hakeem. When realizing that Lucious’s material is unappealing, he confides in Jamal to increase his confidence in hopes of not trying to be like his father. Hakeem performs Right There, with the help of Jamal, and he receives positive reception from Lucious, urgent to make him a star. Meanwhile, Hakeem and Jamal are confirmed to release their albums, but tension arises as Jamal is Cookie’s protege, and Lucious manages Hakeem.

The Outspoken King

Hakeem finds himself attracted to a new hip-hop/R&B singer and dancer, Tiana, who doesn’t seem to care about his wealth, and she calls him “phony.” Hakeem starts to prepare for a performance at Laviticus, but he doesn’t have a back-up to perform with him. Hakeem, meanwhile, is devastated by the news of Bunkie‘s death. Lucious is called out for favoring Jamal and underestimating Jamal in terms of success, Cookie tries

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Hakeem performing No Apologies at Laviticus.

to coerce Lucious into letting Jamal perform with Hakeem at Laviticus. Hakeem, in a drunken and immature manner, leaks a viral video that bashes white people, calling Barack Obama a sellout. As a result of the viral popularity of the video, Lucious is infuriated with his behavior, but more people may attend his Laviticus performance because of it. During his night at Laviticus, Hakeem asks Jamal to perform with him. As the two perform No Apologiesthis becomes his first successful performance as an artist. At the end of the episode, he hooks up with Tiana, who is pleased with his popularity.

The Devil Quotes Scripture

Hakeem and Tiana

Hakeem and Tiana arriving at Lucious’s home for dinner.

Although Hakeem wants to shoot a music video, Lucious suggestions that he should go to the studio to make more music, implying that he isn’t as successful as he thinks. When it is assumed that Hakeem is in a relationship with Tiana, it is also revealed that he is in a year-long affair with an older woman, Camilla.  Meanwhile, Hakeem is teased by Andre, who jokes about Hakeem’s potential of inheriting the Empire Entertainment label because of his close relationship with Lucious. However, Hakeem doesn’t want to be viewed as “daddy’s boy” but as his own person.

False Imposition

Hakeem, still determined to shoot a music video for his album, is urged by Lucious to go to the studio to record new music. By keeping him occupied with music, Lucious gives away Hakeem’s concert tickets, forcing him to prove that he could be just as successful as rapper, Titan. Meanwhile, because of the popularity of Hakeem’s relationship with Tiana, Lucious and Anika gives them a slot to perform at the Teen Choice Awards Nominations at Laviticus. Although Hakeem disagrees with performing for a younger fan base, he is convinced that it will bolster a mainstream base for his career. However, Hakeem’s distant relationship with Cookie, who manages Tiana, causes him to attend rehearsals late or refuse to show up.

Hakeem is forced to sing Keep It Movin’a song performed by Tiana, and Lucious urges him to respect Cookie. Tiana, disappointed in Hakeem’s irresponsibility, discovers Hakeem and Camilla in the hot tub together. Meanwhile, Hakeem fears Tiana will negatively retaliate, but the two later perform at the nominations. Hakeem, meanwhile, refuses to find forgiveness in Cookie for her 17-year long absence.

Dangerous Bonds


Hakeem find out that Tiana was cheating on him.

Hakeem and Tiana’s relationship continues to evolve through their success as a celebrity couple, although Hakeem is unaware of Tiana’s relationship with another girl. Meanwhile, Hakeem, through a presentation at Empire Enterprises, introduces a plan for his new music video for Drip Dropalthough it may be extremely expensive for shooting, to gain further success over Jamal. During filming of his music video, Hakeem’s brother Andre and wife, Rhonda, discover Tiana’s affair with India and posts it and friends discover it, leaving Hakeem enraged, he confronts her for cheating, only to be called out by Tiana for cheating on her with Camilla.

Hakeem, later on, refuses to work with Tiana, but he is convinced by Lucious to continue filming and reconcile with Tiana. The music video is completely filmed, but he is later confronted by Jamal for sending his friends to his studio to rob him. This causes Jamal to become very upset and the two get into a fight, leading to Jamal punching Hakeem in the stomach. It later leads into an altercation that forces Hakeem to call Andre, who set up the situation.

Out, Damned Spot

Before dinner, Jamal tries to make up with Hakeem for getting into a fight with him. However it seems that Hakeem doesn’t want to do that. At his apartment, Hakeem is staring at the pictures of Tiana and her girlfriend. Tiana tries to call him but he declines. He then goes to call Camilla but she doesn’t pick up. Getting frustrated, Hakeem picks up a bong to get high.


Hakeem in the studio

Later that night at Leviticus, a drunk Hakeem approaches Jamal to try to convince him to help him with his song. Cookie tells him both herself and Jamal would come to help, but he yells at her and say “I didn’t invite you”, while continuing to ask for Jamal for his help. The only thing Jamal is concerned about, though, is Hakeem’s treatment of Cookie and he lets his little brother know that he’s not going to stand for that type of disrespect anymore. In the studio, Hakeem finds himself doing a new track and his delivery on the first take isn’t as fiery as it needs to be. After some pushing from Lucious, he gets more aggressive, taking his anger out at Cookie and Tiana, and significantly improves the track. In the conference room, Hakeem and Lucious are playing the track for Anika and she loves it. Jamal and Cookie comes into the room after hearing it in the halls and start blasting him about it. They tell him why does he hate women so much that he needs to make such a sexist song about them. He tells them that he doesn’t hate women, only the ones that did him wrong, referring to Cookie and Tiana.

Our Dancing Days

The Lyon’s Roar Hakeem finally told Cookie why he’s always mad at her.

Unto the Breach


Hakeem is spoiled, dusty and carefree in everything he does. He knows he’s rich, wealthy, (un)handsome, stylish and everything revolves around him. His father is very easy on Hakeem due to his music talent and lets him do anything he wants which is why he is so spoiled. He is most likely to inherit the empire enterprises which he has shown to have much interest in however he wants to earn it. Hakeem has shown much distaste to people calling him a “daddy’s boy”, who believe Hakeem has earned anything he has, and was given everything by Lucious. Hakeem also has issues with him growing up without a mother, which has caused him to be romantically fixated with older women and even calling them “Mom” or “Mommy” in bed.


Camilla (ex-girlfriend)

Hakeem and Camilla, who have been seeing each other for over a year, were in a relationship. Hakeem knows that he has to keep their relationship secretive, most presumably because of the age difference, but Camilla doesn’t feel included in his fame. However, he brings her as his date to the White Party. However, Camilla is positive that Hakeem will take the spot of CEO at Empire Entertainment, and attempts to insert herself into his career, by changing his image, musical styles and wardrobe. Not wanting her to be with Hakeem, Lucious gets her a one-way ticket back to London as well as gives her money to settle her enormous debt, but she refuses his money and tells him that once he dies, she will come back into Hakeem’s life.

Tiana Brown (ex-girlfriend)

Hakeem flirts with Tiana, attracted to her looks, but Tiana doesn’t seem to return the attraction until Hakeem performs with Jamal at Laviticus. Once realizing of his rapping career, she suggests they have sex in his dressing room. They become an item for a while, dubbed TaKeem by the media, but break up once Tiana gets caught having lesbo sex. Although she and Hakeem reconciled, he turned her down when she wanted to resume their relationship, as he claimed he was in love with Camilla. (Even though Camilla is 100 years older)

Jamal Lyon (brother)

Jamal is Hakeem’s older brother who follows Andre Lyon. Of his two brothers Hakeem gets along with Jamal the most and often turns to him in times of distress. They are both very musically involved and are always seen free styling together for fun in the 1st season. It is hinted that Hakeem may be a little jealous of Jamal during the family dinner when Andre says the only reason Hakeem would inherit Empire is because he’s a “daddy’s boy” and not because he is the most gifted son. This is further proven when he asks Camilla if she believes Jamal is more talented than him during their love scene.hakeem lyon


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