‘Empire’ watch party electrifies City Diner

Sam Ergina, Online Arcade Editor

This past Wednesday, Tulane Black Student Union, in conjunction with Sony Music, hosted a watch party for the season premiere of “Empire” at City Diner in the Lavin-Bernick Center.

Before the actual airing of “Empire,” the party featured Los Angeles-based rapper Luke Christopher and his DJ, tons of prizes, most of which were “Empire” branded swag and free pancakes from City Diner. 


Christopher and his DJ are in New Orleans for a performance at Xavier University and came to perform some songs, most of which were from Christopher’s new album, “TMRW.” He’s currently signed to RCA, which is owned by Sony. It was Sony representatives who helped bring him to hype up the crowd before a highly anticipated episode of “Empire.”

As a talented emerging hip-hop artist who can produce, sing and rap, Christopher has recently been exposed to record labels. While the music industry is definitely less sexy than “Empire” would make it out to be, he has experienced the ups and downs of the industry and its sometimes notorious contracts and deals, which plays a significant role in the Fox show. 


“Empire” follows the life of Lucious Lyon and his family. Lucious is a rags-to-riches hip-hop artist and CEO of the record label Empire Entertainment. After being falsely diagnosed with a terminal illness, Lyon spends the first season deciding who among his three sons should inherit the throne. The three sons and Lyon’s ex-wife Cookie, who returns from a 17-year sentence in prison at the beginning of the series, are the focal point for the series’ events.

The show is essentially a soap opera, with plots revolving around betrayal, sibling rivalry, murder and romantic tragedy. Think Shakespeare minus the ghosts and witches. The show has garnered critical acclaim for its superb acting and original music, most of which was produced by Timbaland. 

The second season premiered at 8 p.m., where the crowd at City Diner cheered and jeered at the biggest moments in the episode, from the guest appearance by Chris Rock to the twist at the end (no spoilers here). 

Besides the entertainment of the program, “Empire” aims to inform and open forums for discussion on elements within the black community that some viewers have no direct experience with. The issues that are addressed include mental health, LGBT acceptance and how parents discipline their children. These are all items discussed by TBSU and the show provides a relevant reference to the club’s discussion points. 

“Any time we do anything that has to do with Empire, it always directs right back to these conversations that we’ll be having in general body meetings,” senior Lena Franklin said. “It’s things that we continue to reflect on over the course of the year.”


Franklin works with Sony Music and played the role of ambassador between the company and TBSU in order for this event to come to fruition.

While there were small technical issues with sound, the event was a huge success. With a big turnout, a miniature concert and a giveaway, the watch party brought a community together on a foundation of entertainment and information.

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