Timbaland Lee Daniels

PHOTO: Mark Davis/Getty


There’s no denying the music from Empire, Fox’s hit drama starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Clearly, we love it so much, we were uber-excited when the music showed up on Spotify. But when the show has original music put together by super producer, Timbaland, what’s not to love?

Show creator Lee Daniels and Timbaland talked with Rolling Stone about their vision for the music and what viewers can expect for the future. Here’s what we learned:

It turns out, Timbaland doesn’t do it all alone. He enlisted his protégé, Jim Beanz (and nine other people), to help create the show’s sound.

Jim Beanz, Timbaland’s protege, is responsible for 90 percent of the show’s songs.

Jim Beanz

PHOTO: Tommaso Boddi/Getty


Beanz is a musical talent who’s worked with all genres.

“I do much more than just hip-hop and R&B,” he says. “I’ve done pop, I’ve done dancehall reggae, country, gospel. I’m absolutely capable and ready to do whatever is thrown my way.”


Speaking of country, Daniels says the show going to move into country music for season two, hence Courtney Love’s character.


“To be an empire, the series has to be in a bigger world than just hip-hop. For it to really work, Lucious should have country singers, he should have rock singers.”


We could get albums from the show’s stars next year.


Empire TV Show

PHOTO: Fox/Getty


They want a completely unique sound for the show, according to Beanz.


The goal is “to create something that goes against the grain, music that has its own identity,” he says. “One of the things that Tim told me is, ‘If it sounds like something you’ve heard before, don’t do it.'”

Beanz had to step in and play Titan on the show because the original rapper dropped out of the role.



They went with original music to cut down on licensing fees.


“With [Fox’s] Glee, whenever we wanted to use a [cover] song in advertising, we had to go to a publisher for permission” and pay a licensing fee, says Geoff Bywater, senior vice president of music at 20th Century Fox TV. “The show, and the network, have the right to use these songs in all forms of advertising,” including music videos for the tracks “No Apologies” and “Good Enough,” he says.

The season one soundtrack will be out March 10.



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