Empire: A definitive ranking of all the reasons Hakeem won’t last long as CEO

After what seems like 100 years, Empire finally graced us with its presence once more — and, admittedly, tonight’s episode was worth the wait. Not to mention, with Hakeem now at the helm of the family company, the rest of the season promises to be full of drama.

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Largely because, you know, that’s how the Lyons roll. But also because, if we’re being honest here, Hakeem already sucks as CEO.


Image: Chuck Hodes/Fox

Of course, you know and I know Hakeem is not cut out to sit at the throne of Empire. Need further proof? Here’s a definitive ranking of all the reasons he’ll never last in his father’s shoes.

6. He’s just a kid

I’m not saying there aren’t 20-year-olds who are mature enough to tackle a task this monumental, but Hakeem isn’t one of them. We’ve seen how his immaturity has caused problems in the past, and Lord knows his hubris has put him and the family in a few binds. And while Hakeem probably felt like his boardroom table moment to proclaim himself CEO was a shining moment, to me it just smacked of a kid who’s too busy feeding his own ego to realize what he just signed up for.

5. If it brought out the worst in Jamal…

Immediately after Hakeem’s coup and again later — when Jamal, Andre and Cookie pay him a visit — Jamal warns Hakeem that being in that position can “bring out the darkness” in a person. It clearly went to Jamal’s head at one point, turning him into a person no one recognized. If it can do that to Jamal, I fear to wonder what it’ll do to Hakeem. I mean, c’mon, Hakeem is already cocky and a bit self-important to start with.

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4. One word: Laura

Then there’s Laura. Despite telling both Jamal and even Camilla that he was in love with the girl, he douche-lords her into breaking up with him. Then, after all is said and done, he realizes he misses her and waits on her steps to proclaim his love. The two then go upstairs and, beneath a giant crucifix on the wall, presumably make sweet love for her first time. This could play out several ways. For starters, this chick is obviously a decent and morally in-tune person — if Hakeem wants to be with her, he might have to change the shady way they do business at Empire. Secondly, while it would be insane given Anika’s condition (more on that in a minute), it’s possible Hakeem knocks Laura up.

3. He has no idea how to run a business

It’s so painfully apparent Hakeem is not equipped to run a huge, publicly traded company like Empire that it’s almost comical. Upon learning Jamal could take his new album to Lyon Dynasty since it was a joint effort, Hakeem can come up with no better response than, “Y’all can’t do that… can they, babe?” The latter of which was aimed at Camilla. He’s sitting there in a ridiculous suit, being fed strawberries by his bisexual cougar boss, and he has no idea what he’s doing.

2. Anika is having his baby

It’s been so long since Anika’s pregnancy was overtly addressed that it’s almost easy to forget Hakeem even knocked her up. Oh, but he did, and she seems motivated to find a way to use the kid to work her way back into the family (perhaps even if it meant throwing pregnant Rhonda down a flight of stairs.) This is going to get messy, y’all, and fast.

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1. Lucious won’t let him

Is there anyone Lucious hasn’t burned to get to where he is today? As he so kindly reminded Hakeem, he shot his best friend in the face for threatening Empire. The business is his life and he will gladly take someone else’s for it. In tonight’s chilling final scene, he makes that much crystal clear to Hakeem when he tells him he would do everything in his power to exact revenge, closing with, “Watch your back, baby boy. I keep my promises.” There is simply no way Lucious will let this stand.


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