Empire begins with Lucious making a move against Hakeem. He has Freda make a diss song, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” calling the youngest Lyon out. Meanwhile, Hakeem is about to have sex with Lauren, but she tells him it will be here first time. He decides to slow things down and shows her a bracelet he had designed just for her. Before they can start again he learns via text that about the diss track and finds a video of it online with Freda making fun light of his kidnapping! Jamal and Lucious meet with Pepsi, they are interested in possibly making him the new face of their brand, but he must have a new song to them by the end of the week. He and Lucious become super excited. Later, Hakeem goes on to Periscope to announce he will rap battle Freda for his last name, winner takes all. At Empire, Lucious meets with Mimi and Andre to try and figure out how to remove any barriers to purchase Swift Stream from Jay. He has upped the price, forcing Lucious suggest they kill him. Mimi admonishes him for his heavy handedness, he does the same for her tone with him. Andre warns him not to anger her, as she is their biggest investor. He also admonishes his father for embarassing Hakeem and using him and his brothers as pawns. Lucious dismisses him and has him get Thirsty on the phone. Anika meets with Rhonda and learns that Lucious’ is very fond of her pregnancy.
Jamal meets secretly with Cookie to play his new song for her. She tells him she loves it, and they both admit they miss working together. She tells him he has to choose between her and his father. Later, Laz informs Cookie of Hakeem’s challenge to Freda. She feels it is a terrible idea, since if he lost it could be the end of Lyon Dynasty. Hakeem becomes angry with Laz for challenging him and tries to fight him. Cookie slaps Laz for touching Hakeem, and warns her son Freda is an animal. Alone and scared, Anika learns she is pregnant by Hakeem. She tries to call him but he does not answer. Lucious drops by Jamal’s home with a new track for him to hear. It is tribal and edgy, and although Jamal like its, he feels it may be too edgy for Pepsi. Cookie hides in his closet as they converse. Later, Hakeem walks in on Jamal and Cookie Face Timing. He accuses her of loving his brother more and threatens tell Lucious. She calls him a “snitch bitch” and warns him about telling his father about anything. Thirsty meets with Andre and Lucious, revealing he has landslide of dirt on Jay. Andre warns him they should back off the deal, but if they must do it Mimi has to go in on the deal. Hakeem goes to visit Anika, there she tries to come on to him and tell him about her pregnancy, but he pushes her away telling her he is in love now, and they are still “homies.” She leaves hurt.
Lucious prepares to move forward with the deal, but Mimi is very late. When she finally does arrive she tells him she had personal business to attend to. Things seem shady as she and Lucious sign the deal. Lucious walks in on Jamal’s recording session and finds Cookie there cheering him on as he uses the song they worked on together. He reveals that he has merged their songs together to make the song for Pepsi and wants both of their support. They both demand he chooses. Later, at the showcase for Pepsi he still merges their songs together and tricks them into being there. He kills the performance and Pepsi welcomes him into the fold! Later, Hakeem and Freda do battle. Jamal tells him he is also a performer, so make sure he hypes up the crowd and he will win. Freda goes in on Hakeem’s lack of street cred, how Cookie is more gangster than him, and how his brother is more talented. Hakeem, however, takes his brother’s advice. Although her lyrics are better, the crowd responds to him more. They declare him the winner, and he takes a sledgehammer and destroys the “Lyon” sign saying he is now just Hakeem. Lucious flashbacks to being a homeless child and sleeping under a lion statue.
Later, Cookie celebrates with her sons over Hakeem’s victory. Jamal begs Lucious to not ruin their moment and let them enjoy each other as a family. He agrees. However, their good time is interrupted when Cookie’s other sister, Candice arrives calling her “Loretha,” and revealing Carol has gone off the deep end with Jermel’s death and has left her kids with her. Cookie admonishes her for being away from the family for years to be with her rich, white husband. Hakeem walks Laura to the car and kisses her goodnight. Inside Anika has on a blonde wig, posing as the driver and speeds away!