Serving as the musical background for this tale of a drug dealer from the South Bronx trying to go legit before getting double-crossed by an investment banker, EMPIRE is a melange of musical styles that leans heavily on elements of hip-hop, R&B, and Latin music. Although cast members Fat Joe and Naughty By Nature's Treach don't contribute any music, there's more than enough hard-core rap to go around. Representing the thuggish elements of this film are the gruff-voiced DMX ("Fame") and Mobb Deep, who crib the Liquid Liquid bass riff best known for its use in a Grandmaster Flash classic and turn it into a semi-sequel to the landmark rap song, called "Beyond White Lines." Lending a softer edge are female vocal trio 702 (the string-laden "I Still Love You"), new-jill vocalist Rachel (a soulful "Best Thing"), and India.Arie (the flamenco-kissed "Slow Down"). Otherwise, Latin artists run the table, whether its Puerto Rican crooner Luis Fonsi warbling a bilingual "Amante," Cuban '90s pop sensation Jon Secada delivering a soaring "My Life (Through The Spirit In Your Eyes"), or salsa queen La India serving up English and Spanish versions of the theme "Welcome To My Empire."
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic