Empire Season 2: Female Teen Rapper Could Be CEO Jamal's Next Big Thing

Cookie Lyon may not be the undisputed queen of Empire for much longer.

The show’s producers are on the hunt for a baby-faced actress to play the recurring, potentially breakout role of Betty Barz — a “moody, outspoken” teenage rapper who’ll be introduced in the Sept. 23 Season 2 premiere (9/8c on Fox), titled “The Devils Are Here,” TVLine has learned exclusively.

Betty, who’s also known as “Betty Gathers” and “The Queen O’ 16S” is described as African-American, “unapologetically butch,” and something of a hometown hero in her “Brownsville-Never-Ran-Never-Will, Brooklyn” neighborhood. Her undeniable talent has led to her winning “more rhyme battles and girls’ hearts than the best male vets on her block.” (We’re guessing “winning girls’ hearts” means the new character is a lesbian, but then again, maybe that just means most of her mixtape buyers are female?)

Despite the fact that Betty is “charismatic and witty with a street lean,” though, the road to possible fame — via a deal with Empire Entertainment’s new CEO Jamal, perhaps? — won’t necessarily be a smooth one. In fact, her “deep fears push her toward self-sabotage” — and prevent her from fully turning her back on the streets.

At least some of those issues can be attributed to the fact that Betty is the daughter of an incarcerated drug kingpin; “Pops,” it turns out, is the one person who can silence and humble his hard-headed emcee offspring.

Empire‘s Season 2 premiere is being written by executive producers Danny Strong and Ilene Chaiken.

Among the show’s already confirmed guest stars in its sophomore run are CSI: Miami‘s Adam Rodriguez, comedian Chris Rock, R&B superstar Alicia Keys and rock god Lenny Kravitz. Additionally, Gabourey Sidibe and Ta’Rhonda Jones, who play Lucious’ and Cookie’s respective lackeys Becky and Porsha, have been elevated to full-fledged series regulars, TVLine reported exclusively in April.

Dig the direction Strong and Chaiken are heading? Any suggestions for who could play Betty? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. BrittBrat says:

    I can’t wait for next season!

  2. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Oh Sh*t………can’t wait to see this episode!!!!!!

  3. This is a no brainer. Timbaland’s protege Tink it perfect.

    • Taz Da Promoter says:

      I love Da Brat she is from The Chi and has mad rap skills but I don’t think she can pass for a teen tho she still has some young facial features…Snoop the Baltimore native from The Wire could pass for a teen but she has had her time to shine and I’m not sure if she has bars…Young M.A. From Brooklyn Has bars but I don’t know if she can act, Siya is a popular butch rapper but I don’t know her music so I can’t speak on it, Dej Loaf from Detroit definitely has the young baby face look and bars and she looked hella butch in her Try Me video, Tink is from Chicago and has mad bars and singing skillz but can she pull off a butch look and can she act…but TEMPER from Chicago has a huge social media following, Temper has bars and Temper can act…she starred in an independent LGBT film & the online Web-series which has the same name…”If I Was Your Girl”…the movie alone has over 1 million You Tube views and her music is featured throughout the movie and web-series episodes 1-3 & 10. Follow her on IG & Twitter @temper3k9 @Temper3009

  4. A says:

    naya rivera as betty barz

    • Dude says:

      A) Naya isn’t black. B) Her attempts on Glee (“Problem” and “Doo Wop”) prove she can’t rap. Love the girl but she’s not right and she’s not butch.

      • B says:

        Honestly, she’s pretty good for the role. She’s a talented singer and can play an outspoken person pretty damn well seeing she has for the past 5 years, and she’s mixrace, from her dad’s side.

  5. Sarah says:

    Xosha Rouqemore!

  6. Just get Azelia Banks or Timbaland’s new rapper Tink to appear on the show…..

  7. ben says:

    Snoop from The Wire

    • bj says:

      She’s 35.

    • KAREN ROSS says:

      SNOOP from the WIRE would work…………….she still has a girlish face………….does not look her age………….and she can play the heck out of being ghetto………….someone mentioned WILLOW SMITH………..PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT HER……………L’IL MAMA or whatever her name is who played LEFT EYE……….in the made for TV movie. That is going to be a hard role to fill……………..

  8. TrudiV says:

    Does not sound interesting

  9. Nick says:

    Ester Dean!!!

    • LOL says:

      In what world does Ester Dean look like a baby faced teen? People need to read the description before throwing out their half-baked suggestions.

  10. sladewilson says:

    This is a gimme to Timbaland. This sounds like it’s tailor made for Tink

  11. Annie says:

    I hope that they make Tasha Smith a series regular. She will fill the void that has been left by killing off Uncle Vernon. She is someone who could know the Lyon sons better than Cookie does. Maybe they can add her son or daughter, who will feel like the Lyons owes them, since Carol was one of the people who raised Andre, Jamal and Hakeem

  12. Dave says:

    Willow smith?

  13. Caprice says:

    Definitely Tink !!! She’s perfect for it. Baby face and barss

  14. ejm says:

    Betty Gathers… The daughter of Frank Gathers? The guy Cookie snitched on in ep 5? Hm

  15. ElyseIsIt says:

    Should pick me to go on Empire just google “ElyseIsIt” Reverb Nation @Elyse

  16. Jared says:

    Timbaland needs to pull some strings over at Empire and Cast Tink. She’s amazingly talented and this is exactly the type of exposure she needs to get people listening to her music.

  17. You tell Jamal and them to cast the Chicago-based lyricist Temper. She is a beast and she deserves the shine because she’s been grinding underground for a long time…

  18. Wendy Rocchietti says:

    I was looking online and check out Young MA she looks like she could bring the attitude, youth and talent. Check her out

  19. Kenneth James says:

    If you’re looking for a rapper who still looks like a teen, I suggest that you recruit rapper “The Bratt” she has the attitude for the role.

  20. danoregon says:

    China McClain, should be a no-brainer.

  21. Beverly Byrd says:

    I think that female rapper, Tina, should play, Betty on Empire. She has the style, flow, and cockiness.

  22. CK says:

    No Lyric Da Queen reference, Slezak? For shame!

  23. Erin says:

    How about Zoe Kravitz

  24. denecia says:

    I tink ciara r eve cud play betty thay got dat street swagtt

  25. Willow Taylor says:

    Look no further FOX! I am Betty Barz! Real Stud rapper with history in the music industry. I can send info and a pic upon request. Contact me you will not be disappointed.

  26. Kimberly Binion says:

    I think that Jamal should hold hid throne and be found to be Lola’s true dad. Also, May be a bad idea to go 50% gay- don’t want to lose avid, devoted watchers like myself who absolutely adore the show. Would love to submit treatment to join writing crew – professional & experienced.

    • Annie says:

      If you want to be a writer on the show, it’s probably not a good idea to knock the show for creating gay characters, especially when the representation is less than 50%, and when you threaten that having these gay characters will make you stop watching. You do realize that several of the people who will have a say in you getting hired are gay, including one of the co-creators and the Ilene Chaiken, the show runner?

  27. Sylvanna says:

    they should sell get deja loaf

  28. Dionna says:

    We love Empire coming from Ohio{513}}

  29. Personally I think Paige Hurd or Amandla Stenberg would play that role nice but the question is can they rap

  30. I think Amandla Stenberg or Paige Hurd looks good for the role but the question is , Can they rap ????

  31. artmelvin says:

    nice ….can’t wait for it ..i wonder what will happen to luscious

  32. Jeock says:

    I say get Angel Haze for Betty Barz role.

  33. My'kaela Buhl says:

    I Am Betty Barz in more than just one way, I can rap and dance. The attitude along with the personality of Betty I can Portray. Your Looking for that Baby face teenage that can Rock the streets with how dope my lyrics are, you Found Her.

  34. Amaiya boyd says:

    Have they cast the role yet?

  35. Chandrea Grant says:

    I think rapper/singer “Tink” should play Betty Barz! She’s an African-American female who spits fire and also has great singing vocals! Timbaland is also her producer, which means he knows what fits her musically and wouldn’t be hard to work with. As for her acting skills I don’t know. However, she is great for the role! Actually a perfect match!

  36. Emma_ says:

    Rene Brown would be really good too

  37. FettyWhopperWithCheese says:

    I say @sharaenikai (IG)… Empire is a TV show which means people want to see great acting. So I think it’s a dope idea to get an actor who also raps and is from the NYC area to believably pull off the whole Brownesville swag.

  38. misspearberry says:

    What about Jenifer Lewis in the role as Cookie’s mom

  39. Stink says:


  40. stacks says:

    Young ma from Brooklyn

  41. Cheka says:

    Its about to fo down March 30,2016 !!!! DRAMA ! DRAMA! DRAMA!!!! I Love It <3333