Malcolm Spellman, “Empire” Writer: ‘The Real, You Just Can’t Beat It’

While NPR’s Microphone Check was at SXSW right after the season one finale of Empire, they spoke to Malcolm Spellman, who’s one of the writers and now also a producer on the show. They talked about the show’s effect on the hip-hop culture market, what it demonstrates about ongoing changes in Hollywood and the ways its storyline is particularly American.

“At the core of this country, this story is appealing, including the criminality at the base of it,” says Spellman. “Because on a macro level, some rough-ass people came here, served the natives, and built up their shit. And they felt righteous in doing it because they had to do what they had to do. It was problems back home, you know what I’m saying?”