Since its debut Jan. 7, “The surprise hit of the season,” was a term used to describe Fox Network’s “Empire,” but in actuality it should be no surprise at all.

To hear it discussed, you’ll come to the realization that every stereotype, both good and bad, believed about African-Americans are veiled behind a talented, charismatic cast that pulls you into the characters. Plus, with the proliferation of reality shows based in hip-hop that purport to portray this lifestyle, yet ignore the key component (the music), this show may be more believable, speaking tongue in cheek of course. So with the last week’s season finale, season two appears to be forgone. But what if it’s not? Suppose the creators flip the script, take it to the silver screen and go out with a bang? Yeah! Think big! That’s what Luscious and Cookie would do.

Part of what made the show a guilty pleasure of mine was the irreverent humor. I remember an early episode in which the Malik Yoba character, Vernon, when speaking of the top-dog rapper Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) on the fictitious label, name-dropped some dudes who are really in the game. One of those names, if my memory serves correctly, was Kendrick Lamar. Hope I’m wrong, but if I’m right, the date May 15 serves to show just how hilarious that line was. A faux pas on behalf of Interscope Records and the beast was unleashed with the release of the new Lamar album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

The off-kilter title was given an explanation in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “Just putting the word ‘pimp’ next to ‘butterfly’… It’s a trip,” he said. “That’s something that will be a phrase forever. It’ll be taught in college courses someday. You take a Black kid out of Compton and put him in the limelight, and you find answers about yourself you never knew you were searching for. There’s some stuff in there, man. It’s a roller coaster. It builds.”

Actually, that’s a perfect description of the project itself, not just the title. Musically, it’s a testament and tribute to the creme de la creme of Black music, and showing that sonically hip-hop can stand alongside jazz, soul and funk as art. Lyrically and vocally, it’s like the answer to rhetorical questions, such as what if artists like Andre 3000 and Lauren Hill stayed the course? How did artists like Pac, Dead Prez and Pun feel when they were in that zone? It’s that fire with that flow:

From Compton to Congress, it’s set trippin’all around.

It’s nothing new but a new floor of Democrips and Rebloodicans.

Red States vs Blue States, which one you goverin?

It’s street poetics with a world view like Gil Scott Heron and James Brown.

As a testament, here’s how his peers reacted to the new CD via Twitter:

“This is well put together album wowwwwwwwwwww !!!!!!!! Realllll …..!!!!!!!!! Go Kendrick!!!!!!!” —Timbaland

“Great Album from top to bottom. Bac to the basics. We da west” —Snoop

“U put together a helluva movie my maaaan.”

—Pusha T

“Fans of great music would like to thank @kendricklamar for featuring great artists like @rapsodymusic & @Bilal on this album. Salute.”

—Talib Kweli

“Kendrick is an inspiration. Thank you for the vibrations and the spirit. Your meaning, message and execution are gifts to the world.” —Kanye West

Between the latest projects of J Cole, D’Angelo and now Kendrick, a substantive foundation of music we can build on is being forged and the scales are being balanced. That’s all we’ve been asking for.

Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.