T he Empire is an underground American Hip-Hop group based out of Fayetteville, NC. The group is currently composed of Mista J, 5th Letter, Speak no Evil, & Prince Imperial. They had 2 other members that left the group in 2000. The group is also the cornerstone to the rap collective The Roundtable. They have released 2 albums independently 2004.s NCC Records Presents.The Empire, and 2007.s The Dark Ages.
The Empire originated out of the break-up of one of Fayetteville.s earlier rap collectives Omega Clan. This included Mista J, Kid Kaos, 5th Letter and Prince Imperial. They had been performing locally and making demos. After Omega Clan imploded due to power clashes, egos and, and its unmanageable size (It swelled to about 32 members). The four previously mentioned went on as Omega Clan for a short while before basically stopping in 1996. At this time Mista J went off to college in Rhode Island and started focusing more show promotion. 5th Letter went on to work w/ former Omega Clan members 190 Proof and 24k also with members of what would become Ground Zero. Meanwhile Prince Imperial and Kid Kaos worked with a few other emcees in the group StormTroopaz.
In the summer of 1998 Mista J returned and began working on a solo album with 190 Proof and a return of Omega Clan. At this time Omega Clan did get back together with the final four and adding former DeathAngel Bodybag to form the original line-up of The Empire. The quintet of emcees started out performing and recording under the banner even appearing in the Fayetteville Observer for there show at the Prince Charles in downtown Fayetteville. In about 2000 the group again succumbed to differences in direction of the group and The Empire disbanded for a short while with Kid Kaos and Bodybag going there separate ways.
The 3 remaining members continued to make music together only sporadically and not under The Empire banner officially. At this time is when Mista J again starting to work on his solo album and hopefully a first group album ran into Rik Marvel former member of Hip-Hop group Characta Assasinz. During this period the 3 were contemplating a group album apposed to a demo but all plans were dashed due to 5th Letter going into the military.
==NCC Records Era==
During the winter of 2003 when Mista J and Prince Imperial were working on Mista J.s solo album 5th Letter had returned to Fayetteville. The 3 quickly got together and making new music. At this time 5th Letter introduced the rest to emcee/ producer Vintage. Who produced and is featured on the album. They also got back with former Omega Clan producer/emcee 190 Proof for a track. Around this same time Mista J started NCC Records giving The Empire a independent label home.
5th Letter spoke of another talented producer/emcee that he had come in contact with Speak no Evil from Aberdeen, Maryland. With Speak.s lyrical prowess and like mindedness with the rest of the group he was invited to record on a post album single .It.s Wonderful. also featuring Shamrocc and D.O.S. from the group Ground Zero and became an underground classic. Shortly after this Speak was formally inducted into the group, during this juncture The Empire was enjoying moderate success. The singles .Ice Hot. and .Breathe. were in significant rotation and the group appearing regularly on the radio. .Breathe. the albums most popular song at the time went on to be a local favorite and charted in the top 10 of the Independent Countdown.
==The Dark Ages==
The Empire was thinking it was time to strike while the iron was hot and decided to start working on the album and had a stock pile of Rik Marvel and Vintage beats to get them started. Before the recording process even got under way 5th and Speak got shipped off due to their military obligations. When things stalled and only 2 tracks that were recorded. Prince imperial started working on his own solo and started producing. He decided that despite the distance that they should go ahead and record the group album. After a little more than a year recording with some done while members were done in Korea, Afghanistan and North Carolina. The Empire finished the Dark Ages releasing it on December 7th, 2007. The group has plans to do some shows and solo albums from Speak no Evil, Mista J, and 5th Letter. Also The Empire has their forum started The Fortress on their website [http://www. empiremuiq. com empiremusiq. com].
All news and updates about The Empire, its’ past, present, future projects and shows can be found right here at empiremusiq.com. We Hope you enjoy exploring our site, and welcome to the Empire Family.