Bryshere Y. Gray

Bryshere Y. Gray

Up-and-coming hip-hop performer Bryshere Y. Gray gave his profile a major boost in 2015 when he was cast as the youngest son of a music impresario on the television drama "Empire" (Fox 2015-). Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Gray attended Overbrook High School, whose alumni included fellow rapper-turned-actor Will Smith. Billing himself as Yazz the Greatest, he established himself as an up-and-coming hip-hop performer through local performances and his own YouTube channel. Videos for singles like "Gonna Make It" (2011) and "Homework" (2012) generated word of mouth press that led to performances at a number of high-profile concerts, including Jay-Z's 2013 Man in America Festival and Philadelphia appearances by rappers like 2 Chainz. After releasing "Respect," his debut single, Gray took a page from Smith and auditioned for a Fox TV drama produced by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. A freestyle rap performed at the audition helped Gray to land the role of Hakeem, the youngest son of music mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) and an aspiring hip-hop performer.