In an interview with Sway–who, ironically, appeared in last week’s episode–the show’s creator, Danny Strong, admitted that Lucious Lyon’s character is loosely based on Jay Z.
The Jay-Z story, which very much inspired Lucious Lyon, certain elements of Lucious Lyon, was that story. For me the story of people who have some sort of criminal past, or gangster past are not limited to black culture. Our goal is to tell a great story, and to do the best show we can. You can cross the line and just be totally inappropriate, but we’re not doing that.