Malik Yoba attends 'The Lonliness Of A Long Distance Runner' opening night at Jake's Saloon on January 21, 2014 in New York City

Malik Yoba attends ‘The Lonliness Of A Long Distance Runner’ opening night at Jake’s Saloon on January 21, 2014 in New York City

*Malik Yoba has joined the expanding cast of Lee Daniels’ hip hop-themed Fox drama “Empire.”

Terrence Howard stars as Lucious Lyon (Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public.

Yoba will play Vernon Turner, Lucious’s longtime friend from the streets and business associate who is now the chairman of the board of Empire Entertainment.

As previously reported, Taraji P. Henson plays Cookie Lyon, Lucious’ ex-wife and former business partner who did 17 years in prison for dealing drugs – money she funneled directly to Lucious’ fledging music empire. Now she’s been released early for good behavior and she wants what’s hers.

Jussie Smollet plays Lucious and Cookie’s gay son Jamal, who has been judged and rejected by his father despite being a musical prodigy.

Timbaland has signed on as the pilot’s songwriter and song producer. Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Brian Grazer are executive producing.