The news spread like a wildfire early Wednesday evening: 50 Cent was in the U.S. Capitol.
ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel spotted Curtis James Jackson III, known professionally as 50 Cent, in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol, and shot a text message to our Capitol Hill troops detailing the “In Da Club” rapper’s whereabouts.
While countless celebrities pass through the halls of Congress with little fanfare, I decided to make my way down from the House gallery to check in on the excitement.
Earlier Wednesday, 50 Cent tweeted a photo to his 10.9 million followers as he arrived in Washington on a private airplane.
I spotted 50 Cent dressed in a dark blue suit, seated across from Rep. Bobby Rush, a 14-term Illinois Democrat, in the corner of the Rayburn Room, named for former House Speaker Sam Rayburn. I joined a mob of congressional aides, reporters and other gawkers, then snapped a photo to add to my Instagram story.
An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi watched the hullabaloo nearby and told me and Siegel that the speaker would soon arrive to greet the world-renowned artist. We wondered aloud whether Pelosi was privy to the famous rapper’s identity and agreed that she had likely been briefed ahead of the potential encounter.
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John Parkinson/ABC News
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and actress Naturi Naughton meet with Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.
While we waited, Rush soon made his way out of the room, so I asked him what he and 50 discussed. He began to answer, then grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to introduce me to the Grammy award winner and 14-time nominee.
“Why didn’t ‘Power’ get an Emmy?” Rush asked as 50 Cent shook my hand and I introduced myself. “Why wasn’t they even in the room? Why wasn’t they really even considered for an Emmy?”
The rapper is an executive producer of “Power,” a crime drama television series that debuted in 2014 and is now in its sixth season airing on Starz.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for STARZ
Actress Naturi Naughton, Executive Producer Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., attend STARZ’s "Power" season 6 midseason finale advanced screening and reception at MPA Theater on Oct. 30, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
“The fact that there’s discrimination against black performers, black movies, black films, black artists — is that issue rearing its head again?” Rush wondered. “That’s what we were talking about.”
A handler ran over and attempted to intervene. But 50 wasn’t fazed.
“We haven’t had the ability to lose at the Emmys,” 50 Cent told me. “Just to be mentioned, period. Know what I’m saying? And the show’s already the No. 1 watched show for African-Americans, Latinas and women. No. 3 overall.”
“In my opinion, it smacks of discrimination,” Rush added.
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The brief interview ended about as quickly as it started as 50 turned his attention to an admirer seeking a photo.
A short time later, Pelosi entered the room to briefly greet 50 Cent, although they didn’t appear to say much to each other beyond exchanging pleasantries and pose for a photograph.
Pelosi soon moved on to speak with other guests in the room, and 50 Cent and his entourage quietly exited.