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Fans of Empire were probably taken aback to see Petey Pablo in a cameo role in the show, but there was a far deeper background story involved. The North Carolina rapper appeared on the show as part of repayment of a $200 dollar debt from a decade ago, and he was instrumental in bringing some gritty musical edge to the show.

Petey Pablo sat down with local news outlet WRAL and discussed how he hopes to be a bigger part of the series down the road. After battling some legal issues, Pablo seems poised to return back to the spotlight after lending his talent to the smash hit series.

Pablo, who plays Clyde, a rapping prisoner locked up with Howard’s Lucious Lyon, lent the money to Howard during the Hustle & Flow premiere after the actor lost his wallet. And while the repayment took some time, it didn’t appear as if Pablo was too upset considering his major come up.

“He explained to me where he was mentally [and] financially and all that, he was at a point where he didn’t think there were any more people of humanity,” said Pablo of Howard calling him to pay back the longstanding debt.

But just as Howard did with Hustle & Flow, he enlisted Pablo’s songwriting services for the catchy “Snitch Bitch” track that was featured in the show. Pablo said that Howard believed that Pablo could bring something to Empire and he certainly delivered.

So far, Pablo wrote and produced four tracks for Howard’s character. Pablo says that while music is no big thing, acting made him nervous. He shared that standing next to Howard, Taraji P. Henson, and other cast members gave him some pause. Pablo also playfully quipped that he hopes to have a few more scenes to shoot for Empire.

Just in case anyone’s wondering, Howard paid back that $200 with interest to the tune of $15,000.

Congrats to Petey Pablo!

Photo: WRAL