The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and soft drink
giant Pepsi have come to a verbal agreement, averting Tuesday’s (Feb. 11) boycott
at the 11th hour.
Pepsi, the Ludacris Foundation and Russell Simmons’
Rush Arts have agreed to a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership to support
the arts in communities at risk.
"We hope Pepsi’s investment inspires other
companies to invest more in grassroots programs as opposed to some bureaucracies
who aren’t always effective," Simmons told AllHipHop.com.
Simmons non-profit organization, Rush Arts as
well as Ludacris’ nonprofit will help designate the recipients of the settlement.
"We really hope that this starts the trend
that big corporations support cost effective programs in our communities. We
hope that it signals a new day of corporate involvement."
Simmons said that the boycott was not about Ludacris,
but about the treatment that the hip-hop culture received from big corporations.
"Ludacris doesn’t want the commercials back
on the air," Simmons continued. "People don’t understand why this
was so important. It’s about respect for the hip-hop culture."