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Exclusive: Hip-Hop Summit Action Network And Pepsi Reach Agreement

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."

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