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Why was 50 Cent on Capitol Hill? Rapper makes surprise visit

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Rapper and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson took to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, leading a campaign aimed at increasing minority representation within the multi-billion dollar liquor industry.

Jackson, best known as a recording artist and for his successful liquor brand Sire Spirits, was joined by renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Together, they met with lawmakers across the political spectrum, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to push for minority representation in the luxury spirits industry.

Jackson met with leaders from both political parties, including House Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and described the meetings as positive.

“My experience here has been great,” said Jackson at a press conference on the Hill. “I went to talk to them about economic opportunities for everybody, and it’s really exciting. The response I got makes me feel like there are bright days ahead of us.”

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Jackson’s advocacy comes in the wake of an ongoing legal dispute with Suntory Global Spirits. In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Jackson highlighted his concerns: “I’m off to DC to talk to the Congressional Black Caucus about how Suntory Global has damaged my business.”

Suntory Global has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

Crump, a prominent advocate for Black rights, emphasized the broader significance of their mission. “We are committed to helping Mr. Jackson demonstrate the true ‘power’ of not just his television acumen, but also the power of the consumers to make corporate America allow a seat at the table for hard-working Black entrepreneurs.”

Despite the substantial contributions of minority consumers to the liquor market, there remains a significant gap in ownership and leadership roles. As reported in the Independent, a 2022 study revealed that while Black Americans make up 12% of the consumer base, they hold only 2% of executive positions in the industry.

 Jeremy Yurow is a politics reporting fellow based in Hawaii for the USA TODAY Network. You can reach him at JYurow@gannett.com or on X, formerly Twitter @JeremyYurow.

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