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Rapper French Montana talks opioid epidemic, immigration on Capitol Hill

Charles Sykes/Invision/Associated Press

Rapper French Montana stopped by Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet with lawmakers to discuss the opioid epidemic and advocate for immigration reform, among other issues.

The Moroccan-American performer, born Karim Kharbouch, was spotted by reporters walking the halls of Congress on Wednesday evening, after a representative said he had “over 13 meetings” with lawmakers earlier in the day.

“He wanted to come here to talk about the opioid epidemic sweeping through the country, especially disproportionately hitting the African American community,” Mike Rubino, a representative for the entertainer, told The Hill.

The push comes as the rapper, whom Rubino noted has also “spoken very candidly about his own sobriety,” is launching a company called Pure. Rubino said the effort will mirror how Montana “managed to get sober and it’s for people that want to get sober in a more unconventional way that doesn’t involve taking more drugs.”

“He’s also spoken to people about immigration as an issue as a naturalized citizen,” the representative. “He went through the entire process and just feels that there’s an onerous burden put on people who want to do things the right way and it’s too long and lengthy of a process.”

Rubino added that the “Unforgettable” rapper also spoke with lawmakers about President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, a sprawling social spending plan Democrats have been working quickly to pass. 

Among the lawmakers Montana met with were Reps. Shontel Brown (D-O.H.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), Byron Donald (R-Fla.), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.). He also met with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

Rice’s office said she and the rapper discussed issues around the opioid epidemic, mental health care, and substance abuse.

“French Montana was meeting with Members today to advocate for congressional action on these issues and look for ways he could use his platform to spread awareness,” said her spokesman. 

Judy Kurtz contributed

Tags Adriano Espaillat Ben Cline Build Back Better Act Dina Titus French Montana Immigration reform Joe Biden Kathleen Rice Opioid epidemic Susie Lee Tim Scott

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