City of Hope
DUARTE, Calif. — Today, City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry’s Future Hope Committee announced that it will host a live Speaker Series event with Loud Records Founder Steve Rifkind (Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Akon, Three 6 Mafia) moderated by Full Stop’s Damien Smith (Anderson .Paak, 070 Share, Rem Ami). The Virtual Fireside Chat will be open to the public on Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 5 to 6:30 p.m PST.
Rifkind and Smith will discuss the dynamics of the music industry and how to further empower artists as entrepreneurs. Access to the intimate conversation is free, but there is a suggested $25 donation, which would benefit City of Hope’s mission to eliminate cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, which means it is one of the anchors of the nation’s cancer research and efforts.
Registration is now open at https://event.cityofhope.org/speakerseries.
This event is presented thanks to support from Milk & Honey, Warner Records, Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman Charitable Foundation and Work of Art.
“Future Hope’s Speaker Series has become a flagship event raising over $130,000 for City of Hope. While we miss being able to host these intimate fireside chats in person, moving to digital has allowed us the opportunity to extend invites to students and young music professionals from all over the country, giving them the opportunity to learn and hear stories from industry veterans like Steve [Rifkind] and Damien [Smith], all while raising money for an amazing cause,” said vice president of marketing for Warner Records and Future Hope Speaker Series Co-founder TJ Landig.
Rifkind’s name is synonymous with a track record of successes within the music industry and a love of the craft. As the founder of Loud Records, Rifkind shape-shifted hip-hop culture, bringing to light artists who to this day are the backbone of popular music. Groups like Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep, along with Three 6 Mafia, the late Big Pun and many others. Rifkind got his start under his father’s label Spring Records, where he promoted the first recorded rap release, “King Tim III (Personality Jock)” by the Fatback Band. He then formed the Steve Rifkind Company, a premier marketing agency where he pioneered and trademarked the phrase “street team,” a marketing tactic that has been since adopted by every music and lifestyle entity around the world. He later managed R&B group New Edition, and in 1991 started Loud Records. From there he developed Loud Films, which released the street classic film “Paid in Full” in 2002, with distribution through Miramax. At the end of 2002, Rifkind formed SRC (Street Records Corporation) which housed imprint labels and legendary acts, along with developing new talent across the hip-hop and R&B world like Ray J, Wu-Tang Clan, Melanie Fiona, Asher Roth, Shontelle and David Banner, among others. Rifkind’s most notable discovery and signing was Akon, whose multiplatinum debut album “Trouble” spawned numerous hits. Rifkind continues to make an impact in the industry as a manager and most recently, he helped usher in Busta Rhymes’ critically acclaimed album, “Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God,” into the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
Smith is an accomplished music industry veteran who has uniquely navigated the careers of some of the music world's most legendary and accomplished musicians such as Raphael Saadiq, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jennifer Hudson and Kanye West, while also creatively blazing new trails for artists like Anderson .Paak, 007 Shake, Rei Ami and Offset.
About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin, monoclonal antibodies and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. AccessHopeTM, a wholly owned subsidiary, was launched in 2019 and is dedicated to serving employers and their health care partners by providing access to City of Hope’s exceptional cancer expertise. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked among the nation’s “Best Hospitals” in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California and in Arizona. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.