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World Renowned Hip-Hop Conference How Can I Be Down? Makes Its Way to Toronto

TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - From shell toe Adidas to Kangol's, hip-hop
culture has created an impact world wide, particularly the music. To celebrate
and acknowledge the role of hip-hop in the music industry, Peter Thomas
Entertainment Group, in association with Damon Dash Music Group, Vibe Magazine
and Flow 93.5FM, has brought this networking and learning conference series to
Toronto, Canada on December 8th-11th, 2005 at the Metro Toronto Convention
Center. Established in Miami, Florida in 1993, How Can I Be Down Inc (HCIBD),
has served as a nation-wide learning and networking platform in the hip-hop
industry. Last year, HCIBD rekindled its mission and kicked off in South
Beach, Florida. It was such a huge success that HCIBD is now bringing its
flavour to Toronto.
"When we observed that no one attempted to fill the void that we left
behind, it became apparent that hip-hop, a 5 billion dollar-a-year industry,
needed the resurgence of How Can I Be Down?" said Peter Thomas, the
conference's founder.
This year, HCIBD will occur in conjunction with the Hip-Hop Summit Action
Network. There will be an extended weekend of informative panels to be
conducted by well-established leaders of the hip-hop industry. One of the
numerous personalities conducting our panels is Damon Dash, co-founder of the
Roc-A-Fella record label and owner/CEO of the Damon Dash Music Group.
For more information on HCIBD, log on to www.hcibd.com.

How Can I Be Down? panel topics:

Touring and Concert promotions
Panelists will discuss the availability of tours for artists, as well as
the importance of touring for an artist's career. Focus will also be placed on
what a booking agent does, how tours are set up, how they are properly
promoted, and merchandising as a source of income.

The publishing deal
We will discuss what publishing deals are, how they work, and how
lucrative they can be. Records companies have been known to ask for an
artist's publishing as part of the recording agreement (the writer's
publishing share and administration). We will highlight why that is and
discuss how to prevent giving anything away for free.

The importance of strong management
The importance of building a team to advance an artist's career will be
analyzed in depth. We will highlight what a manager's responsibilities are,
how to recognize and choose a competent one, and why the manager is so
instrumental to the successful artist's career.

Entertainment law
This will be a discussion of how to choose an attorney, when to hire one
and what they are capable of doing on the artist's behalf to enhance a career.
We will also discuss the attorney's role as a power broker and deal-maker.

Getting a distribution deal
Where to go and how to secure a distribution deal, and what this
agreement actually includes. New labels will gain an understanding of what
distributors are looking for when they give a distribution deal. A clear
explanation of how product gets into the marketplace will occur.

Building a strong foundation - mix shows, college & underground radio
Discussions will be based around the importance of the tertiary markets
as an important stepping stone to successful product promotion and the
necessity of reaching the core market first.

Branded entertainment
From Run DMC's Ode To My Adidas to the and1 mixtapes, Pass the
Courvoisier and the multiple businesses leveraging the G-Unit brand; branded
entertainment is a staple part of doing business in the urban entertainment.
In a 500 channel universe, where the Internet and TIVO are killing the
30-second commercial product, marketers are having a hard time maintaining
relationships with their consumer base. These discussions are designed to
inform delegates how to position themselves and pitch opportunities to have
corporations participate in their rise to fame.

Banking online and mobile media
Online and new media strategies are a must for getting your music sold in
today's market. This panel will discuss how to leverage existing and emerging
digital opportunities. Mobile services are developing large on-demand
entertainment networks similar to the early days of television. What does that
mean for your career? Digital download sales accounted for over 5% of all
sales for the Big Four label distributors during the past 2 quarters and are
expected to account for over 25% of all sales by 2008. Apple's iTunes Music
Store (iTMS) alone is selling over 1.75 million tracks a day, as it is present
in the top 20 markets around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The international market
Discussions will take place regarding the international marketing of
recorded music, marketing strategies and touring opportunities, as well as the
current status of the intellectual property law internationally, and
safeguards for the independent collection of royalties from international
radio exposure and sales. We will also explore the notion of breaking your
artist internationally prior to launching a marketing campaign in the United

The next level - projects in video, television and film
We ask where the urban culture is going as seen through the eyes of mass
media; video, television, and film. What trends are emerging in music videos?
How has music influenced television and films?

Hot producers
This panel will discuss the fundamental skills in music production,
current trends, and the future as seen through the eyes of the panelists.
Highlights include both artistic and business ends of the industry.

My own label
Putting out your own music is more popular than ever. We will talk about
how to start and run a successful label, and the different types of label
deals that exist. Also covered will be the difference between a publishing
deal and a label deal.

For further information: Lorraine Quartaro, Manager, Communications,
Transl8tor Marketing Inc., (416) 367-1222, (416) 433-7232 cell,
lorraine.quartaro@sympatico.ca; www.urbanaids.com

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