Technical Details: Promotions and You

On the heels of multiplatinum rapper TWISTA’s return to Iowa City,  PBR looks back at the last time Twista showed up in Iowa City… with a lesson in mind.  Meet JC and MG,  two promoters from the now-defunct ICNIGHTLIFE and learn a thing or two about promotion.


Last week, we posted about the return of Twista to Iowa City, as he is headlining at Gabe’s this month.   This is not the first time, however.   A few years ago,  such ventures were extremely difficult to do,  with only a few success stories mostly coming out of Cedar Rapids and by the venues themselves.  Two promoters,  JC and MG formerly of the Iowa City social network ICNIGHTLIFE, drop their advice on promotion in Iowa City.   Their show garnered 1,000+ attendence at the Union Bar on May 5th, 2009.  Both give the strategy involved in promotions, while MG also takes us through the day of the show, for those preparing for their own shows.   Normally, this blog wouldn’t post a “how-to” section so to speak, but peep the interview and you just may catch a few gems.


On May 5th, 2009, MG hosted an event at the UNION BAR in Iowa City that headlined TWISTA. The event cost the 20-something $10,000 and garnered 1,000+ in attendance. MG gives a few promotional lessons he learned from the experience.   Specifically, MG talks about the importance of Networking & Sponsorship, and how it correlated to the success of the Twista show.


Sidebar –  “Top Promoter Mistakes” w/ JC, formerly of ICNIGHTLIFE



Supplementary –  “The Day of the Show” w/ MG, formerly of ICNIGHTLIFE


MG recounts the day Twista arrived in Iowa City for the first time.  Listen closely for all the details involved in booking shows and artists.


On The Radar: Best Rap Of the Week

Poor Broke Rappers takes a look back at some of the weeks hottest tracks and videos to come onto the scene recently.   Check out this week’s version below.


Week of April 7th-14th

1.  JOSE G  FT. UNCLE BUC –  “I Got Money On It”

Jose G, on the helms of teaming up with Bricksquad and Realm Reality collaboration.  Speaking of which, in the mergers and acquitions section today,  it appears that Bill Thousand has been signed to Three’s Brand.


Bill Thousand released this video six days ago in his latest track to hit the mixtape circuit.   On a related note,  Bill also released visuals to “OVALOAD” via a few members of the Atlanta Twerk Team.  Peep that here.



You’ll have to take our word for it.  If you don’t know OTT, it’s either because of our lack of coverage, or you’ve been under a rock when it comes to Iowa music.   The legendary Iowa meets Minnesota rap group just uploaded a new track on their Reverbnation.  Hit the link to check out their latest tracks.

4.  MARQ DIVINE –  “Looking For A Change”

In a promotional video for Marq’s upcoming CONTACTS mixtape,  Marq Divine drops this video in collaboration with Sniper Films.


The producer slash rapper teams up with regular Stokes on this shiny yet grimy  track.

Twista Is Live @ Gabes On April 20th [UPDATED]


Twista is set to perform at Iowa City’s very own Gabe’s .   The event is scheduled Saturday, April 20, 2013.  It starts at 8:00 PM till 2:00 AM.  At the time of this blog, tickets are still available.   Tickets here.  To get more information about the event, go to the Official Facebook Page here.


Elite Sound + Design Studios is the group hosting the event.  The group is self described as “Specializing in Music Production, Music Engineering, & Music Promotion.”  No details revealed yet on who is opening for Twista, as this blog’s primary concern is local artists.  Updates soon!


Opening Acts:






Indie Is The New Major

Preview of Interactive Data on Mainstream 1st Week Sales compared to Indie Total Record Sales.*

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have kicked this year off with the top selling album so far in 2013.   Coming from an independent scene is a big deal in the music world.  What’s more surprising though is that 2013 is showing that Macklemore is topping major label titan Lil Wayne’s recent album sales for this year alone.    Of course it’s not the first time,  (see Lil Jon) but the trend seems to be building as major labels struggle to attain their golden days of platinum sales.

With that in mind, PBR wanted to take an experimental look at how the top selling rap albums are doing in their first week sales compared to total indie sales.   Granted, it appears like apples to oranges, but there seems to be less pressure on Indies to “sell a mill in a week.”   For mainstreamers, an artist’s power is almost only measured in first week marketability.  With this in mind, we wanted to see how the top selling Indie hip hop artists are stacking up to their mainstream counterparts in the digital age.

*Independent albums from 03, 04, 05, 06 are missing because rap independent sales were marginal those years hard to track.

**1st week sales were difficult to find for Independent releases, thus the use of total annual sales

***All data comes from & Soundscan

Full Interactive Chart Here.

Review: Uncle Buc – Lake Effect 2: Live For Respect Die For Freedom [5 STARS!!!]

Our first ever 5 Star Review:  If you aren’t familiar with Uncle Buc, we apologize.  The 3zBrand rapper, and label mate of Jose G has a sequel to his Lake Effect Series just released.  This record should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential neighborhood.



Uncle Buc released a new mixtape titled Lake Effect 2:  Live For Respect Die For Freedom.   This publication would be lying to you if we said we didn’t have some difficulty located Lake Effect 1, but none of that matters.  See why:

Not that cover art is important, but this definitely takes the cake for highest quality in presentation.   The only reason we even mentioned it is because the music is up to bar [pun intented.]   “We Back” opens up with the booming system 808s, and is a decent opening, with catchy wordplay.

“G Shit” features label mate JBIII and solo artist Bill Thou, who makes a lyrical highlight on this track.

“3-1-Mine” is a highlight.   Crispy lyrics,  and a beat that would make DJ Mustard sweat.   You know they make T-Shirts of this available for purchase : peep Jose G reppin’ one.   You might want one after hearing this track.

“Solo” is another high moment,  Jose G featuring showing why he’s one of the best.  Uncle Buc and Jose G are quite a duo on a track.

“Navy” and “Baby Don’t Cry” are the next set of unbelievable music.  This is where Buc truly sets himself apart from his counterparts.   We almost thought we were listening to Me Against The World.   They are that good.

Why is this tape suprising?  Well, when you mix local production and full fledged industry instrumentals, it can be hard to maintain a cohesive feel.   Most chose to either go one route or the other.  This is a non-issue, mostly due to the production of JBIII, but equally said for the additional beatsmiths on this effort.  It’s a bold move that Buc is able to pull off impeccably.

The Verdict:  5/5

We are giving this perfection.     It’s too hot to handle.

Download Now:  Everything


Artist2Watch: Marq Divine’s Latest Music Video and Mixtape Online Now

Having already checked in with rapper Marq Divine, PBR finds an track on a DJ King Flow mixtape and a single of his own pop up on the net this week.  


2013 is by far the best year in hip hop for Iowa.  We’re starting to see a lot of material pop up in mixtape, music video, and even album forms.  Iowa’s not the only one having a good year,  the same could be said for #9 Top 10 In The Big 10 artist Marq Divine.

Marq Divine recently released his music video showcasing his new track,   “I’m Divine.”   The video showcases many staples in Iowa City over old school drum loops.  Despite the drum loops, this track is a new spin on some old favorites, and the breaks never sounded fresher.

The track “I’m Divine” is expected to be on Divine’s up coming mixtape Contacts.  

In addition to dropping a music video, Divine’s popping up on other mixtapes.   His most recent appearance is on the song “Grind Til I Rest” which is featured on the Mixtape Addict 29 series.   Notable is the host, Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz, whom rap fans are familiar with from their Lil Jon hit, “Presidential.”


Given both releases were only days apart, PBR will keep you updated on Marq Divine, as we surely have not heard the last.

You can keep up with Marq Divine at:


Feature: Jose G. Video Interview

As promised,  we release our video interview with Jose G., one of the the top rappers in Iowa and most definitely in Cedar Rapids.  Jose has been doing big things lately.  Peep the interview below.


We sat down with Jose G.,  Cedar Rapids rapper by way of Cali.   Jose broke down how he got a feature from the Prodigy-signed Realm Reality,  his latest projects, and more.

Catch up with Jose and the squad here.

Trap Society out now.


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