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.

New Releases: DJ 500Benz – Hipster B******

DJ 500Benz drops another beat-tape that begs for attention with it’s shameless title and blending of between electronic music, hip-hop, and the latest trends in dubstep.



This blog is no stranger with affiliate DJ 500Benz.  We’d be too busy posting everything the Iowa City producer is doing, however his latest tape, dropped via Bandcamp, is one of his more interesting projects.   The inconsistency in sound and style can be jarring at times, but it’s clear DJ 500Benz isn’t afraid to cross genre lines.  Some tracks are reminiscent of chill-out or ambiant music, while others are hip-hop/ club music.  Th

All in all, the tape doesn’t stop with the controversial title:  Hipster B​!​‡►Ⓗ€$.   One could say that the tape takes a cheap shot at the genre of “noise” or an eclectic fusion across multiple genres.

Tell us what you think?  You decide here:

Marq Divine is one of the rappers that topped this years “Top 10 In The Big 10.”
We sat down with Marq and talked about his process in the studio, how he came to
start his recording career, his future project “Contacts” and more.

Review: Bam Musik “Champagne Year” Mixtape

Check out the review of what we consider this year’s best mixtape by Bam Musik.



If you keep up with the Iowa City rap scene,  Bam Musik is a relatively fresh name in the game.  Despite being an entry artist,  Bam was voted #8 on our fan-poll of the “Top 10” in Iowa City.

Bam Musik is the Burlington, Iowa rapper

Champagne Year marks Bam’s first effort as an artist, and as a member of ESG Studios in Iowa City.

The mixtape is fueled by the street track,  “Think I’m That Jordan.”  This is a monster.  Don’t skip too quickly, this track may sound like your typical Chief Keef or Chicago 808 track, but there’s serious soul in this track.   Organs blarr while Bam rides the waves of the track.

Bam makes his way effortlessly through other tracks like the amplified track “Blocka” and

You might be surprised to know Bam could rock with the latest Young Chop beat or your Boom Bap Soul.  There is an eclectic mix of both types of styles.   Usually, these tracks don’t sound good side by side.   It’s a non issuse on Champagne Year.

There are some quality cuts on here.   Take into consideration Bam’s debut is better than most vets new releases.  There are a few misteps here and there that keep this from being perfection, but there’s plenty of proof that Bam has only just begun.

Download These:  “Brick of Work” , “Think I’m That Jordan”

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Results Are In: 2013’s Top 10 In The Big 10: #iowasfinest

The final list arrives after ten days of voting for the Top 10 in The Big 10.   600 Votes Casted!!!


The following is the first annual POORBROKERAPPERS TOP 10 IN THE BIG 10 LIST: 

10: SpaceTimeKontinuum – 3.6% Votes

Ranked #20 in Reverbnation’s Charts,  this artist has a low discography but a lurking fanbase in the works.  Certainly not the only white rapper on the list, but definitely one of the more intricit.  Check his latest material from Reverbnation.

9:  Marq Divine – 4.0% Votes

A staple in the hip hop scene,  Marq has been making his presence known ranging from internet releases, collaboration albums, and even promotion city-wide for his events/material.  He is ranked #5 in Reverbnation’s local charts.

8:  Bam Musik – 4.2% Votes.

“Think I’m That Jordan” might be one of the biggest records put out this year statewide.  His mixtape is on deck to be reviewed on our blog, which you can download here.

7:  Producer’s Corner:  DJ 500 Benz– 5.6% Votes

DJ 500 Benz has been dropping beats on YouTube.  A lot of material.  You can get his mixtapes here.  His next tape is set to drop in 6 days titled, “Commercial Break 2.”

6:  EmDubai – 6.6% Votes

Emdubai’s latest video + rotation on Chicago’s Power 92 Radio.  500,000+ views on YouTube.  Numbers don’t lie for Emdubai.

5: Big Bang DBT – 7.2% Votes

We just reviewed their latest album.  The Cedar Rapids group Big Bang took #6.   The super-group that has worked with your favorite rapper.

4: #Drug Muzic – 10% Votes

The clique made up of Bud D. Luck, Shakes, KB, & EX-L.  Shakes is #6 on Reverbnation local charts.  The group makes #4 here.  Their latest effort is set to drop in Mid-March.

3: Producer’s Corner:  CZHECK Productions –  11% Votes

Coralville, Iowa’s CZHECK makes up #1 on Reverbnation local charts.  With over a 100,000+ plays, it’s incredible to see the work and the amount of material the producer has amassed.

2: LyssaLadyBOSS  – 14% Votes

The new MidSouth Muzik signee’s new single is hot.  The girl has been putting in work.  She takes #2 in the top 10 list.

1:  Coolzey – 15% Votes

A staple in the rap community,  Coolzey steals the number one spot this year.  Check out his recent output with rapper Angle.

Honorable Mentions:  MrFloatOffProductions appeared on the charts even though not listed at #11.  Another producer,  Ghost, known for his work with Bill Thousand and others, had many open ballots in his name.

FreshTraxx: Bill Thousand Takes New Mixtape To The Bank

Bill Thousand, Cedar Rapids area rapper by way of Indiana attracts attention on latest mixtape release by Corporate Thugz Entertainment.



Local M.C. Bill Thousand landed a track on the latest mixtape by Young Jeezy’s C.T.E.    Bill Thousand’s track, titled “Exodus”, is along side other artists such as Tone Trump, Young Jeezy, and Pitbull to name a few.  The tape Trappin On My iPhone 2 is out now on mutliple outlets.

The tape is an official mixtape from, a reputed Hip Hop mixtape site.   Bill Thousand has been working a lot on the site, dropping a video on the site only a few days prior to the release of the new mixtape.

Many may be familiar with Bill Thousand from his work with rapper Marq Divine on their FBIP series and his collaborations producer Ghost.  His catalogue, though somewhat scattered throughout YouTube and Reverbnation is growing.  On the latter website, he is #9 in the Reverbnation CEDAR RAPIDS list this week.

Bill Thousand describes his sound, “”HOLOGRAM PICTURE ….THINK’N OUTTA FRAME MUSIC.”

More music from Bill Thousand:

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