FreshTraxx: Ex-L – “Eternal Sunshine” (Prod. By Shakes)

You need this music…  The bad boyz of the local scene drop a new track that gives Jay Electronica and Rockie Fresh a run for their money.  The song:  “Eternal Sunshine” with a #DM debut performance from rapper EX-L.


Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind’s influence on hip hop music is far from marginal.  The music from the movie was penned by Jon Brion, key collaborating producer of Kanye West.    Jay Electronica dropped a song using a loop from the score.

When it comes down to it,  making a song called “Eternal Sunshine” would almost certainly be considered a cliche move towards exciting audiences.

This is not the case with Drug Muzic’s latest….  Drug Muzic is the collective made up of Shakes, Bud D. Luck, KB, and Ex-L.  We reported that they were gearing up release snippets of their EP, and Bud D. Luck’s EP.   This seems to be one of many tracks or “films” surfacing from this project on their website.

“Eternal Sunshine” is not an attention seeking whiny child of any of the aforemented songs.  Rather,  Shakes produces a marvel of a beat constructed around an unrelated sample.     EX-L lyrics are rapid, yet what can only be described as relaxed.  The beat is intense, but soothing.

Make sure to check Drug Muzic’s official page.


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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Iowa City’s Finest Artists: Top 10 Voting – 7 DAYS LEFT

Don’t get too comfortable if you are listed.   The write in’s are FLOODING the polls right now.  7 DAYS LEFT UNTIL THE POLLS CLOSE.

Poor Broke Rappers Mission Statement

“To provide a blog that showcases talent, upcoming artists, and music from the local scene to a nationwide audience.”

Since our launch less than 2 weeks ago, we have received 1,000+ views and counting.

But why is this site called Poor Broke Rappers?  It’s a question that seems to be filling our inbox.

The name has NOTHING to do with the artists we cover.  Nor does it have anything to do with their status as a musician, artist, producer, or brand.

Our name is designed to catch attention of audiences and to promote labels to consider signing artists that currently have no big bankroll or financiers.  Consider that “richwealthyrappers” isn’t exactly going to turn heads in the highly competitive blog world.

Please, if you dislike your material on our blog, send us an email at   It will not offend.

Fresh Traxx: DJ 500 Benz – “Shimmy”

DJ 500 Benz is on an assault to pour out content.  His latest offering is a southern-fried conglomeration of music genres.



It’s not unusual to see producers dropping beat-tapes these days.   In this sense, there’s nothing totally new about local Iowa native producer DJ 500 Benz.   Except… well the guy is dropping tracks at the rate of Lil B.  He recently posted “Shimmy” late Thursday evening.

In November 2012,  500 dropped his first ever solo instrumental EP,  Geometrics.   It was a relatively modest project, which could have been regarded a little too lo-fi for most listeners.  However, eight more free beat tapes proceeded it just shy of three months later.    (Recently, Little Village mag reviewed Geometrics II, his 5th release.)  It seems 500 may have refined the formula.

500 is gearing up for his tenth project:  Commercial Break 2.   We’re really digging this new track, which feels like Southern Rap gumbo of EDM.  Tell us, what you think?

2013 Top 10 In The Big 10: Who is #iowasfinest?

Vote for your favorite artists/producers of this year…  Iowa’s finest.  Check the top contenders or enter your own fan favorite for the 1st Annual Top 10 in the Big Ten.


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This is Poor Broke Rapper’s first annual “TOP 10 IN THE BIG 10.”  Below is the poll that ends in 10 days.   There’s choices in there, but you can add someone if we missed them.  Make sure to send all your followers here to vote for you.  The top 10 will be profiled here on March 11th.

NOTE:  If you vote for a member of a crew, his/her votes go towards the group as a whole if not enough scored by members individually.  One vote per IP Address, so it’s all fair game.

The Making of: Rahlan Kay – Relationships: A Sucka 4 Luv Story (2012)

Rowland Gibson a.k.a. Rahlan Kay is an Iowa recording artist.  Rahlan Kay methodically created a concept album about the most over-state theme in music – love & relationships.  Rahlan was held up in Elastik Labs Recording Studios, which is far from a basement studio, with engineer and owner Austin Switalski.  It’s where Rahlan Kay and Austin knocked out eleven tracks effortlessly in-studio.  Those sessions ended up being “Relationships.”

The album is currently available on iTunes.  It received positive reviews from local media outlets.  This is a reflection on the sessions by those involved:

Recorded at Elastik Labs Recording Studios in Cedar Rapids
Tracks 1,4,5,7,8,9,10 produced by 500Benz
Tracks 2,3,6 produced by Josh Michalec
Track 11 produced by Austin Switalski
Guest Appearances by Phoenix the MisfitMike Page, Al X Ander, Damu, & Royce Bell

“Break the Chain” 

Rahlan Kay:  It was a concept I always wanted to do.  Relationships. A universal theme that everybody can relate to.  Young, old, whatever race or creed.  Everyone has been in various relationships.

“Break the Chain” lyrics were driven by the hook in the song.  When I listened to it, I wanted to let people know it’s a hip hop album, it is a concept, and it’s about my relationship with hip hop.   Wherever hip hop allows me to go career wise or not, I love hip hop no matter what.

“U” (feat. Mike Page) Produced by Josh Michalec

Rahlan Kay:  I had originally met Josh through Austin, at Elastik Labs.  There’s this guy that has some nice beats.  So he invited me to one of the sessions Josh was at and that’s how we met.  He brought some instrumentals.  I was like, “Man, we got to collab.”

Me and Mike Page had some dialogue about a record together.  So Mike and his producer Big Show came to the studio to check what I was doing.  We had Austin put the beat on.  Show and Mike were nodding their head.  Austin had that song bass-ed up like it was hott.  I asked him to get on the track.  We came up with the hook together wrote our verses.  My verse was talking about the type of girl that I need.  His verse was like, “I can’t believe I’m doing it for love.  I’m a sucka for love.”  It’s two different approaches.

Josh Michalec:  I had four or five beat tapes online, and Rahlan picked a gang of beats from them.  The ones he used were older, I make like 4-5 beats every day.  I made sure to mix them before I gave them to him.

I was in the studio for one session… the one with Mike Page. I originally titled the beat “15 Minute Workout.”  I was in the studio for a little bit when Mike was recording his verse and had to leave.  Didn’t hear till the final version till the album came out.

“Is It True Love?” (Feat. Phoenix the Misfit) Produced by Josh Michalec

Rahlan Kay:  Phoenix and me have an album out called Summer Timeless.  This was a potential song that we were gonna put on that album, but it didn’t fit the concept and it wasn’t quite finished.  When we finalized the song it fit the concept of this album.

Phoenix the Misfit:  Me and Rahlan, when we first linked up, I had just moved back to Cedar Rapids.  It was a surreal type of moment because I found out my Dad had been adopted. I had realized how much family I had here. It just so happened Rahlan Kay was my cousin.  We met up and found out we both do music.  I said, “We definitely gotta do an album.”  That’s what sparked Hip Hop The Group.

He called me and asked if I could drop a verse for him. He told me the topic and I came down to the studio.  I wrote my verse on the spot and dropped it right there.  The song is about finding that one person when there’s a whole lot of girls out there.   Rahlan has that old school type of vibe to him.  Hip Hop The Group is just the old school with the new school.

Want’n More (feat. Royce Bell) 

Rahlan Kay:  I already had the hook and Royce’s voice in mind for the song.  I had been trying to get Royce in the studio for some time.  500 had came to the studio to check out what I was doing.  The song that came to me instantly. It flowed.  I didn’t have any problems recording that.  Royce gave it that new flavor.  It was smooth but had energy into the track.

“Crazy Like That” 

Rahlan Kay:  That song was driven by the sample [Jewel’s “Foolish”] but I wanted to do a different spin.  It’s talking about how love can become dangerous.  So it starts out I’m pursuing a girl I think is the one.  I’m gonna get her no matter what.  By the second verse, I’m so into this I’m doing things I wouldn’t do.  Third verse is I got out of hand, stalkerish level, I’m flipping out.  By the end, it shows the aftermath:  “I’m in the news/CNN/Connie Chung/with a gun…”  Pure heartache.

“Let Me Go” Produced by Josh Michalec

Rahlan Kay:   “Let Me Go” was one of those last tracks.  It was awkward and it fit.  The whole album is a story.  In this part, the relationship from the previous song is over, but when you see that person again, it’s awkward.  I think artists don’t capture the nuances like that.  I flipped the whole rap style with the syncopation in my lyrics to capture the awkwardness.

Josh Michalec:  He’s used a lot of my beats.  We’ve worked together a bunch.  I don’t think anything we did made it on any of his other projects.  It was kinda weird, I don’t know if he still does this, but he was working on five other projects at the same time.  Those three songs I produced he had done like… a year before the album came out. He doesn’t stop until one of them is perfect.

“Last Night” 

Rahlan Kay:  A fun uptempo dance song.  DJ’s could get people on the dance floor.  It’s about when you have a relationship but you hit it off with another person chit-chating.  I’m with someone but you’re still forming a bond.  But it’s positive because you make that decision: we might see each other again someday, but I’m with someone right now…

“You’re My Angel” (feat Al X Ander) 

Rahlan Kay:  It had that commercial appeal and feel.  It was a smooth track.  It featured a “Charlie’s Angels” sample.  How can I put something about an angel into this song to flip it?  “You’re my angel. Take me and fly away.”  That means I found that one.  I know she’s the one.  The song is about the person that without them you wouldn’t have been able to make it through.

I had performed at a gospel event at the U of I and met Al X Ander.  Al X was able to make it down and “bless” the track.

Al X Ander:  [Doing this record] was certainly easy.  It’s more of a hobby for me, the music stuff.  Rahlan hit me up asking if I could work on a project.  He gave me the concepts. I was able to put some harmonies to add more color and feel to the song.

I hadn’t worked with him before.  I know he had did a gospel album before, I do gospel too.  I think that’s where we crossed paths.  He performed at a couple of our concerts.  I had a gospel group.  He had been hitting me up for a while about doing some work.

“Over Losing You” 

Rahlan Kay:  There was a relationship that I had been in.  She was murdered through domestic violence by a boyfriend.  She was a real good person.  Good friend.  We had met and built a relationship over a period of time.  It’s love lost.  Everyone has lost someone in time.  That’s what that song is speaking about.

“World of Mine” (Feat. Damu) Produced by Austin Switalski

Rahlan Kay:  Last tracks to be recorded for the album.  That song is about the most important relationship that we have: our relationship in god.  Whatever you believe.  Above all, your spiritual relationship is one of the most important.  It’s one of the most downloaded songs off the album right now.  Definitely got a cross-over appeal.

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