Yung Joc brings hip-hop to Iowa City

BY DANA JUDAS | OCTOBER 08, 2009 7:20 AM

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Georgia, bling, and hit songs. No, not “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”? Nah. Grammy-nominated artist Yung Joc, and it’s goin’ down Friday.

The Georgian will bring the house down at 9 p.m. at the Industry, 211 Iowa Ave. Rap artist Mike Page will also perform. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the night of the show. Fans can find tickets at InBox, 114 S. Clinton St.

Though Yung Joc was not aware he would perform during the UI’s Homecoming bonanza — the booking fortuitously landed the day before the game — he is excited about bringing his energy and message to Iowa City.

“I’m planning on having a good time and enjoying myself while kicking it with the folks out there,” he said. “I’m just coming to do what I do and what I love to do, and that’s make music. I enjoy what I do so much.”

People can expect plenty of energy and excitement from the father of three. Yung Joc likes to joke with audience members and enjoys interacting with them. He is touring to promote his third studio album, Grind Flu, released in August. The Atlanta native recently signed with Jive Records.

Prity Kumar, the general manager of and booking agent for the Industry, realizes the competition to pack the house during Homecoming is stiff. Kumar believes that bringing an act of this caliber is a start, but the venue is equally important.

“The venue is what brings the act,” Kumar said. “The versatility of [the] room is what defines us as a venue that can facilitate acts of all sizes.”

In staging such a big hip-hop show in Iowa City, Kumar believes bringing rapper Chingy this past summer was a turning point.

“I think it’s about time the Iowa City music scene start expanding the caliber and genre of acts,” Kumar said. “We are not trying to change [the scene] but contribute to it in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

Although Kumar doesn’t want to alter the local scene, the music industry is continually evolving. To help him stay current and fresh, Yung Joc takes cues from other performers, including those not from his genre.

“I, too, can learn from other’s music,” he said. “We all learn from music. You live with it, you love it, and you can also learn from it.”

Even though he recognizes the accomplishments of fellow artists, Yung Joc realizes that there are those out there who admire him, too. But anyone wanting to emulate his success, he said, should be cautious.

“My best advice is don’t be like me — be better than me,” he said. “Reach for the stars. Educate yourself. Understand that that is very important. Be you. You could really be good at it.”

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