Welcome to Urbana Poppin' Champaign, Your Premier Urban Channel. UPC was established in May 2010 with a focus on introducing new music to the masses in hopes of creating a better bond between deserving artists and fans. We still believe in that statement, however, in addition to staying true to our roots with a steady flow of music, we now offer our readers the latest in style, art, and much more.
UPC Unofficial ’15 Champaign Glo' Long Sleeve

UPC Unofficial ’15 Champaign Glo’ Long Sleeve

After a wildly successful drop in 2014, it was only right that we kept with tradition and followed up in 2015 with an exclusive UPC Unofficial design. Once again, we took a different approach and did something that has never been done before with Unofficial merch. To help our friends & fam commemorate...
Top 25 Hip-Hop Projects of 2014

Top 25 Hip-Hop Projects of 2014

We’re almost a week into 2015 and it’s already looking like a much more promising year for music. With upcoming albums from Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Kanye and A$AP Rocky to name a few, it’s arguably going to be a better year than 2014. But before we move forward and...
Top 25 Lil Wayne Songs

Top 25 Lil Wayne Songs

Lil Wayne is one of the greatest rappers of all time. No matter where you place him on your own top emcee list, it’s impossible to deny Tunechi’s track record. Wayne is arguably the hardest working hip-hop artist we’ve ever seen—a big part of the reason he’s still relevant 17 years into the game....
Interview: Ro Ransom

Interview: Ro Ransom

Ro Ransom has a story to tell. And it’s not one that you’ve heard before. It’s not pretty. It’s far from a fairytale. Yet, there’s beauty amidst all the chaos. Chaos that he finds comfort in and can always recognize as home. A place where the fight for survival is the only thing that makes...
Interview: Bas

Interview: Bas

It’s been a huge year for Dreamville Record’s own Bas. After releasing his debut LP Last Winter and being a part of Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers mixtape, he went on tour for quite some time, spreading his music to the masses alongside J. Cole for the fifth anniversary of The Warm Up. Bas is currently...
Interview: Saba

Interview: Saba

In 2013, an emcee from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood named Saba delivered a beyond stellar verse on Chance The Rapper’s “Everybody’s Something,” track six on arguably the mixtape of the year, Acid Rap. From there, Saba was hard at work on his sophomore project, ComfortZone, that dropped in July. Since then, Saba has bounced between venues in Chicago...
Review: Pygmalion Music Festival 2014

Review: Pygmalion Music Festival 2014

Written by Brad W. (@Brad_C_Williams). Photography by Robert Marohn. Champaign’s annual Pygmalion Music Festival is always one of the biggest music events of the year. While Porter Robinson and Ab-Soul had great performances, those who were able to attend last weekend’s festival experienced the 10th anniversary to this cornerstone three-day celebration. Admittedly, this...
Photos: Ab-Soul's These Days Tour in Urbana 9/25

Photos: Ab-Soul’s These Days Tour in Urbana 9/25

Last Thursday, Urbana locals and UIUC students were treated to the biggest hip-hop show so far this semester. As part of his These Days Tour, TDE representative Ab-Soul made his way down to central Illinois with Dreamville’s Bas and Atlanta rap duo EarthGang. As with any exciting tour that hits the area, UPC was in...
Campus Requisites: DJ Krucial

Campus Requisites: DJ Krucial

For our next Campus Requisites installment, we met with Champaign-Urbana’s Steven Kveton, known to most as DJ Krucial, to see what are his must-haves on campus. Heavily involved in the DJ community in C-U, DJ Krucial has been making a name for himself spinning at Red Lion, Clyborne’s, and the Red...
Photos: ILLrock Block Party in Urbana 5/3

Photos: ILLrock Block Party in Urbana 5/3

In the vein of Little 500 at Indiana University or Dillo Day at Northwestern University, the ILLrock Block Party has arrived to serve as an end of the school year celebratory concert event at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Centered around creating an atmosphere of diversity to reflect the...
Save Lil TerRio: An Ethical Analysis

Save Lil TerRio: An Ethical Analysis

What were you doing at six years old? Odds are pretty good that you were in Kindergarten or first grade, having just learned to read, preoccupied with basic math exercises and worried about whether you were going to obtain cooties from your classmates. Such is not the case for Riverdale,...
Campus Requisites: Robert M.

Campus Requisites: Robert M.

For our second Campus Requisites installment, we stopped to talk with UPC photographer Robert M. to see what he believes is essential to have while walking around Urbana-Champaign. Robert, hailing from Lincolnwood Village of Chicago, IL, is a Graphic Design major/Business minor by day but shreds the streets by night skateboarding, making music, and photographing....
UPC Stickers Now Available

UPC Stickers Now Available

Yessir, new UPC stickers are here! It’s been a while since we re-upped on some stickers so we thought this would be the perfect time. Rep UPC this Spring season & get some stickers to slap on your laptop, desk or [insert object here]. Grab your sticker pack via our...
Campus Kicks: Ashley J.

Campus Kicks: Ashley J.

Ashley J. is a 20 year-old junior at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When she’s not hitting the books for her Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy major, she’s steadily building up her impressive sneaker collection. From classic Jordans to one of the most highly sought out LeBrons, Ashley doesn’t disappoint even for...
Interview: Paper Diamond

Interview: Paper Diamond

Entering the green room backstage at the Canopy Club, Colorado producer Alexander Botwin, known by most as Paper Diamond, looks empowered – not in the sense of narcissism but as someone who is  finding himself through his music. His demeanor is invigorating to all who get the pleasure to meet him:...
UPC Unofficial '14 Golden Legacy Long Sleeve

UPC Unofficial ’14 Golden Legacy Long Sleeve

Let’s be honest. Unofficial merch is a funny thing. Rarely does it actually stand out and rarely does it outlast the 24 hours of boozing you may (or may not) partake in. This year we wanted to do something both aesthetically pleasing and commemorative of the holiday.  After the overwhelmingly positive...
Interview: King Louie

Interview: King Louie

King Louie is hungry. He’s hungry to claim his position at the top of the Chicago hip-hop scene, and for all the national acclaim and accolades — but right now, he is literally prepping for a feast. As I greet the 26-year-old at his hotel in Champaign, we forgo any...
Top 25 Hip-Hop Projects of 2013

Top 25 Hip-Hop Projects of 2013

There’s only a few hours left in the year but there’s no denying that 2013 was an amazing year for music, let alone hip-hop. After a slow and sad 2012, it was only right that we got blessed with new albums from the likes of Kanye, Drake, Tyler & more...
Throwback Thursday: UPC The Beat Vault Vol.1

Throwback Thursday: UPC The Beat Vault Vol.1

This post was originally posted on UPC on January 31st, 2012. It has resurfaced in honor of our upcoming second installment, UPC Presents: The Beat Vault Vol. 2, scheduled for release in early 2014. If you’re a producer and would like to be featured, please send us your music for...
All The World's Ills: A Retrospective Look at Lupe Fiasco

All The World’s Ills: A Retrospective Look at Lupe Fiasco

I remember exactly where I was when I heard Lupe Fiasco for the first time. It was 8th grade, and I had just come home from being cut from the basketball team. Feeling dejected, I came from practice, holding the crumpled up rejection letter in my hand, and turned on...
UPC Presents: Chief Fall 2013 Campus Lookbook

UPC Presents: Chief Fall 2013 Campus Lookbook

Looking for some new gear to rock? We’ve got you covered. Much like our drop last season, we’ve decided to do a quick lookbook for the Chief products we have currently available on our online store. This time around we have number of new styles, including two color ways in the Paramount t-shirt (navy...
UPC.FM Vol. 2: Deep Bass (Hosted by Homemade Spaceship)

UPC.FM Vol. 2: Deep Bass (Hosted by Homemade Spaceship)

Artwork by ĐG. Coming at you with the second installment in our exclusive mix series, we bring you UPC.FM Vol. 2: Deep Bass hosted by our good friend from Chicago, Homemade Spaceship. Differing from his produced tracks, the mix is full of his select favorites ranging from dub, trap, to heavy house....
Latest entries
Skepta - Shutdown

Skepta – Shutdown

UK hip-hop is raw, and no, I’m not talking about Tinie Tempah. Over the past year, a plethora of emcees have made their way out of the UK spotlight and into the mainstream. One of these artists was grime-esque rapper Skepta, who this year alone has received cosigns from Kanye West and Drake. Yesterday, he brought us...
Kanye West - All Day

Kanye West – All Day

Finally, the CDQ we’ve all been waiting for. Stream the Power 106 premiere below. Look for the Velous and French Montana-produced single to appear on Kanye’s upcoming album, So Help Me God, due later this year.
Action Bronson - Actin Crazy (Video)

Action Bronson – Actin Crazy (Video)

Action Bronson delivers the video for “Actin Crazy,” a track expected to land on the New York emcee’s upcoming debut album Mr. Wonderful. The record, produced by Noah “40” Shebib, is Bronsolino at his best. The accompanying visual is just as tight — watch the Syndrome-directed video above, in which Bam Bam dunks on Godzilla, devours...
Peewee Longway - Blue M&M Vol. II: King Size (Mixtape)

Peewee Longway – Blue M&M Vol. II: King Size (Mixtape)

Today we are blessed with the release of Peewee Longway‘s fifth mixtape, Blue M&M Vol. II: King Size. Hosted by DJ Drama, this tape features the likes of Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, Yo Gotti and Offset from the Migos, and it showcases Atlanta’s trap sound that we all know and love. Listen to the project below and let us know what...
DJ Carnage - I Like Tuh ft. iLoveMakonnen

DJ Carnage – I Like Tuh ft. iLoveMakonnen

iLoveMakonnen made a splash in the rap game this summer, when none other than the 6 God, Drake, remixed the hit song “Tuesday” off his self-titled EP. However, this Atlanta songbird has been known to experiment, and tends to mix and blend genres rather than stay in one lane. Today we get more evidence of...
Review: BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah - Sour Soul

Review: BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul

Review written by Brad W. (@Brad_C_Williams). When Toronto jazz trio BadBadNotGood first announced they would be collaborating with Ghostface Killah for a full-length album, I was ecstatic. I’ve enjoyed watching this young group evolve from its first work in 2010 covering Odd Future motifs to its most recent release, III. Also, how many jazz fusion groups break onto today’s music scene, let...
Sam Gellaitry - Short Stories EP

Sam Gellaitry – Short Stories EP

Sam Gellaitry is an 18 year old producer hailing from Scotland. Though he still might be an unfamiliar name to you, the young Scot has been impressing for quite some time now. Earlier this week Soulection head Joe Kay gave him the proper platform, by releasing his first official EP via the label. Short Stories is a...
Big Sean - One Man Can Change the World ft. Kanye West & John Legend

Big Sean – One Man Can Change the World ft. Kanye West & John Legend

With Dark Sky Paradise rapidly approaching, Big Sean continues to build up hype, taking to the web last night to release his much anticipated collaboration with Kanye West and John Legend. The track, titled “One Man Can Change the World,” is a powerful, inspirational ballad backed by a piano driven beat. It gives a glimpse at the...
Tunji Ige - For Us (Video)

Tunji Ige – For Us (Video)

Tunji Ige drops a visual for “For Us,” a track from his recently released mixtape The Love Project. The 19-year-old Ige is a sophomore at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Check out the video above and let us know what you think of this up-and-comer.
Russell Westbrook Scores 41 Points, Wins All-Star MVP (Video)

Russell Westbrook Scores 41 Points, Wins All-Star MVP (Video)

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder went off for 41 points to earn MVP honors in last night’s NBA All-Star Game in New York City. Westbrook led the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory thanks to an array of three-pointers and explosive dunks. Peep Russ’ highlights above, and be sure to keep an eye on OKC...
adidas Originals x Kanye West: Yeezy Season 1

adidas Originals x Kanye West: Yeezy Season 1

Yeezy Season is officially upon us as Kanye West revealed his Yeezy Season 1 collection with adidas Originals for New York Fashion Week. The collection featured the Yeezy 750 Boost among other styles of footwear, outerwear, sweaters and more. One of the biggest surprises from the show was Kanye premiering the first track off his new...
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late (Mixtape)

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Mixtape)

As promised, Drake is back with new music. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is a 17-track mixtape with features from the likes of Lil Wayne, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Travi$ Scott. Drizzy is in his prime. Cop from iTunes here. Your ears will thank you.