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.
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
Saba - Next Door ft. Lucki Eck$

Saba – Next Door ft. Lucki Eck$

Chicago emcees Saba and Lucki Eck$ have both had a great 2014, releasing arguably the two best mixtapes out of the city this year with Comfort Zone and Body High, respectively. What better way to celebrate than with a collaborative track? They had long been hinting about the song on Twitter and this week it came to fruition. The result is an introspective look...
Kevin Abstract - bubblegum/iwb

Kevin Abstract – bubblegum/iwb

Before we get into this post, I need to make a disclaimer that this track is crazy. If you’re familiar with Kevin Abstract and his highly acclaimed mixtape MTV1987 from earlier this year, then you know that he’s not afraid to try new things. For his two new tracks “bubblegum” and “iwb (internet weird boy)” he...
Chief Keef - Nobody ft. Kanye West

Chief Keef – Nobody ft. Kanye West

Chief Keef x Kanye West = pure gold. This is a known fact, and should be treated as if it were the equation E = mc^2. Ever since the artist formally known as Keith Cozart decided to preview this song (while blunt-roasting his whip), the internet has been waiting in hype and anticipation. This song...
Mike WiLL Made-It - Ransom (Mixtape)

Mike WiLL Made-It – Ransom (Mixtape)

With one of the hottest sounds in the game today, Mike WiLL Made-It‘s much anticipated mixtape Ransom is finally available for full download and stream. Enlisting some of the top talents in rap, Mike WiLL gives us a star studded line-up that is matched only by his prowess behind the boards, cooking up straight heat. Bringing...
Campus Requisites: Brad W.

Campus Requisites: Brad W.

Finals suck, and if you’re like me, you’re always looking for a way to get a little distracted. Luckily for you guys, the good people here at UPC bring you yet another Campus Requisites installment, this time featuring UPC writer Brad W. From his Redkin Wax to that sick Girard-Perregaux Gyromatic, there is a distinct, clean and efficient lean...
iLoveMakonnen - Swerve (Prod. by Mike WiLL Made It)

iLoveMakonnen – Swerve (Prod. by Mike WiLL Made It)

OVO‘s latest signee iLoveMakonnen, the rapper/singer responsible for hits such as “Tuesday” and “I Don’t Sell Molly No More,” drops a new banger on us entitled “Swerve,” produced by Mike WiLL Made It and Marz. The Atlanta artist has certainly found his own lane; the talent is evident and he’ll prove to be a valuable asset...
OB OBrien - Schemin Up ft. Drake & P. Reign

OB OBrien – Schemin Up ft. Drake & P. Reign

OB OBrien links up with Drizzy and P. Reign for a banger entitled “Schemin Up.” It seems as if everything the OVO frontman touches is gold these days; this track is no different. Although it’s OB’s song, it’s Drake that steals the show per usual as he utilizes a flow that harkens back to his mixtape days. Fellow...
Nicki Minaj - Big Daddy ft. Meek Mill

Nicki Minaj – Big Daddy ft. Meek Mill

Before releasing her new album The Pinkprint on Monday, Nicki Minaj lets loose a much anticipated track with Meek Mill.  Produced by Cardo, this hard beat gives these two a tough sound to rap over.  Meek Mill kicks off “Big Daddy,” and Nicki follows to lyrically attack the song. Listen below and support Nicki by copping The Pinkprint, which will include...
Rich Gang - Tha Tour Part 2 Leak

Rich Gang – Tha Tour Part 2 Leak

After Tha Tour Part 1, Young Thug x Rich Homie Quan became the deadliest combination in rap. Containing hit after hit, the project climbed the charts as one of the hottest releases of the year. On Thursday, an eight-song leak from Tha Tour Part 2 surfaced as music bloggers rejoiced. After 24 hours of enjoyment and confusion, a full...
Klevah - Golden (Mixtape)

Klevah – Golden (Mixtape)

Probably the brightest star in Champaign-Urbana’s hip-hop scene, Klevah has consistently carved herself out to be a lyrical enthusiast capable of great things behind a mic. One-fourth of the TheGr8Thinkaz collective, Klev brings us Golden her first major project since The W8, and from what I’ve heard thus far, it sounds pretty good. Find Klevah’s description of the tape, as well...
Rae Sremmurd - Throw Some Mo ft. Nicki Minaj & Young Thug

Rae Sremmurd – Throw Some Mo ft. Nicki Minaj & Young Thug

Do not let their unpronounceable name blind you from the fact that this group is here to stay. Rae Sremmurd (which is actually just Ear Drummers, Mike WiLL’s label, spelled backwards) have catapulted themselves into one of the most relevant acts in hip-hop today. From “No Flex Zone” to “No Type” and Baauer‘s EDM anthem “One...
What’s In The Tapedeck: December Edition

What’s In The Tapedeck: December Edition

Obviously we love sharing what we’re listening to with you guys, so our What’s In The Tapedeck column on the sidebar is something we try to update regularly for ya. Realizing that it often goes overlooked (yeah, you gotta scroll a bit to get there), we’ve decided to start incorporating a post each time we...