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.
Interview: A$AP Twelvyy

Interview: A$AP Twelvyy

Photo courtesy of Cortez Visuals In early April at The Canopy Club, New York emcee A$AP Twelvyy opened for Flatbush ZOMBiES on the 3001: A Laced Odyssey Tour. After dropping his new single “Last Year Being Broke” this past New Year’s Eve, Twelvyy is positioning himself for a big year – his new mixtape, 2127301090,...
Top 25 Hip-Hop/R&B Projects of 2015

Top 25 Hip-Hop/R&B Projects of 2015

Happy Holidays from UPC. One year ago, we predicted 2015 would be a major year for the music world. But I don’t think any of us expected the sheer amount of quality albums and mixtapes that came to fruition. Drake and Kanye West failed to deliver their studio albums, but...
Interview: The O'My's

Interview: The O’My’s

If you’re ever in a funk and need some music to rejuvenate your soul, look no further than The O’My’s. Hailing from the Windy City, the six-man band has a distinct sound that blends rock, soul, funk and jazz. The O’My’s have worked with many familiar names over the years such as Chance...
Photos: ILLrock Block Party in Urbana 5/2

Photos: ILLrock Block Party in Urbana 5/2

For the second straight year, the ILLrock Block Party served as an end-of-the-year celebratory concert at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The day-long event, similar to Little 500 at Indiana University or Dillo Day at Northwestern University, went down this past Saturday in Urbana and featured a variety of musical...
Interview: Lil Bibby

Interview: Lil Bibby

Photo courtesy of Two Brainz You often hear about how a performer “shut down” a concert venue with a particularly rousing performance. But Lil Bibby literally shut down the Canopy Club last week. The audience was so lit that a fight broke out about 20 minutes into his set. While it’s unfortunate that the...
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 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
French Montana - Figure It Out ft. Kanye West & Nas (Video)

French Montana – Figure It Out ft. Kanye West & Nas (Video)

Last week, French Montana dropped a “Figure It Out” visual with appearances from Kanye West and Nas. Check out the Eif Rivera-directed video above, which features fly cars, private jets, dirt bikes, fine women and copious amounts of Henny and Ciroc. Check out the video above, and drop a comment to let us know what you...
What’s In The Tapedeck: May Edition

What’s In The Tapedeck: May 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...
Lil Durk - Shoot Sum

Lil Durk – Shoot Sum

On Lil Durk‘s new track “Shoot Sum,” the Chicago native shows off a rapid fire flow to portray his day-to-day life in Chicago over a Chop Squad DJ-produced instrumental. It’s unclear if this one will appear on Durk’s new mixtape, LilDurk2x, which is set to drop any moment now. Check it out below, and drop a comment to...
Joey Purp - Cornerstore ft. Saba & theMIND

Joey Purp – Cornerstore ft. Saba & theMIND

To say I’ve been itching to hear Joey Purp‘s upcoming project, iiiDrops, would be a complete understatement. Today, we received a taste – a new single called “Cornerstone.” Purp came correct with “Cornerstone” by enlisting Saba and theMIND for guest features, along with production from Thelonious Martin, Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale and Knox Fortune. Check out the track below, and keep an eye out for iiiDrops!
Sterling Lavelle - Maybe

Sterling Lavelle – Maybe

Twenty-two-year-old Chicago native Sterling LaVelle just released a single from his upcoming mixtape, Brainstorms and Blues. “Maybe” features fellow Windy City artist, Hugo Lee, along with production from Spazzbot. You might have this one on repeat thanks to LaVelle’s unique flow in conjunction with the cool, jazz-influenced beat. Stay tuned for the mixtape in the next coming weeks, but for now, listen...
Wiz Khalifa - Change ft. Curren$y

Wiz Khalifa – Change ft. Curren$y

Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y link up for a new track titled, “Change.” Listen below via SoundCloud for some 4/20 vibes from the How Fly crew.
SLAM Magazine Presents KOBE

SLAM Magazine Presents KOBE

SLAM Magazine recently dropped what it called a “historic” cover – Issue 198, which featured Drake, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry on its front. Now, the respected basketball mag is back with a special edition issue, dedicated to Kobe Bryant, who just wrapped up his legendary 20-year NBA career. SLAM Presents KOBE – sure to be...
Air Jordan VIII Custom 'Crying Jordan Meme' Edition

Air Jordan VIII Custom ‘Crying Jordan Meme’ Edition

It was only a matter of time. Yup, somebody crafted a custom pair of Air Jordan VIIIs with the Crying Jordan Meme on the tongues. Shout out to CryingKicks for coming up with these beauties. Though these Js are not currently for sale, they’re still worth inspecting from all angles. Check out the gallery below to get...
Caleb James - All Black

Caleb James – All Black

Savemoney‘s Caleb James is back on the scene after a bit of a hiatus since his 2013 mixtape, The Jones. He just dropped a track titled “All Black,” which contains well-written bars over a dark, ominous instrumental. As of now, there isn’t any word of a new project from Caleb, but after hearing this new track, I’m itching...
Final Fantasy XV - Reclaim Your Throne (Trailer)

Final Fantasy XV – Reclaim Your Throne (Trailer)

With a scheduled release date of September 30 this year, Square Enix has unveiled the official trailer for Final Fantasy XV. No doubt this trailer could grab any gamer’s attention, but below is perhaps an even more engaging preview for the upcoming release: the first of five episodes in an anime series, titled “Brotherhood,” which will serve as a prequel for...
Tunji Ige - Missed Calls EP

Tunji Ige – Missed Calls EP

Tunji Ige is finally back with the follow-up to his debut mixtape The Love Project, which dropped back in 2014. Since then, Tunji has dropped out of college and begun to make music full-time. The Love Project features production from Tunji and Noah Breakfast. The seven-track body of work boasts some impressive tracks, including certified banger, “On...
FKi 1st & NJOMZA - For What It's Worth (Video)

FKi 1st & NJOMZA – For What It’s Worth (Video)

If you’re not yet familiar with Atlanta producer-turned-rapper FKi 1st, that will change soon. The man helped put Post Malone on the map by co-producing “White Iverson.” He also crafted the instrumental for 2 Chainz‘ “Watch Out,” as well as music for a slew of other hip-hop stars. But now it’s FKi’s turn. Earlier this week, he released “For What it’s...