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.
Campus Requisites: Eli S.

Campus Requisites: Eli S.

For our latest Campus Series installment, and first Campus Requisites feature, we went ahead and checked out what UPC member Eli S. regards as his essentials to life in Champaign-Urbana. Eli, who hails from the good ‘ol DMV, ventured out here to the Midwest to pursue a degree in Journalism....
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...
Photos: Social Experiment Tour in Champaign 10/25

Photos: Social Experiment Tour in Champaign 10/25

Last Friday, Champaign locals and UIUC students were treated to the biggest hip-hop show so far this semester. As part of the Social Experiment Tour, Chicago native Chance The Rapper made his way down to central Illinois with DJ Spinn and DJ Rashad for their inaugural performance. UPC was also...
Review: Pusha T - My Name Is My Name

Review: Pusha T – My Name Is My Name

Review written by Eli S. (@eschwad). In 2002, my brother and I walked into an F.Y.E. in a Maryland shopping mall. After some deliberation, I walked out of the CD store with Jay-Z’s newest release The Blueprint 2 in hand (clean version, of course!), while my brother opted for The...
Photos: Krewella Get Wet Live Tour in Urbana 10/16

Photos: Krewella Get Wet Live Tour in Urbana 10/16

Last night Krewella performed in front of a sold out crowd at the The Canopy Club in Urbana, IL as part of their Get Wet Live Tour. The night included electrifying performances by the trio, as well as tourmates Seven Lions, Candyland, and Milk N Cookies. Relive the nights festivities again (or...
Interview: Alex Wiley

Interview: Alex Wiley

Steven began his review of Alex Wiley‘s debut mixtape Club Wiley by saying “first impressions are more important than they have ever been” in the digital era of music. The young emcee from the Southside of Chicago has not only managed to receive good first impressions from peers and critics alike...
Review: Trillectro Music Festival 2013

Review: Trillectro Music Festival 2013

A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to travel down to the DMV for the one and only Trillectro Music Festival. This was the second year that the beautiful city of Washington, DC got to play host to this unique musical event which combines electronic and hip-hop music unlike...
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....
Top Tweets of Unofficial 2013

Top Tweets of Unofficial 2013

What initially started as a marketing ploy by local bar owners in the Champaign-Urbana area, has transpired over the years into something that’s been adopted as a major staple of student culture at the University of Illinois. I mean, UPC even participated with our own rendition of gear just for...
Latest entries
Lil Herb - Whatchu Get

Lil Herb – Whatchu Get

Chicago’s Lil Herb is on the rise, and his new track “Whatchu Get” is just further proof of that. After collaborating with Nicki Minaj on the bar-ridden Chi-Raq, G Herbo is back with another solid record, this time produced by J. Herd. “Whatchu Get” will appear on Adult Swim and Complex‘s upcoming The Boondocks: Season 4 mixtape....
Mick Jenkins - Steam

Mick Jenkins – Steam

As a part of DJBooth’s Freestyle Series, Mick Jenkins offers up “Steam,” a track chock-full of bars delivered with passion and precision. “Tell me can you tell that this nigga is the realest/Nigga I’m a realist/So many layers and it’s really ’bout how many you peeling back” he spits over the TJay Beats-produced instrumental. Listen below, download...
Saba - 401K

Saba – 401K

Chicago’s Saba releases a new track today with “401K.” Listen to/download the BRPJD-produced record below, and let us know what you think of the Pivot Gang emcee’s work. This is the second official drop from Saba’s forthcoming project Comfort Zone, slated to release in full later this spring. Be sure to support by downloading when he offers...
J Dilla - Give Em What They Want

J Dilla – Give Em What They Want

Unreleased J Dilla surfaces in the form of “Give Em What They Want,” produced by the late Detroit native alongside Supa Dave West. We all know Dilla the producer, but many forget that dude could flat out spit, too. This track, recorded in 2001, is slated to appear on Dilla’s upcoming album The Diary, set to drop on...
Spike Lee to Attend "Do The Right Thing" Screening at Ebertfest 2014

Spike Lee to Attend “Do The Right Thing” Screening at Ebertfest 2014

It’s April in Champaign, and that means that the late Roger Ebert‘s film festival is right around the corner. Movie fanatics and filmmakers from across the globe visit the Virginia Theater each spring for the legendary U of I alum’s annual festival. This year, Ebertfest is highlighted by one very special guest appearance. Spike Lee...
Sango x Goldlink - Wassup

Sango x Goldlink – Wassup

Fresh off his successful release Da Rocinha 2, Michigan’s hottest producer Sango teams up with DMV representer GoldLink, who has also been making a name for himself as of late. You’ll recognize Sango’s sampling of Toto La Momposina‘s 1992 track “Cultura,” which was famously sampled by Timbaland for his song with Magoo, “Indian Flute.” Always...
Katie Got Bandz Live at Landmark Hotel in Urbana (Video)

Katie Got Bandz Live at Landmark Hotel in Urbana (Video)

Chicago’s own Katie Got Bandz visited Urbana this past Friday for a show at the Landmark Hotel. The first lady of drill got the crowd jumping with a set highlighted by her smash hit, “Pop Out.” Check out the video above, courtesy of Two Brainz TV, and support Katie by downloading her 2013 mixtape Drillary Clinton. Be...
Childish Gambino - Sweatpants ft. Problem (Video)

Childish Gambino – Sweatpants ft. Problem (Video)

Fresh off his performance last night with Jhene Aiko at Coachella, Childish Gambino‘s label Glassnote Records (and clearly not Mr. Glover himself from his tweets last night) dropped this experimental and trippy visual for the lyrically-laced track “Sweatpants.” Clones still sleeping – Donald Glover trolls your lifestyle yet again. because the internet is in stores now....
Photos: Excision Live in Urbana 4/8

Photos: Excision Live in Urbana 4/8

Last week Excision stopped by The Canopy Club in Urbana, IL for a show, as part of his 2014 tour. As always, UPC was in the house. We sent our photographer Robert M. in to capture the mind-blowing video & lighting installation (aptly named “Executioner”), as well as experience the advertised 150,000 watts of sound....
Contest: Win Tickets to Danny Brown in Urbana, IL on 4/24

Contest: Win Tickets to Danny Brown in Urbana, IL on 4/24

Danny Brown, alongside Lucki Eck$ and Zelooperz, will be invading Urbana, IL next Thursday, April 24th, for a show at the Canopy Club. The 18+ event all kicks off at 9pm. Danny Brown is a Detroit MC who embraced his unique hood/hipster personality, took full advantage of social media, and — fueled by his experiences with drug...
Interview: Mick Jenkins

Interview: Mick Jenkins

The first Mick Jenkins song I ever heard was “Value Village.” On the smooth, piano-laced track, Jenkins breaks down why he opts to shop at the local thrift store instead of spending hefty sums of cash on un-used, brand name clothing. What first caught my attention about the 2011 record was MJ’s ability to take such...
SZA - Z (Album)

SZA – Z (Album)

TDE‘s SZA releases her debut album today. Z is a 10-track body of work that showcases the 23-year-old singer’s serious pipes. With features from three of hip-hop’s hottest commodities in Chance The Rapper, Isaiah Rashad and Kendrick Lamar, don’t sleep on this project. Stream below from Spotify and support the young artist by copping the project...