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: 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 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
Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money (Album)

Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money (Album)

Following an impressive night at the BET Awards alongside girlfriend Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill decided to grace the internet with his much anticipated album DWMTM. With so many rap albums coming out this year, Meek decided to take advantage in the brief lull of releases and put his album up on iTunes. With some impressive...
Ty Dolla $ign - Blasé ft. Future & Rae Sremmurd

Ty Dolla $ign – Blasé ft. Future & Rae Sremmurd

Ty Dolla $ign has a new banger in the form of “Blasé” featuring fellow hit-makers Future and Rae Sremmurd. With a classic hook, high-energy beat and cool lyrics, this song is a must-have on any turn-up playlist. As of late, these guys cannot miss and sleeping on this hit would be a sin. Look out for Ty’s new...
Yung Lean, Bladee, MonyHorse, PETZ & Junkman - Tokyo Drift

Yung Lean, Bladee, MonyHorse, PETZ & Junkman – Tokyo Drift

Sweden and Japan link up on this posse cut featuring Sad Boys’ Yung Lean and Bladee, as well as Tokyo rappers MonyHorse, PETZ and Junkman. “Tokyo Drift” brings an interesting mix of English-Japanese bars for you to try and decipher over an equally tough instrumental. Listen to the Chaki Zulu-produced track below.
Moods - New Horizons EP

Moods – New Horizons EP

Over the past three years, Rotterdam’s Moods has continually dropped one masterpiece after another, setting him among some of Netherlands’ top electronic music producers. If the name didn’t give it away already, Moods has the ability to create vivid, emotional landscapes in all of his music. His New Horizons EP has just hit the digital shelves via Boogie Angst and features his renowned swinging...
Future - News Or Somthn

Future – News Or Somthn

Future Hendrix, Dirty Sprite Legendary! The Atlanta crooner is back once again with new music — this time, a Nard & B-produced track, “News Or Somthn.” Future is just on one of those rolls right now. He’s dropped three incredible mixtapes in the past eight months — Monster, Beast Mode and 56 Nights — and it...
Travi$ Scott - Antidote

Travi$ Scott – Antidote

After recently dropping “3500,” Travi$ Scott is back with another new track, “Antidote.” All signs point to the Houston rapper dropping his debut album, Rodeo, sometime this summer. Until then, enjoy “Antidote,” and be sure to download La Flame’s previous project, Days Before Rodeo, if you haven’t done so already. As always, leave a comment to let us...
Nacho Picasso - Blunt Raps 2 (Mixtape)

Nacho Picasso – Blunt Raps 2 (Mixtape)

By now you know the drill. The amount of work Nacho P has been giving us as of late has been impressive to say the least, and if you’ve grown an appreciation for his dark and witty rhymes then you know this is yet another blessing. This time around he gives us Blunt Raps 2,...
GDNA & Frank Leone - Rapture ft. Donnie Trumpet & Akenya

GDNA & Frank Leone – Rapture ft. Donnie Trumpet & Akenya

It’s been a while since we’re heard from former UIUC student Frank Leone, but since he has moved to Chicago, he’s certainly been making waves – most notably with the release of his full-length project EnterWILD. Today, he and LA-based instrumentalist GDNA bring us “Rapture,” featuring none other than Donnie Trumpet (the mastermind behind Surf) on horns...
Open Mike Eagle - Ziggy Starfish (Video)

Open Mike Eagle – Ziggy Starfish (Video)

Open Mike Eagle‘s brand new A Special Episode EP  encapsulates a variety of stylish flows that any fan of rap will adore. For his final track on the EP, “Ziggy Starfish (Anti – Anxiety Raps),” Open Mike teamed up with London’s Gold Panda to make a powerful and lasting impression. The aesthetic beauty of Gold Panda’s production puts the listener in an environment which embodies signs of hope,...
TiRon & Ayomari - The Great New Wonderful (Album)

TiRon & Ayomari – The Great New Wonderful (Album)

You’ve got to hand it to TiRon & Ayomari. Being continuously slept-on hasn’t stopped them from putting out incredible bodies of work time and time again for their fans. Today they drop their new album titled The Great New Wonderful. The 8-track project finds the Cali duo emitting nothing but good energy and positive vibes, giving this...
BAPE Air Jordan 1 by JBF Customs

BAPE Air Jordan 1 by JBF Customs

This BAPE x Air Jordan 1 is everything but official, yet its something I think many of us would place under the “match made in heaven” category. JBF Customs took is upon themselves to create this one of a kind Air Jordan 1, utilizing an authentic BAPE jacket and black denim to reconstruct the shoe....
Travi$ Scott - 3500 ft. Future & 2 Chainz

Travi$ Scott – 3500 ft. Future & 2 Chainz

Who knew that North West would have such an impact on the rap world? After Kim K bought her baby a brand new $3500 coat, Travi$ Scott was so inspired that he decided to drop an 8 minute banger in honor of the occasion. Recruiting an ensemble of ATLiens, including Future and 2 Chainz, along with producers...