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
Fetty Wap - My Way

Fetty Wap – My Way

Fetty Wap is here to stay. Following the success of “Trap Queen,” the only thing he’s done is continue to drop bangers. The New Jersey crooner is the latest melodic rapper to hit the scene — he’s in the same vein as guys such as Rich Homie Quan and Future. Listen to Fetty’s latest offering...
Young Thug - Barter 6 (Album)

Young Thug – Barter 6 (Album)

Today, Young Thug delivered his highly anticipated Barter 6 project. The album has been the topic of much conversation as of late because of its controversial title. Thugger has been very clear about the fact that Lil Wayne is his favorite rapper, and as a result, the Atlanta rapper wants to let people know that he’s simply...
Tyler, The Creator - Cherry Bomb (Album)

Tyler, The Creator – Cherry Bomb (Album)

It’s been hard to keep up with music releases this year, and Sunday night/Monday morning we were treated to another big album drop. Cherry Bomb, the third LP of Tyler The Creator‘s career, dropped following Twitter hype and one helluva Coachella performance. The album marks a definitive growth in Tyler’s artistry and seems to be the music...
Tyler, The Creator - Smuckers ft. Kanye West & Lil Wayne

Tyler, The Creator – Smuckers ft. Kanye West & Lil Wayne

Tyler, The Creator grew up listening to Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Now, the Los Angeles emcee is on a track with both of them. On Tyler’s own album. Life is crazy, huh? Stream “Smuckers” — a cut from Tyler’s new album Cherry Bomb — below. All three hip-hop heavyweights impress on this bar-ridden collaboration. Peep below...
Bricc Baby Shitro - Nasty Dealer (Mixtape)

Bricc Baby Shitro – Nasty Dealer (Mixtape)

Bricc Baby Shitro, formerly known as MPA Shitro, recently dropped his latest mixtape titled Nasty Dealer via Complex. For those of you unfamiliar with Shitty, he’s an associate of Kid Ink’s Batgang and was heavily featured on Brodinski’s debut album. If you’re a fan of trap then this mixtape is definitely worth a listen, as it...
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Sunday Candy (Short Film)

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Sunday Candy (Short Film)

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment dropped their long-awaited short film for song “Sunday Candy” yesterday, and it made our Sunday that much better. The one-shot short film is co-directed by Austin Vesely, Chance The Rapper, and Ian Eastwood. From the lighting to the insane choreography, this video without a doubt hits you in the feels...
Vic Mensa - U Mad ft. Kanye West

Vic Mensa – U Mad ft. Kanye West

Vic unveils his collaboration with Kanye today, releasing the full version of “U Mad” via Soundcloud. The track is loud and booming, with impressive verses from the Chi-town representers. This is definitely something you won’t mind blasting over the weekend. Production on this one was handled by Stefan Ponce, Smoko Ono, and Mike Dean. Stream...
Curren$y - Pilot Talk III (Album)

Curren$y – Pilot Talk III (Album)

Curren$y is one of the most consistent rappers in my books — right up there with guys like Gucci Mane and Future. His Pilot Talk album series has gained a cult following, and this week, Spitta blessed us with the third installment. Consisting of 15 tracks with features from the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Jadakiss and Styles P,...
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 show had to be cancelled,...
Mick Jenkins - Alchemy

Mick Jenkins – Alchemy

Does Mick Jenkins ever smile? The jury’s still out on that one. Is he one of the rawest rappers coming up today? Absolutely. With a new EP titled The Wave[s] on the way this summer, it looks like Mick’s not going anywhere soon. While you wait on that, you can sit back and listen to this...
Future - March Madness (Video)

Future – March Madness (Video)

Future drops the video for “March Madness,” a standout track from his latest mixtape, 56 Nights. The Atlanta rapper is one of the hottest artists out right now — this visual is proof of just that. Watch the Vincent Lou-directed clip above and let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Be sure...
A Shift in the Tides

A Shift in the Tides

Comparisons are the currency of the music industry, and that of the entertainment industry as a whole. They provide the fabric for conversation, allowing us to thread arguments against each other in debate as we match artists and products against the greats. However, what often gets lost in the comparisons is the value and solitude of...