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: 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
Migos - Bando (Short Film)

Migos – Bando (Short Film)

Atlanta’s Migos is far and away hip-hop’s most popular group at the moment. Recently, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff teamed up with Complex Media to deliver the first ever trap-musical. Watch the short film above, which features previously released music such as “Contraband,” “Birds,” “Migo Dreams” and “Bando.” Be sure to drop a comment and let...
Nacho Picasso - In The Trump (Prod. by Harry Fraud)

Nacho Picasso – In The Trump (Prod. by Harry Fraud)

The latest signee to Harry Fraud‘s SRFSCHL imprint gets blessed with a beat from the man himself, as Seattle’s weirdo Nacho Picasso gives us some bars over La Musica De Harry Fraud with “In The Trump.” Always nice to get new music from Nacho P. Stream and download below.
Klevah - handsUP

Klevah – handsUP

It’s been a while since we’ve been blessed with anything new from the Urbana-based lyrical firebrand Klevah. After her debut project, The W8, I’ve been waiting for more. Blending between areas that resemble more spoken word poetry than top 40 hip-hop and areas of hazy, hypnotic hooks, Klev definitely impresses with “handsUP,” the first single off her upcoming...
Ro Ransom - Anaconda Vise (Video)

Ro Ransom – Anaconda Vise (Video)

As Ro Ransom gears up for the release of Ro Ransom Is The Future, he teams up with illRoots to present a new visual for “Anaconda Vise.” This punchline-heavy banger serves as the first official single off the tape. Check it out above and look out for RRITF soon. Direct by illRoots, produced by RobGotBeats.
What's In The Tapedeck: September Edition

What’s In The Tapedeck: September 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...
Wale - The Album About Nothing (Trailer)

Wale – The Album About Nothing (Trailer)

Wale teases his upcoming Album About Nothing with a new trailer. The project will feature Folarin’s friend Jerry Seinfeld, much in the same vein as the DMV artist’s well-received Mixtape About Nothing and More About Nothing. Check out the clip above and expect Album About Nothing to drop in the near future.
QuESt - Searching Sylvan (Mixtape)

QuESt – Searching Sylvan (Mixtape)

QuESt seemed to be off the grid one year ago. After dropping Fear Not Failure (a very slept-on mixtape in our opinion), he was not generating nearly as much buzz as he was when first breaking onto the scene in 2009. Now signed to Visionary Music Group, QuESt has dropped a myriad of dope leaks and regained the attention...
Curren$y x 1992Gear "Cruiselife CC" Collection

Curren$y x 1992Gear “Cruiselife CC” Collection

1992Gear and Curren$y have teamed up for a dope collection called Cruiselife CC. The capsule features a hoodie, four t-shirts, two long-sleeve tees, and two snapbacks. Check out the capsule below and head over to the 1992Gear website to get your hands on this limited edition collection.  
Saba, Frank Leone & John Walt Live in Urbana, IL on 9/11

Saba, Frank Leone & John Walt Live in Urbana, IL on 9/11

After releasing his long-awaited project Comfort Zone mixtape in July and rocking his first ever festival at North Coast, Saba is coming down to Urbana for a headliner at The Canopy Club on Thursday, September 11 along with Hurt Everybody, John Walt, and Frank Leone. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 10 p.m....
Pell - Runaway (Video)

Pell – Runaway (Video)

When you think of New Orleans rap, it’s likely that Lil Wayne and Curren$y immediately come to mind. Today, however, I ask you to expand your horizons within the cajun metropolis, and turn your attention toward young rapsmith Pell.  Coming off of the release of his first album Floating While Dreaming, the refreshingly frank emcee brings...
Kehlani - Cloud 19 (Mixtape)

Kehlani – Cloud 19 (Mixtape)

Not going to lie, I followed Kehlani on Twitter at first because I’m a sucker for girls with tattoos. But after listening to the opening track on Cloud 19, it’s clear that the singer/songwriter from Oakland has pipes. She definitely has one of the more calming, beautiful voices we’ve heard in new-age R&B — somewhat comparable to Jhene Aiko,...
Kembe X - Kembe X EP

Kembe X – Kembe X EP

Between the Save Money army, Mick Jenkins, Saba, Alex Wiley, and the entire drill scene, it’s easy for emcees like Kembe X to get lost in the crowded scene of upcoming Chicago rappers.  That’s where Scion A/V comes in. After already shedding the spotlight on Tree, another Chi-town native, Scion recruits Kembe for its next EP release.  The self-titled EP...