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
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...
Kanye West's Late Registration: 10 Years Later

Kanye West’s Late Registration: 10 Years Later

To understand the greatness of Late Registration, you first have to understand where Kanye West was in 2005. College Dropout dropped a year prior. Both groundbreaking and critically acclaimed, Ye’s debut album was an incredible project in its own right, but more importantly, what it did was prepare mainstream America for Kanye West’s massive breakout. Artists with audacious attitudes have long...
Big K.R.I.T. - 86

Big K.R.I.T. – 86

Carefully chosen samples sit alongside a smooth and refined bass line on Big K.R.I.T.‘s brand new release, “86.” The Mississippi rapper lets his southern flows shine verse to verse, a formula which will captivate your ears for the whole ride. Catch Big K.R.I.T. on his Kritically Acclaimed Tour at The Metro in Chicago, IL on November 4th.
Tim Beckman Fired As Illini Football Coach

Tim Beckman Fired As Illini Football Coach

Tim Beckman was fired Friday as the University of Illinois football coach. Though the timing of the move, just a week before the Illini’s first game, is unfortunate, it’s far from a surprise as Beckman was the subject of an external review that focused on allegations that Beckman had a role in pressuring injured players to...
GoldLink - Movin' On

GoldLink – Movin’ On

Since his mixtape The God Complex, XXL Freshman GoldLink and his producer Louie Lastic have been turning heads left and right with their unique form of soulful hip-hop. Their newest track “Movin’ On” provides high-energy grooves layered with funky guitar riffs, and of course, the infamous talk box. DC native GoldLink will be accompanying Mac Miller on...
The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness (Album)

The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness (Album)

The Weeknd, everyone’s favorite wild-haired R&B star, has finally released his highly anticipated summer album, Beauty Behind The Madness. Since the release of his series of critically acclaimed mixtapes (House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence) in 2011, The Weeknd has steadily gained a massive following. In 2014, he released his debut album Kissland, and his fan...
SD - Just The Beginning (Mixtape)

SD – Just The Beginning (Mixtape)

Chicago rapper SD delivers his newest work in the form of a 15-track mixtape entitled Just The Beginning. With production from the likes of Young Chop, Tarentino, Cashmoney AP and more, this project bangs. Stream/download this UPC favorite’s mixtape below, and drop a comment to let us know what you think.
Nike Air Oscillate "Safari"

Nike Air Oscillate “Safari”

No, you aren’t going to see Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi face off on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows as the US Open gets set to start this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the two legendary tennis players aren’t still doing battle off the court. As usual, Sampras has come out swinging with his release...
A$AP Rocky - Everyday ft. Miguel, Rod Stewart & Mark Ronson (Video)

A$AP Rocky – Everyday ft. Miguel, Rod Stewart & Mark Ronson (Video)

A$AP Rocky has had a landmark year, and is still coming off the success of his highly regarded album At.Long.Last.A$AP. One of the lead singles (and still one of my favorites from the project), “Everyday,” receives the video treatment, dropping exclusively on Apple Music today. Chalking up another big win for the streaming service, Rocky...
Brockhampton - Dirt

Brockhampton – Dirt

Earlier this summer, Brooklyn’s Fool’s Gold teamed up with fashion disruptors VFILES and pop institution MTV for VFILES LOUD!, a program to discover the best unsigned new acts around the globe and showcase them with official releases, videos, and more. After going through a number of submissions they’ve announced Texas owns BROCKHAMPTON as the clear winners....
2 Chainz - Trapavelli Tre (Mixtape)

2 Chainz – Trapavelli Tre (Mixtape)

Tity Boi is always cookin’ in the kitchen, and this time he churned up something fresh off the stove. Laced with 16 tracks, Trapavelli Tre is a trunk-rattling, street certified mixtape. Featuring production from the likes of Honorable C-Note, Zaytoven, Mike Dean, and more, this project knocks. Chainz keeps the audience drawn in his witty...
The Weeknd - Tell Your Friends (Video)

The Weeknd – Tell Your Friends (Video)

Combating album leaks is like fighting off the common cold. With Beauty Behind the Madness dropping later this week, The Weeknd is doing his best to keep the rollout going strong despite an early leak at the end of last week. Taking to Soundcloud, he released short-snippet previews of every song on the album (why...