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
Post Malone - Holyfield

Post Malone – Holyfield

Post Malone can do no wrong. After dropping bangers like “White Iverson,” “Tears,” and “Too Young,” the 19-year-old Houston native delivers another heater in the form of “Holyfield.” Post’s new track is so good that one listen might make your ears fall off (see what I did there?). Wack jokes aside, peep the FKi-produced “Holyfield”...
Omen - Elephant Eyes (Album)

Omen – Elephant Eyes (Album)

It’s been a long time coming (3 years to be exact), but we finally get to hear what Chicago and Dreamville’s own Omen has been preparing for the world to hear. Earlier this week he released his debut LP, Elephant Eyes. The 11-track album features production from Omen and Ron Gilmore, as well as collaborations with J. Cole,...
Review: Vince Staples - Summertime '06

Review: Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

Review written by Crystal W. (@trap_duchess). Vince Staples has been the underdog his entire life. Growing up in Long Beach, California was no easy task, nary a source of expression for a young man with a lot to say. Despite a harsh upbringing (or maybe because of it), Vince has come a long way. From his first...
2 Chainz - Watch Out

2 Chainz – Watch Out

The artist formerly known as Tity Boi showed up at the NBPA Basketball Players Awards last night to debut his new song “Watch Out.” 2 Chainz also took to Instagram to announce his upcoming project TraPavelli Tre will be released on August 13th. It wouldn’t be a summer without new 2 Chainz, and judging by this first single, we...
Know Your Feud: Action Bronson vs. Ghostface Killah

Know Your Feud: Action Bronson vs. Ghostface Killah

Unless you’re new to the world of hip-hop, the specter of a feud between artists is nothing new. These disputes are inescapable. Sometimes, we get great music out of these battles (Jay-Z vs. Nas). Or, maybe, only one artist has anything to gain (Freddie Gibbs vs. Jeezy). In other instances, two artists will keep the...
Vic Mensa - Codeine Crazy (Icarus Story) [Remix]

Vic Mensa – Codeine Crazy (Icarus Story) [Remix]

For those of you who attended this years Pitchfork Music Festival you might recognize this track, as Vic performed it live for the first time this past weekend. Today, the Savemoney militant gives us the CDQ of his remix to Future‘s popular song “Codeine Crazy.” His adaption is a bit different than the original, taking the...
Vic Mensa & Skrillex - No Chill

Vic Mensa & Skrillex – No Chill

Beats1 Radio has been on fire ever since its conception, with interviews from Zane Lowe, The Pharmacy by Dr. Dre, and even Drizzy taking over as DJ. This past weekend we were treated to yet another exclusive during Zane Lowe’s Beats1 show, from none other than Chicago’s own Vic Mensa. “No Chill” is an absolute banger,...
Young Thug - Pacifier

Young Thug – Pacifier

While controversy and drama shroud the space that Young Thug has occupied as of late, with multiple run-ins with the law, and a conspiracy of murder hanging over his head, it is easy to forget the musical genius that is Young Thugga Mane La Flare. Thankfully, the self-proclaimed stoner continues to drop reminders in the...
Post Malone - White Iverson (Video)

Post Malone – White Iverson (Video)

Post Malone‘s “White Iverson” has been on repeat since its release. Finally, the 19-year-old Houston native gives his breakout track the visual treatment — a nearly five-minute clip in which the cornrowed youngster hits up the desert for some off-roading fun in a Rolls Royce, and, no surprise here, a lil’ hoop session. Also included in the video … an...
YG - Twist My Fingaz

YG – Twist My Fingaz

It’s been a minute since YG dropped new ish. Recently, the Compton native released the first single off his upcoming album, Still Krazy. The track is called “Twist My Fingaz,” and it contains the classic west coast, g-funk sound. Listen to the Terrace Martin-produced solo cut below, and let us know what you think by leaving...
L'Orange & Kool Keith - The Wanderer (Video)

L’Orange & Kool Keith – The Wanderer (Video)

Underground North Carolina rapper L’Orange has just dropped a new video with dream collaboration, Kool Keith. L’Orange is known for his old-fashioned, jazz sounding beats, while Kool Keith is an old-school hip-hop legend and master of bizarre, abstract lyricism and complex internal rhyme, influencing everyone from MF Doom to Eminem. His rapping sounds incredible over unconventional beats,...
Chuck & Mike - Super Squad

Chuck & Mike – Super Squad

For those who remember when The Cool Kids took the game by storm, no introduction for Chuck & Mike is necessary.  For those who don’t know about this dynamic duo, take advantage of that free trial from Apple Music and check out their project Bake Sale to get familiar with their boom-bap beginnings. After Sir Michael tweeted that The...