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: 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
Jimmy Johnson - Red Ferrari (Mixtape)

Jimmy Johnson – Red Ferrari (Mixtape)

Recently, Toronto has been synonymous with quality music and noteworthy artists. The trend continues with the release of Red Ferrari, a new mixtape brought to you by OVO‘s latest signee, Jimmy Johnson. A mixtape full of melodies, harmonies and raps, Johnson’s music seems to intertwine perfectly with the OVO sound. No feature from head honcho Drake on this...
Stefan Accardo - No Man's Land

Stefan Accardo – No Man’s Land

Its been a while since we’ve heard any new music from UPC affiliate Stefan Accardo, but rest assured he’s been busy. Today he introduces his single “No Man’s Land,” which features him debuting his singing-songwriting skills for the first time. Musically speaking, the track is much darker and eerier than his previous work, with a...
Michael Christmas – Bootleg Designer ft. Sir Michael Rocks

Michael Christmas – Bootleg Designer ft. Sir Michael Rocks

Sir Michael Rocks connects with up & comer Michael Christmas for a wavy new joint titled “Bootleg Designer.” The track, which pays homage to all the fugazi gear-makers out there, is produced by Goodwin and available for stream/download. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Campus Requisites: Luka L.

Campus Requisites: Luka L.

The Campus Series was on hiatus, but the wait is finally over — we’re back to let you what’s good in Champaign-Urbana. To kick off our first Campus Requisites installment of the school year, we caught up with UPC’s own Luka L. to learn about his must-haves for life on campus. Whether kickin’ it with friends at Bonnaroo or chatting with Dreamville’s Bas, Luka’s clearly a man...
Tunji Ige - Song Of The Night

Tunji Ige – Song Of The Night

Tunji Ige continues his impressive line of releases by dropping “Song Of The Night,” a cut off his upcoming album The Love Project. With a tentative release date of December 3rd, the project is entirely produced, mixed, and mastered by Ige himself – quite impressive for just a college sophomore. The tape will also feature...
ALIFE Holiday 2014 Lookbook

ALIFE Holiday 2014 Lookbook

Today, ALIFE releases the lookbook for their 2014 Holiday collection. The line includes a handful of outerwear pieces as well as a classic all-over print t-shirt, baseball jersey, beanies and hats modeled by Tyler Grosso. Check out the lookbook in full below, and purchase the collection at ALIFE’s flagship store in NYC or via their online shop.
Tyler, The Creator - Wolf (Documentary)

Tyler, The Creator – Wolf (Documentary)

Tyler, the Creator has blessed us with a gift, one that reminds us why we love hip-hop and the culture that surrounds it. At his Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, he released a documentary detailing the making of Wolf, his most recent album. Tyler has always been known for his work behind the video lens, and in...
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 you feel alive. The setting...
Pusha T - Lunch Money (Prod. by Kanye West)

Pusha T – Lunch Money (Prod. by Kanye West)

Pusha T had arguably the toughest album of 2013 with My Name is My Name and landed one of the coveted spots on our list of Top 25 Projects. Now, as he prepares for his follow-up effort King Push, we receive another gritty dopeboy anthem. Produced by G.O.O.D. Music mastermind Kanye West (beat is absolutely disgusting, fact), we can...
A Billion Young - Glenwood (Album)

A Billion Young – Glenwood (Album)

The production duo, A Billion Young, has just released their 13-track debut project titled Glenwood. You may remember the talented duo from back in May, when they produced Towkio’s entire EP, Hotchips N Chopsticks. The tape boasts features from the likes of Teddy Jackson, Carter Lang, Will Miller and Miko. Take a listen to Glenwood below and stay...
Thelonious Martin - Purp Interlude ft. Joey Purp

Thelonious Martin – Purp Interlude ft. Joey Purp

Chicago producer Thelonious Martin has been around for a while. Whether it be producing loosies for Chance, Vic, and the rest of Savemoney, or curating and producing his own album, Thelonious is a master at his craft. Today, he has announced the much-awaited release date for his debut, entitled Wünderkid. This new album will feature the likes...
Rick Ross - Neighborhood Drug Dealer (Prod. by Metro Boomin)

Rick Ross – Neighborhood Drug Dealer (Prod. by Metro Boomin)

On the cusp of his new album Hood Billionaire, Rick Ross unleashes a new track in the form of “Neighborhood Drug Dealer.” The Florida-based, pear eating boss is assisted by producer Metro Boomin, who does not disappoint with a beat that meshes peerlessly with Ross’ hard-hitting lyrics. Hood Billionaire is set to release on November 24th. You can test...