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
Ro Ransom - Ro Ransom Is The Future (Mixtape)

Ro Ransom – Ro Ransom Is The Future (Mixtape)

It’s been nearly two years since Ro Ransom dropped off Ransomnia, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. The first disc of his upcoming three-part release is here today in the form of Ro Ransom Is The Future. The project features 14 tracks from the Harlem native, including his infectious single “Anaconda Vise.” Stream...
Frank Leone - Bites, Bumps and Scratches EP

Frank Leone – Bites, Bumps and Scratches EP

Yes, Halloween is a day away. Yes, you’re probably still struggling to find a costume just like I am. And finally, yes, Frank Leone did drop an entire EP of new music last week – entitled Bites, Bumps and Scratches - what must be a homage to college-town-USA’s favorite holiday. While these are just loosies, and not singles...
Jean Deaux - Motel 6 (Video)

Jean Deaux – Motel 6 (Video)

One of the more mysterious creatives coming from the rising Chicago music scene, Jean Deaux has been consistently turning heads with her various song releases as well as features on breakout projects such as Isaiah Rashad’s Cilvia Demo (“Menthol”) and Mick Jenkins’ The Water[s] (“Healer”). With her soulful voice and an uncanny ability to write intricate and...
Theophilus London - Can't Stop ft. Kanye West

Theophilus London – Can’t Stop ft. Kanye West

Theophilus London‘s new album Vibes! is set to drop November 4th. Kanye West executive produced the album and is featured on track number four, “Can’t Stop.” Yeezy’s new project is due out soon, as well. Listen to “Can’t Stop” below via London’s SoundCloud and let us know what you think!
Lil Wayne - Gotti ft. The Lox

Lil Wayne – Gotti ft. The Lox

Lil Wayne fans are going to have to wait a bit longer than expected to hear Tha Carter V, as the release date has been pushed back to December 9th. On the bright side, Weezy decided to bless us with another leak from the upcoming album. This time, Tunechi links up with Jadakiss and Styles P of The Lox for “Gotti.” Listen...
Future - Monster (Mixtape)

Future – Monster (Mixtape)

Future gets into the Halloween spirit a few days early and blesses his fans with a new mixtape titled Monster. He enlists Lil Wayne for the tapes sole guest feature, and hit-makers such as Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, Dun Deal, 808 Mafia to provide the sounds. Stream and download the tape below. Download: Future – Monster...
Young Roddy - Legal Dealing EP

Young Roddy – Legal Dealing EP

Over the past month the Jet Life camp has been dropping mixtape after mixtape, reminiscent of the run their Captain Spitta Andretti had a few years ago when he dropped seven tapes within a few months. After releasing two installments of Saturday Night Car Tunes as well as three free Jet Life collaboration projects, it’s about that time for their rising emcee Young...
T.I. - About The Money (Remix) ft. Young Thug, Jeezy & Lil Wayne

T.I. – About The Money (Remix) ft. Young Thug, Jeezy & Lil Wayne

“About The Money” quickly became one of the songs of the summer after its original release in June. This week, T.I. blessed us with the remix assisted by Jeezy, Lil Wayne and a new verse from Young Thug. It’s safe to say that anything Thug touches turns to gold, so don’t hesitate to give this song...
Sango - Just, Hold On For a Second

Sango – Just, Hold On For a Second

Soulection-signed producer Sango has been blowing up on SoundCloud for a while now, and while I don’t usually listen to instrumental-only tunes, Sango is one of few exceptions. 2014 has been Sango’s year, as he’s flourished on remixes for Vic Mensa and Tinashe, among many others. Today’s track “Just, Hold On For a Second” showcases the Michigan-based...
Drake - 6 God x Heat of the Moment

Drake – 6 God x Heat of the Moment

Drake is back with new music. After “How About Now” leaked last week, Drizzy releases two fresh tracks entitled “6 God,” produced by Boi-1da and Syk Sense, and “Heat of the Moment,” produced by 40. Stream/download these songs via Drake’s SoundCloud page and let us know what you think of the Toronto native’s latest work. Album number...
Saba - Burnout ft. Eryn Allen Kane (Video)

Saba – Burnout ft. Eryn Allen Kane (Video)

If you haven’t heard Saba‘s ComfortZone yet, you’re tweaking. If you have, you’re probably as excited for this video as I am. Perhaps one of the best cuts on the tape, “Burnout,” features Eryn Allen Kane, whose smooth but staccato vocals compliment Saba’s frenetic flow perfectly. If you’re not on board with the Chicago emcee yet,...
Low Pros - 100 Bottles ft. Travi$ Scott (Video)

Low Pros – 100 Bottles ft. Travi$ Scott (Video)

Following up his sophomore debut Days Before Rodeo, a project that shook up the hip-hop soundscape, Travi$ Scott shows us what he can do on the green screen. We get treated to some dope visuals for “100 Bottles,” a banger produced by supergroup Low Pros (A-Trak and Lex Luger), featuring vocals from Travi$. Directed by Nate Brown and...