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.
Interviews
Interview: A$AP Twelvyy

Interview: A$AP Twelvyy

Photo courtesy of Cortez Visuals In early April at The Canopy Club, New York emcee A$AP Twelvyy opened for Flatbush ZOMBiES on the 3001: A Laced Odyssey Tour. After dropping his new single “Last Year Being Broke” this past New Year’s Eve, Twelvyy is positioning himself for a big year – his new mixtape, 2127301090, is set to drop shortly,...
Interview: MBK Twins

Interview: MBK Twins

Twin and Money make up the MBK Twins, an up-and-coming rap duo from the Windy City. The identical twins attended high school with Lil Durk, and the three of them are now on tour together. The MBK Twins have two bubbling records at the moment – “My Ex” and “Another Me.” They came to Urbana in...
Interview: Aryay

Interview: Aryay

Earlier this month, we sat down with Mickey Karbal, better known as Aryay, at Caffé Paradiso, a familiar study spot at the University of Illinois. He made his way back to campus for the first time in years, accompanying Brillz and Party Favor on their massive Twonk Di Nation Tour. The former Illinois student said he was relieved that...
Interview: Povi

Interview: Povi

This past Wednesday, downtown Champaign’s High Dive hosted the second stop of the Red Bull Sound Select Tour. Red Bull Sound Select is a project that brings upcoming artists out of their local scenes to showcase their music. Last week, Chambana welcomed SZA and introduced to two rising artists, Povi and Lizzo. UPC got the chance...
Interview: Kyral x Banko

Interview: Kyral x Banko

For the second installment of our Alumni Artist Series, we checked in with Bennett Kohler and Collin Burdick, two U of I graduates who have developed their own project of unique Electronic/Hip-Hop called Kyral x Banko. Collin and Ben are both currently living in Chicago and crafting tunes daily. UPC: What got you into music production? Kyral: I got into music as...
Interview: Bear Tooth

Interview: Bear Tooth

Outside the classroom, the University of Illinois exposes its students to a unique and growing culture for electronic music. Champaign-Urbana provides a creative network, which has allowed several music producers to work together and inspire one another to express themselves and continually improve their art. For our brand new Alumni Artist Series, we decided to check in...
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 The Rapper, Ab-Soul, Nico Segal and...
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 show had to be cancelled,...
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...
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 on tour with Ab-Soul and made a...
Interview: Trademark Da Skydiver

Interview: Trademark Da Skydiver

A few weeks ago, I walked into Concord Music Hall and was greeted by the lovely smell of sweet cheeba. UPC had the pleasure of attending the Smoker’s Club Tour in Chicago, and we’ve never seen a more diverse crowd—both young and old gathered in the sold out venue to experience some of the best stoner jams live rap...
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 performing his new tape and...