By JC Poppe Special to Published Mar 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The idea of giving up the identity that I have cultivated over the last five years is a troublesome one.

I have been an active member of the Milwaukee hip-hop community since 2007 and my love for the quality and quantity of output from its finest sources only grew that love.

The love culminated, for me, not in my personal recording of music but rather in the spirit of coverage that I was tasked by peers to provide for the Milwaukee hip-hop scene.

A true labor of love the two-year-old blog Milwaukee UP has been for me; a constant love letter from me to you, the Milwaukee hip-hop community.

Never in the dreams of my dreams did I imagine a day when my passion for music, music on the whole, would reduce to a feeble whimper.

Beyond the Milwaukee hip-hop scene, I've loved music since my earliest days on this planet.

I clung to the radio and the few tapes I was able to obtain when I was first introduced to the Sony Walkman.

I did everything I could to get my parents to buy me CDs, or use my gift money for CDs, once I obtained a Sony boombox.

My passion led me to not only listen to the music but to read the liner notes and covet the magazines that covered those artists that I could listen to, and especially those that I couldn't.

Never a player of music, the sound emitting from my speakers was all that I could attach myself to and I attached myself entirely to it.

This knowledge of myself, my past and the part that music has played in my development – or lack thereof, depending on with whom you speak – is a reality that has recently become much more a discussion of my past rather than my present.

Love, a once passionate love, has now turned to a far more platonic love.

Of course it is silly to think of music as an entity that can love a person back, but in its thoughts, expressions and sounds, it often felt like it did love me, the listener.

This change has led to an emotional detachment of sorts between me and my dedicated coverage of Milwaukee hip-hop and music in general.

The privilege of being able to cover something so near and dear to my heart, seemingly overnight, turned into a task that felt more hollow than it did of substance.

I felt my "pen" – which is actually my keyboard – go dry and lack vigor when the ink did flow.

The excitement and optimism I once felt when opening my email, Facebook and Twitter in the morning to catch new music from the usual and unusual suspects vanished and was replaced by melancholy feelings, no longer sublime regarding the sounds I was coming across.

It is due to this attitude that I must end the run of Milwaukee UP, because you and the artists deserve far better than what I am willing to provide at this time, in this new place that I am in.

Milwaukee UP's publisher,, deserves a writer that isn't padding a quick article with meaningless words in an attempt to continue the string of financial compensation.

While this is an end to Milwaukee UP, this is not an end to my writing completely.

I will still contribute to regularly, and I will still provide feature articles regarding music, but the coverage I once extended to the hip-hop scene in Milwaukee through Milwaukee UP will unfortunately perish.

For those upset at my decision, let me please state to you that you've given me far too much credit and power of influence.

Yes, I have been a resource that people can turn to when they want to quickly browse the goings on in the Milwaukee hip-hop community, but a resource and only a resource have I been.

Milwaukee UP has never swayed public opinion to like one artist more than another, nor has Milwaukee UP ever "broken" a record or artist.

I've simply been a man with a pen and a column.

No influence. No power.

While I do understand that my exit will leave a hole in the rising coverage of Milwaukee's hip-hop community, I have complete faith in those I've competed against to take up the slack I've created and I challenge them to make my one-time output and coverage of Milwaukee hip-hop look feeble and sparse.

My focus however will not completely shift away from all of the roles I've played in the Milwaukee hip-hop community, as I will keep my benefit concert series, Hip-Hop Hates..., alive.

Hip-Hop Hates... is where my heart is now.

Using the talented artists Milwaukee has for the benefit of a cause worth fighting for is my overwhelming focus now.

I will continue to represent several Milwaukee hip-hop artists as their manager and publicist, hoping to grow the global understanding of Milwaukee hip-hop through their music and brands.

I will continue to consult with people, when asked to do so.

Lastly, as I previously stated, I will continue to write about Milwaukee hip-hop in some form or fashion for, but just not in the form of a daily column.

I sincerely thank all of the readers, both the enthusiastic followers and those who lamented or lampooned my writing, for the time and effort you spent with me, reading my Milwaukee UP articles.

Even when it wore on me, the pressure of covering a talented scene such as the Milwaukee hip-hop scene was always a pleasure.

Thank you.

JC Poppe Special to

Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.

As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.

Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.