I Found My Next Pregame Album: Guin Records' "Uncharted"

I Found My Next Pregame Album: Guin Records' "Uncharted"

My friend and I listened to some new songs that we think people should know about.

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This weekend as we got ready for a night out on the town, my friend introduced me to some new songs that have a production story equally impressive as the songs themselves. The songs were created by independent young artists and produced by fellow college students!


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Born out of hours spent in a college dorm room listening to underground artists on Soundcloud and YouTube (can't say I'm not guilty of this either), Guin Records co-founder Milan Kordestani teamed up with his sister, Misha, to forge a sibling venture that combines his business acumen with her artistic vision. I love stories like this from people my age. The brother-sister duo shares a unifying and relatable ideal: Music creation and promotion are based on teamwork, which is integral to discovering new talent. Now Guin Records is a fully operational, U.S.-based independent record label that provides undiscovered young artists access to first-rate production, promotion, and distribution.

The label maked its initial mark in the urban music industry, with its debut hip-hop album "Uncharted" dropping on iTunes and Spotify on July 1st. A watershed milestone for the label, it features a collection of over 14 artists, each track providing an auditory vignette of assorted emcees determined to make a name for themselves.

Guin Records' ambitions are evident in the three singles—"Wave" by Prospectz Nation, "One of Us" by Prophecy and "Still Doin' It" by Surve—released in the weeks leading up to "Uncharted." As my friend and I got ready for the night putting on our lipstick and such, we couldn't help but get down to these catchy songs.

"Wave" begins with some hypnotic, washed out vocals that's quickly subdued by alternating bursts of shimmering synths and punchy baselines, peppered with some opportune spurts of horns to give this smoker's anthem a healthy taste of jazzy flair. Breezy, yet thumping, "Wave" could easily find itself situated in a Majestic Casual or on a summer-themed Spotify playlist. It's almost tailor-made to transcend you into a hazy, sun-tinged daze.

A similar carousel feeling is all over "One of Us." It's the banger of the bunch, the beat mixing an airy, pitched-up vocal loop with throbs of bass pulsating throughout the track, giving it a wistful bite. Prophecy fancies himself as the Mafioso-type, and the images he evokes are well-worn, even if it works off an almost lunatic script, claiming he doesn't "need a hat to know [he's] supreme" and that he's "focused on all this green." With its repetitive hook, wild energy, and tight rhymes, "One of Us" has this lingering dark and ominous swagger, almost like Prophecy has this intuitive sense that he will command the attention of whatever room he steps into. He tells the listener to "run it up," and perhaps we should heed that advice. It is a great addition to my pregame playlist.


guinrecords.com

Of the three singles, "Still Doin' It" is the most rooted in traditional hip-hop. The track is sparse, mellow, low-key, but laced with additional instrumental flourishes, separate melodies in the form of piano keys and picked the guitar to give it a '90s East Coast vibe. Surve's flow is ferocious and unrelenting, gritty but emotional. The cover art's allusion to Sisyphus approximates the song's message "Still do it for the realest, still mixin' lyrics in the lab like a chemist." His verses feel like he's giving it all just to get out of the booth and crank out some more tracks. One may think Yigil's feature could slow Surve's momentum, but the hustle doesn't prove to be zero-sum, it's only invigorated. While the former two singles concern themselves with the you only live once kind of party mentality, "Still Doin' It" is a reminder that the grind to the top continues the day after. It provides an uplifting, motivational compliment to the sun-kissed "Wave" and the shadowy "One of Us," almost like each song was specifically curated to be the ideal backdrops to your morning, afternoon and night.

Where all three tracks differ in ambiance, they are united by the braggadocio that comes with an emcee trying to make a name for themselves. If these three tracks are only a sampling of what's to come, then "Uncharted" is shaping up to be a worthwhile listen. My friend and I enjoyed them and will continue to root for these young artists.

Cover Image Credit: Guin Records

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I'm Slowly Learning To Say Goodbye To Everything That Is No Longer Good For Me

Goodbyes are necessary in order for you to move on to the next phase of your growth.

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Whether you like to realize it or not, life passes you by quickly. Nothing is set in stone and nothing lasts forever. When it comes to your life, the things and the people in it, it can sometimes be hard to let go and say goodbye. But goodbyes are necessary to move on to the next phase of your growth.

Now that we are well into the new year, I have proposed to myself the task of saying goodbye. I want to work on closing the door behind me and looking ahead. Starting the new year off on the right foot and moving forward starts by saying goodbye to the past. It is time to realize my life is headed in a different direction and the things that once mattered to me or who I was before are no longer important.

There should not be much room in your life for storage.

In life, space is limited, and that space should only be occupied with the things that mattered most. As we grow older, those things start to change. We value different things and our personalities start to change.

There is true power in saying goodbye to what once was. I have never been good at goodbyes. In fact, I hate them. Goodbyes and change scare me, and holding on and dwelling is sometimes easier.

But this time, I'm slowly learning to say goodbye to everything that is no longer good for me.

I'm learning to say goodbye to the people in my life who don't provide any type of quality to who I am as a person. I'm saying goodbye to the doubters, the selfish, the arrogant, the lazy and the fake. I'm saying goodbye to the ones who shattered my heart and didn't look back to see where the pieces fell.

I'm learning to let go of the negative perspectives and attitude I've held on to for so long. I'm learning to let go of my self-doubt, the "I'm not good enough's" or "I'm not smart enough's." It's time to stop looking in the mirror and wishing I was more than what I am. It's time to say goodbye to the pessimist inside of me.

I'm learning to say goodbye to a comfortable lifestyle because it's the one I've always known. It is time for me to embrace change.

I'm learning to say goodbye to the fear of the unknown.

It's time for me to accept new challenges and new opportunities without fear. I'm learning to say goodbye to bad habits and limiting beliefs. I'm learning to say goodbye to everything and anything that is preventing me from living the life I want. I'm learning to let go of everything that once made me sad.

I'm learning to say goodbye to who I once was and how to hold on to the right things.

I'm holding on to the difficulties that make me grow, to the people that encourage me and see the real me. I'm holding on to family and self-love. I'm learning to say hello to a new life.

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All Internships Should Be Paid Internships

Not everyone can afford to work for free.

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Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted recently about chatting with workers at a D.C. restaurant and finding out that many of them were also employed by Congress. They had taken up serving or bartending because the pay from their respective Congressional offices was not enough to support them alone.

This ignited a larger conversation about how much interns in all fields should be paid--which is to say, whether interns should be paid at all.

It's still fairly commonplace for interns to receive no monetary compensation for their work, even if they do receive other perks, like college credit. Some internships offer a travel stipend, or even an overall stipend--amounts that are more than nothing but are nevertheless not equal to what someone could earn making minimum wage for the same number of hours.

This is legal because interns are considered trainees who get as much or more benefit from the arrangement than their employers do. They are getting valuable experience in their industries, practicing how to be an employee in a given field, and gaining work history and references for their resumes and future applications.

Internships are undeniably worthwhile. They are often crucial for getting a foothold in tough industries; job candidates with internship experience have an advantage over those without.

But this should be an argument against unpaid internships, not for them.

Not everyone can afford to work for free. Some college students need a source of revenue to pay for their schooling, so given the choice between an unspecialized paying job (say, in retail or food service) and an amazing but unpaid opportunity in their field, they have to choose the former. And for slightly older adults making a career transition, it's not always feasible to go without a salary or benefits for months at a time while waiting for the resume boost of a successful internship.

Some people can work without pay. So they're the ones who get these unpaid opportunities, which means they're also the ones who get later paying jobs on the basis of their prior experience.

This system discriminates against all but the most privileged. The only people able to move forward unimpeded in many industries are people who are already financially secure.

Companies wonder what they can do to increase diversity among their employees, but this is a key element: low pay or no pay blocks many qualified, talented candidates from applying and, by extension, advancing.

If organizations care about attracting and retaining the best candidates, not just the most economically privileged, they should make an effort to pay their interns.

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