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!


guinrecords.com

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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An Open Letter To The Woolsey Fire— Enough Is Enough

We are tired of destruction.

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There are terrible things that happen every day in our world, and unfortunately, it has gotten to the point where disaster no longer shocks us in the same way it used to.

You started short of one day after the horrifying Thousand Oaks shooting and have since done nothing but haunt countless numbers of people, some of who were also affected by the shooting. You really came with a bang - You were unexpected and too smart to stop. You were out to destroy and nothing would get in your way.

Us, victims are defeated.

The cities You have massacred are now ghost towns, and the families You have affected stand weak in front of burnt land they used to call home. Yet, I cannot be mad at You. You have caused me, my family, and my friends to evacuate our homes. You have destroyed the dance studio I grew up at and the schools my friends graduated from. My former classmates' houses are gone and they are left only with ashes of their belongings.

When disaster strikes I cannot help but feel hatred for the person who brought it upon us. It is always easier to cope with loss and anger when you can find someone to blame but You are not someone. I cannot blame an inanimate object for this. I have no one to hate and it is making everything worse. I want a face to feel anger towards, but all You are is red sparks of flames spreading through everywhere I have ever known. You are a force of nature too strong to be reckoned with. In the four days, You have been here, You have caused over 240,000 homes to be evacuated. You have destroyed 350 homes and caused innocent people to die. Animals have been left to burn in the flames and people have been left homeless. Firefighters are putting their lives on the line to stop You. I do not know why You are here but enough is enough.

My family was not put under mandatory evacuation until Sunday.

Since Thursday I have woken up every morning to a sense of fear that my house was gone. So far I am still lucky to have my home but so many others do not have the same privilege. My friends have come back from college to be with their families only to find themselves homeless, all thanks to You. My hometown looks like the setting of an apocalypse. The grassy fields and colorful barns that used to give life to the San Fernando Valley are now plain darkness. The nature that surrounds the city I grew up in is now gone, and we are left with the remains of the hiking trails, buildings, and communities we used to love so dearly. You have lived enough, give us back our ability to live without the fear of our homes burning down. You are supposed to stay around until next week, but we cannot handle having You here for that much longer.

Sincerely,

A resident of the town You burned down

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Group Projects Aren't As Bad As They Seem

Are they really that bad?

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As college students, we are constantly bombarded with many projects. When it comes to projects, most fall under the category of group projects rather than individual projects. Also, professors love to assign group members based on a random generator, making it even more difficult to work with your friends or with who you want. Because of this, there have been many complaints and heated discussions about group projects.


When a professor puts random people in a group, it is all up to luck as to who gets put in your group: members that do their fair share of the work, members that don't do anything, members that do everything last minute, and members that do everything because they don't like other contributions. There are so many possibilities and combinations of these different kinds of members, which makes many people dread group projects. Also, another thing is that the skill level and knowledge are not equal throughout the members. If one member wants a part of the project like their own way and idea, and the other members do not know how to make it like that, it can be difficult to divide up the work.


Group projects, although great for collaboration and networking, is really a hit or miss for many students. Throughout my two years and a half in college, I have gotten all types of members in my group for projects. I experienced group projects where I had to do a lot of the work, where most of the work was already finished, and where my skills were not as advanced to how some of my members wanted the project to look like. With all of these experiences, I have learned a lot about myself in group projects, which type of member I am, and what everyone else in the group thinks of me as.


I can definitely say that I have probably been each one of the members, depending on the class and my mood during projects. I think that when working on group projects, the topic and ideas in the class are just as important as how much passion and effort you put into the project. There are some projects where I know I won't do as well because it doesn't seem to interest. Vice versa, some projects I love to work on and will put in all my effort and time to create a masterpiece.


What you should take out of group projects is to decide which member you are and how other people may feel about your efforts. I know that I have slacked off, which I regret because I realized that all the other group members are probably in the same situation as me, where they are also put with people they do not work well with. The best thing to do is just put in all your effort and time to work on group projects, no matter the work and unfairness, because "everything that goes around, comes around". If you have been placed in a bad group, next time, you will be placed in a good group where your efforts will definitely pay off.

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