7 New-ish Songs For A New Week

7 New-ish Songs For A New Week

A collection of recently released R&B, hip-hop, and pop tracks that are sure to make your week a little brighter.

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In need of some new music? Look no further. These seven songs highlight the very best of the last few weeks (and years). Happy listening!

1. All That I Need

Jcon, the debut album by Jess Connelly.https://www.instagram.com/p/BpCQKtZH6sv/

Jess Connelly・Jcon

Jess Connelly is an Australian and Filipino R&B; artist who released her debut album, JCON, this past August. Most of her music, including "All That I Need," is simply a mood. Connelly's soft voice takes her real-talk lyrics to another level, and creates a chill vibe throughout the song. The pre-chorus is probably the best part of the whole thing; for a moment the beat stops and her voice takes over: Make me feel safe, on my worst day / You saw my flaws, and forgot them all / What do I do? If there's no you / Am I too weak, to depend on me?

2. Wait a Minute!

ARDIPTHECUS, released in 2015.https://www.instagram.com/p/BIAE7hQhApi/

Willow Smith ・ARDIPTHECUS

Yes, Willow Smith! It turns out I'm really late on this one (let's pretend it came out recently, I just felt it needed a mention). "Wait a Minute!" is pretty funky in sound, equal parts compelling -- I left my consciousness in the sixth dimension -- and danceable. This alternative beat came out in 2015, on her album ARDIPTHECUS. Smith's unique vocals -- which could bring Sia to mind -- make the song all the more fun to listen to.

3. World Class Cinema

Cover art for "World Class Cinema," single by Gus Dapperton.https://www.instagram.com/p/BpF9fmrB6Aa/

Gus Dapperton・Single

I was only recently introduced to Gus Dapperton, and I am very grateful for it. "World Class Cinema," a single released a few weeks ago, highlights Dapperton's electro-pop talents and synthy style. The way he blends a bunch of different sounds into one song keeps the beat compelling, even when the lyrics become repetitive. Like "All That I Need," "World Class Cinema" is a chill vibe that will definitely grow on you.

4. 1999

"1999" by Troye Sivan and Charli XCX.https://www.instagram.com/p/BoiYpvXhjJH/

Charli XCX & Troye Sivan・Single

"1999" is the pop collaborative effort we've all been waiting for (perhaps unknowingly). It's Charli XCX and Troye Sivan! It screams fun! What I like most about 1999 is it's catchy rhythm, a pulsing beat that forces you to dance along to it. The song also talks up the simpler times of 1999, so if you happened to have grown up in the late 90s (or are just a fan of this era), you'll resonate with its many pop culture references.

5. Wings

Swimming, the fifth studio album by rapper Mac Miller.https://www.instagram.com/p/BlKHEHahASG/

Mac Miller・Swimming

It's hard to tell if "Wings" is a happy or sad song: the lyrics say one thing but the sound says another. In any event, "Wings" is a slow, contemplative tune that shows off Mac's singing abilities as well as his lyrical genius: Who can save the universe with me?/ Lucifer is human, so are we/ All I ever want is what I need/ And that don't include your time and company. It's the sixth track on Swimming, the last album released before his death, and one that proves Mac still had so much to offer to hip-hop.

6. Crush Culture

"Crush Culture," released on October 26.https://www.instagram.com/p/BpZxzCknWcd/

Conan Gray・Single

"Crush Culture" explores all the nerves and frustration that comes along with a new crush, poking fun at the sometimes devastating "culture" behind crushes. It's a cute song with a memorable chorus that will play in your head on repeat. Conan Gray, the rising artist behind the single, gives off a classic 80s vibe in style and song, and boasts over 900,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel (where he posts his music along with weekly vlogs).

7. REEL IT IN

ONEPOINTFIVE, Aminé's latest album.https://www.instagram.com/p/BomvFhEgmH7/

Aminé・ONEPOINTFIVE

"REEL IT IN" is one of the many hits off of Aminé's latest album, ONEPOINTFIVE, released this past August. In the song, Aminé unleashes his clever lyrics over some pretty cool instrumentals -- they work together to create a bop and a half. The rapper takes you through different twists and turns, or pauses and breaks, throughout the beat, keeping the song fresh and enticing listeners to sing-along. It's for sure a soon-to-be hip-hop anthem.

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Are Soulmates Real?

Is your perfect other half out there?

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Lately, a question that has often plagued my mind is the concept of a soulmate. Is there a soulmate in the world for every individual? The idea of a soulmate is a fascinating thing. The dictionary defines a soulmate as "a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner." It's quite a phenomenon that in a world of seven billion people, one individual is your ideal counterpart. As I grow older, I observe my friends in long-term relationships and the feelings that they've developed as time has progressed. It's interesting that people my age have committed themselves to another individual devotedly for long periods of time. I often wonder if I'll encounter such a love anytime soon.

When friends talk about marrying their current lovers after college, I feel panicked and wonder if the clock to find your soulmate has already begun ticking and I'm moving at a pace far too slow. It's good to believe in soulmates because it gives hope to people. If I believe that I have a soulmate in this world, I can live believing that someday everything will fall into place and my perfect partner will stumble into my life. Sometimes I wonder how love even works because it's crazy that two individuals just happened to both like each other and decided to see where this initial liking could take them. Often though, many people experience one-sided loves and it makes you wonder if you're doing something wrong compared to people who have coupled up. I'd ideally like to chalk up unrequited loves and romantic mishaps to the existence of soulmates. I tell myself that things didn't work out because it wasn't meant to be. I often glaze over the mishaps afterward and wonder why it didn't work out. I'm a dreamer and I'll paint these picture-perfect love stories in my mind which left me disappointed. However, living with the hope that soulmates exist helps.

Do soulmates exist in this world? Maybe all my mishaps and one-sided loves are the result of the world telling me it was not meant to be. The idea of soulmates gives me hope that one day, everything will work out in the end.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Government Shutdown

The longest government shutdown in history will impact every American.

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In the early morning hours of December 22, the longest government shutdown in United States history began. At this writing, the government has been shut down for 24 days -- and counting.

The current shutdown revolves around President Trump's request for over five billion dollars to fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall, which he sees as a necessary response to the "massive Humanitarian Crisis" taking place at the southern border -- the flow of migrants from Central America. Democrats in Congress, who fervently deny the severity of the situation, refuse to allocate funds towards a wall, instead looking to negotiate other measures for border security. Unable to pass bipartisan spending legislation, the government remains closed.But what exactly is a shutdown, and what does it mean for ordinary Americans?

A government shutdown occurs when the annual appropriations bills that fund several government agencies and programs fail to reach passage by both Congress and the president. Congress is in charge of creating these bills, and each year the president must sign them into law in order to fund the government for a new fiscal period. In October, at the beginning of the current fiscal year, only a few of the necessary appropriations bills were enacted, and Congress had until December 21 to enact the rest. However, due to congressional infighting and the President's incessant demands for a wall, the government failed to reach a spending agreement by the deadline, and a shutdown ensued.

Without appropriated funds, any departments or agencies deemed "non-essential" are put on hold under a government shutdown. This means that many federal workers, including those within the Food and Drug Administration and National Park Service, are furloughed, or put on temporary leave without pay. The remaining employees, who work in departments or agencies considered "essential," are forced to work without pay until appropriations are made by Congress and the President. Once the government is open again, they will receive their missed checks in back pay.

Put simply, the 800,000 Americans who work for departments affected by the shutdown have been without a paycheck for almost an entire month now. In past weeks, several of these workers have taken to Washington to protest the shutdown and have appeared on television to voice their frustrations. Forced to deplete their savings to make ends meet, they worry about how they'll make their next mortgage payment and keep their families fed. Paying for daycare services for infants, or college tuition for young adults, has become almost impossible for some.

And government employees aren't the only Americans affected by the shutdown. Though social security checks are sent out and Medicare is paid for, the issuance of insurance cards could cease, meaning that those newly eligible for Medicare could be turned away. Hundreds of sites with hazardous waste or polluted drinking water will go uninspected by the EPA. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, responsible for feeding thousands of impoverished families, cannot last another two months without funding.

Perhaps the scariest effect of the shutdown is its impact on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), responsible for screening passengers at airports. Since the shutdown began, airports across the country have dealt with a shortage of staff, causing long lines and massive travel delays. George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas and Miami International Airport in Florida have both been forced to close entire terminals in response to a staffing shortage. On January 14, TSA spokesman Michael Biello tweeted that TSA "experienced a national rate of 7.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 percent rate one year ago, Monday, January 15, 2018." Although the agency claims that security has not been compromised during the shutdown, the lack of workers leaves many travellers skeptical.

As President Trump continues to exploit the "crisis" at the border (see the televised address) and top Democrats defend the merits of legal immigration, it is unclear just how long the shutdown will continue. In the House, Democrats have passed spending bills supporting the immediate re-opening of affected federal departments, but such bills have not yet been brought to the Republican-controlled Senate. There have been no meetings scheduled between the White House and congressional staff, and Trump has abandoned his idea of declaring a national emergency. It seems the only thing left to do is wait.

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