By Reed Fischer
By Anna Gulbrandsen
By Jeff Gage
By Stacy Schwartz
By Natalie Gallagher
By Erik Thompson
By Jeff Gage
By Loren Green
UGK's sole surviving member edits himself into what may be hipster rap's most eagerly awaited single, dropping swine-flu allusions and adding to Southern rap's burgeoning automobile-comparison vocab. Meanwhile, producer DJ Khalid auditions (brilliantly) for space in Quentin Tarantino's iPod as Kanye reminds everyone to shop at T.J. Maxx, puts smiles on the faces of special-ed students worldwide, and generally just proves why he is, indeed, a big deal. And Clipse? Um, yeah, they're there, too, I guess.
THE COOL KIDS
Mikey Rock and Chuck English, it turns out, maintain an open-door policy for lames: "If you got a question about dope shit/What it is/Let a nigga know, tell me how you feel." Now that's public service.
Holy cow. Corrupt DAs tortured to death? A meditation on abuses of power? Stop-snitchin' reinforcement that could double as sympathy for U.S. troops abroad depending on one's mood when tuning in? DOOM packs more concepts and unpackable details into 163 seconds than some MCs fit into entire careers, and he does so with such grim panache that I could strangle myself for flaking out in terms of his career to date. Best advice: "Use stealth/Play alleys/Jet," whatever you need that to mean.
Because the world needed an indie-rock anthem with doo-wop pretentions about getting drunk in a bar next to—by sheer chance—a friendly psychopath, and we desperately needed that song to be fizzy and thunderous and generally awesome.
This is Ye Viols!' weakest link, a bit of absentminded dithering amid gothed-out IDM statements-of-purpose that only really gets going as it winds down and is only justifiable as a lead-in for the superior, systems-in-meltdown bit-crush of "apps 2."