By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
I think I speak for pretty much everyone reading this when I insist that The Believer magazine's staff should be forced to write, direct, and shoot a Magnolia-style YouTube video for this pulsating, industrial-reptilian ode to dogma.Jason Castro
"That's What I'm Here For"
Ruefully upswept, autumnally acoustic, and awash in light strings, this is Castro's "Hey There Delilah"/"Drops of Jupiter"/Neil Diamond moment, where he's your ear to bend, your shoulder to lean on, etc. It's all nonsense, of course, because the dreadlocked American Idol finalist is not really in the next room worried sick about you—he's somewhere in Hollywood, unzipping a baggie of that aromatic sticky-icky-icky.Cool Kids feat. Boldy James
Chuck Inglish produces, laying on a minimalist, mid-'00s Neptunes glaze of chopped sirens, tinny dings, and snare swipes, but this is Boldy's fresh-out-da-clink showcase. "Sandwich bag full of pebbles, and it's max if they catch you," James drawls, his syllables smooshed together like sardines in a can. "This is real life shit, this ain't Hansel and Gretel."Freddie Gibbs
You know, if you say "the ghetto, the ghetto" over and over, really fast, it starts to sound like you can't stop saying "Gepetto," like you're a Rain Man Pinocchio.Raekwon
"City of God"
Survivalist child abuse, casual gunplay, and wasteful leisure all surface in this gritty street epic, but somehow "this is all entertainment" is the only quip that rankles—which is indicative, surely, of something.