Self-deception gets a bad rap but, the way I see it it, a little delusion can be a powerful motivator—how many legitimately dope rappers would never have picked up the mic if it weren’t for their naive fantasies of fame, fortune and constant, fawning attention from the opposite sex? For those too clear-sighted to pull the wool over the eyes, things get considerably more complicated. Case in point: L.A. repper Co$$, whose latest single finds him unraveling the contradictions involved in chasing after a vision of success that exists “ Only When I Dream.” Backed by Chief‘s hazy synths, laid-back percussion and understated piano loops, the freestyle alum drops dense, poetic bars, shaking his eyes at those who can’t see the truth behind the game’s glossy exterior: ”The stock market’s plummetin’, plunderin’ all my passion / while you n*ggas dream about whips I catch the lashes from the mental masters.” BK repper Sene provides moral support on the middle, serving up a 16 brimming with metaphysical lyrical poetry, and Aloe Blacc ties it all together with a smooth hook. Has this reflective banger left you craving more? You’ll find what you seek on Co$$’ debut full-length, Before I Awoke, due out June 21.