Welcome to the August edition of Bout to Blow. As you know, we've become pretty agile at predicting hits. Occasionally, we've whiffed. Other times, we've called it before most of your favorite publications. But the point isn't just to get it "right"—anyone can look at stats and see what's going to pop.

This column has two goals:

1. To use the many tools available to us today to get some idea of what songs were really bubbling with "the people"—in other words, to insert some science into the process.

2. To contextualize that information, because raw numbers in a vacuum would have you thinking an anonymous rapper dropped onto a stellar track was hip-hop's next big rap star when he was more like an empty vehicle for a dope beat, hook, and some tattoos. Shots?

The post is obviously intended to be somewhat predictive. There's also an element, though, that is cheerleading. Many of these songs might be flourishing in certain markets, but could use wider exposure. They're tracks where the metrics suggest some forward momentum, even if the clubs and radio play don't reflect that.

Last month, we called the rise of Bobby Shmurda, although the label is definitely putting its money behind "Hot N****"—which, fair enough, it's the more forceful song. We guessed right about Childish Gambino's "3005," which is continuing to climb the Hot 100. Lupe's "Next To It" is being added to radio, and Rae Srummurd has one of the biggest songs of the summer, thanks to a Nicki remix. It remains to be seen what happens with Bandit Gang Marco, and if that song will have further legs.

What's in store for August? Check out this edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.

Written by David Drake (@somanyshrimp)

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