Welcome to September's 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 killed it with predictions for big European house records from Kiesza and Mr. Probz, and also pretty much called "Lifestyle"'s rise to one of the country's biggest hip-hop records. (Could have grabbed that one a month earlier, even, but hey.) "0-100" was a bit of an easier call, but since we first mentioned it, it's risen to No. 53 on the charts—and is still climbing. Admittedly, Elle Varner's "Don't Wanna Dance" hasn't quite delivered, and our regional rap predictions (RJ's "Ride Wit Me," Foxx's "Smokin Loud," and Tigo B's "69") haven't really been given the national support they deserve. (Maybe they just need a vine dance a la Bobby Shmurda.) That said, after one week, August Alsina's "No Love" has entered the Heatseeker's chart and looks to be gaining some momentum.
What's in store for September? Check out this edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.
Written by David Drake (@somanyshrimp)