Welcome to October'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.
A few of the songs we've spotted have climbed considerably higher; Iggy and JLo's "Booty" lunged into the Top 40 its first week, starting off at No. 18—the highest debut of JLo's career. "Hold You Down," "Touchin, Lovin'" and "Or Nah" seem to have popped off as well. Other records, like Que's "Too Much," are taking a longer path, but are still bubbling upward. That said, DJ Mustard's "4 Digits" looks like it's not getting a push before "Face Down," and my main man Baby Bash is still stuck at the local level.
What's in store for October? Check out this edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.
David Drake is a writer living in New York City. Follow him @somanyshrimp