Prepare your Valentines' Day playlist: You're now reading Complex's Bout to Blow—February edition.
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, tattooed vehicle for a dope beat and a hook.
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. What trends have we spotted as we enter 2015's second month? A creative comeback for Meek Mill and The-Dream; the continued dominance of Jeremih; and the outward evolution of DJ Mustard's sound. Also, get ready for a hit "ratchet" record from an unexpected direction.
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