It's July 1, there's a 96.14% chance "Cheerleader" is your song of the summer, and it's time for Bout to Blow.
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. In July, Fetty Wap takes his run to Akon-like levels, threatening to up the ante to T-Pain at any minute; meanwhile, Chicago's drill scene unloads two unlikely anthems halfway across the map. And much as Future managed a comeback, one of 2013's biggest heels is threatening to take back urban radio.
All this and more, in this month's 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