July saw an influx of records from names across the board: big (Gucci Mane) rising (Lil Uzi Vert) and ignored (Migos). Lil Durk and DJ Khaled dropped albums; 21 Savage and Shy Glizzy dropped mixtapes. Yet despite the surplus of music in the market, much of it served to drown the signal in the noise. Looking for hits felt like a complex exercise this month, and several records with burgeoning hit counts felt less interesting or original despite their initial buzz. So it was time to dig a little deeper.
Welcome to the August 1 edition of 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. After a harsh decision-making process, for July we narrowed a long list down to the 10 best records you have to know.
It's this month's edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope New Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.