Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon

These are the songs you'll soon be hearing everywhere.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Welcome to the May 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. Any trends going into May? Atlanta continues to throw out dance records like it's nothing. A few of the big recent album releases (Rae Sremmurd, Nicki Minaj) take another lunge at the pop charts. And Dej Loaf and Fetty Wap follow up massive pop breakthrough moments with, well, a whole bunch of hooks.

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

Nef the Pharaoh "Big Tymin'"

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Vallejo, Cali., rapper Nef the Pharoah has a rapper name reminiscent of Sage the Gemini—in the '90s, a moniker like that implied maybe Nefertiti tattoos and Africa medallions. But "Big Tymin'" is instead a Bay-style tribute to classic Cash Money, shot in front of what looks like a trap farmhouse, then a tennis court. Compared with Bankroll Fresh, whose "Hot Boy" flipped a similar trick, "Big Tymin'" is bright, upbeat fun—much closer in spirit to its inspiration than the ATLien's dour repetition. With over half a million views and no hype, only Nef's Bay Area origins stand between him and a national record.

Rae Sremmurd "This Could Be Us"

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If any album this year was designed to throw singles at the charts, it was Rae Sremmurd's SremmLife. The music seemed scientifically designed to shortcut styles in an effort to get to the hooks, to eradicate anything outside the zone of punchy fun. "This Could Be Us" is the album's fifth single, after "Up Like Trump" became the only Sremmurd record not to hit the Top 40. It feels very much like a guaranteed smash, thanks to its sticky piano melody. The only downside, for those of us old enough to remember, is that it keeps threatening to turn into Blackalicious' "Deception," a dope song of its own, but a distraction nonetheless.

Kid Ink f/ Dej Loaf "Be Real"

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Dej Loaf has been throwing killer hooks at local rappers for some time. It's surprising that it's taken this long since "Try Me" unexpectedly launched her career to see her link up with bigger-name stars. But now, only Fetty Wap's distinctive melodies outpace Dej in the sound of modern radio. In addition to tossing Kid Ink a worthwhile assist to his otherwise-interchangeable ratchet pop, she's lifted Game (who sounds ridiculous rapping the words "on fleek") with the 2Pac-inspired "Ryda," plus her own "You Me and Hennessy" with Lil Wayne. None of these records are the true follow-up "Try Me" deserves, but they should at least solidify her pop instincts on the charts.

Cool Amerika "Make Sum Shake"

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Rappers Stunt and Balley, alongside producer Buddha Bless, make up Cool Amerika. Signed to AMG Alliance—that's ATL rapper Baby D's label—Cool Amerika recently released a mixtape titled No Taxes 2, which is hosted by Bigga Rankin and includes guests like Kevin Gates, Rocko, Offset, Young Dolph, Drama (!), and Nipsey Hussle. The Cassius Jay-produced "Make Sum Shake" isn't a game-changing record, sitting as it does at dead center of the current Atlanta sound, but it is bubbling throughout Southern radio and looks to be on the verge. The tape it's on has a few inspired moments as well—crunk throwback "Tear the Club Up" is a refreshing change of pace from the usual laid-back style, and "Differences" even sounds pretty; on the whole, they often find a fresh approach to some staid templates.

T-Wayne "Nasty"

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Nothing was more disappointing to the Bout to Blow brain trust than Bandit Gang Marco's inability to make the leap with "Nasty" last July. Strangely, T-Wayne—a rapper who is not T-Pain and Lil Wayne collaborating, but instead is a Brick Squad Monopoly-affiliated rapper whose Who Is Rickey Wayne mixtape is due out today, May 1—has managed to transform the record into not just a hit, but a real smash. T-Wayne's "Nasty" freestyle is ubiquitous on Vine, has churned up 13 million views on YouTube, and 23 million on SoundCloud. On Audiomack, it's the No. 3 most played song this week, behind Raekwon and A$AP Rocky collaboration "I Got Money" and Fetty Wap's "My Way." Then of course there was the Kylie Jenner Instagram cosign. Its seemingly effortless rise is a puzzle but vines like this can't have hurt.

Pretty Ricky "Puddles"

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The lack of discussion about the return of Pretty Ricky is pretty disheartening—luckily "Puddles" is, while perhaps not "On the Hotline"/"Your Body"/"Grind on Me" level, a true return to form. Sounding like a mash-up of "Love You Down" and some long-lost Twista/Do Or Die collaboration, Pleasure P and the crew manage to incorporate lyrics like "she be eatin' that meat like vultures," successfully upping the ante on raunchiness to new heights.

Fetty Wap f/ Monty "My Way"

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The world loves Fetty Wap! Not since Chief Keef's 2012 heyday has a new rapper managed to launch so many potential smashes out into the YouTube aether: "My Way" is a surefire hit, "Again" follows close behind, and his old mixtape cuts like the uptempo club record "679" are still finding some traction. And just two weeks ago, he released "Show You," which would be my personal pick for the best of his new material, the true heir to the "Trap Queen" throne. Meanwhile, K-Camp's inspired "1 Hunnid" remix with Fetty seems liable to bypass some of Fetty's own records, a clean, spare potential smash.

Nicki Minaj "Night Is Still Young"

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If you're looking for hardcore Nicki, just skip this slide. But as euphoric Dr. Luke singles go, this is one of the strongest of Nicki's career, thanks to that chunky bass and one of the most effective "close your eyes and feel the vibe" choruses in Nicki's career: "The night is still young and so are we" is a great get-lost-in-music chorus, an argument for living in the moment not because you don't know better, but because you do.

OMI "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Video Edit)"

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This song is already a mega-smash internationally—58 million views plus—but hasn't really seen much rotation in the United States. Much as Robin Schulz transformed Mr. Probz's "Waves" into a supermarket mega-hit last year, German producer Felix Jaehn's four-on-the-floor-plus-trumpet remix of Omi's 2012 reggae hit "Cheerleader" looks like this summer's massive wedding singalong. Either embrace it, or get ready for a rough couple of months! Actually, it's hard to imagine anyone being anything more than mildly bemused by its generally cheery vibe: effervescent by design.

Snoop Dogg "So Many Pros"

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As strong as "Peaches N Cream" was—we threw it on last month's list as well—"So Many Pros" seems truly undeniable. Gotta give it to Snoop—he's more consistent and enjoyable than 98 percent of aged rappers trying to keep it pop in 2015. The slick blacksploitation packaging of its video might be played as fuck in 2015, but you've really gotta reach for something to complain about on this record. It's disarming dance music, a clean, slick, aerodynamic record, a guaranteed floor-filler that could easily sustain pop radio repetition without dulling its sleek polish.

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