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

These are the songs you're about to run into no matter where you go.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Tag Team. Back again. Check it, wreck it, let's begin. It's October. You still haven't figured out a costume. But at least you'll have a fire party playlist.

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. I'm not gonna lie, though: September was one of the weakest months for music all year. The Grammy deadline couldn't save the depth of "eh," particularly on the hip-hop side. All that is to say, make sure to check out the latest future smash from Wondaland Records. It's this month's edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.

Listen to the 2015 Bout to Blow picks on Apple Music.

Ellie Goulding "On My Mind"

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A guaranteed pop mega-smash, "On My Mind" is the first single from UK singer Ellie Goulding's upcoming album, Delirium. The primary hook only strikes one note, but with that rapid-fire typewriter rhythm, she expresses simultaneous feelings of excitement and frustration, letting the primary synth riff provide reassuring emotional ballast. Her poised British style may remind some of underrated UK star Roisin Murphy, who strikes a similar note to a less friendly audience in the States. 

Fetty Wap "RGF Island"

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Have you heard of him? "RGF Island" is one of the oldest Fetty records, yet here we are, still plumbing the well of his earliest releases. With a newly mastered version on his new full-length LP, you'll no doubt have trouble remembering which Fetty Wap record this is at some point, but you'll know it by heart anyway. Fetty struck oil and has made sure to capitalize on it.

DJ Chose f/ MC Beezy "Everywhere I Go"

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One big record by DJ Chose was the familiarly titled "Pop That," which sounds suspiciously similar to French Montana's—well, French Montana's version sounds suspiciously similar to DJ Chose's, which predated the more celebrated New York version. Chose has returned with MC Beezy for a record with big, spacious drums, squelching bass, and a sing-song hook that feels not substantially different from the vibe of YG, Jeezy, and Rich Homie Quan's "My Nigga"—a 2013 hit. Nonetheless it's an especially well-executed version, the kind of record that might float up lazily from the South a few years late and right on time all at once.

TK N Cash "3x in a Row"

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TK N Cash's "Mind Right" was a minor hit (and "Bout to Blow" alumn) that was likely overshadowed by more radical rejection anthems like "Cut Her Off" by K Camp and Big Sean's "IDFWU." Nonetheless it proved TK N Cash—one time swag rappers from Augusta, Ga.—had the facility for a strong chorus. "3x in a Row" is not liable to shift the course of the Earth's rotation, but it is a clever little ditty boasting about sexual endurance, which should give it a nice shot at taking up some real estate in your local club experience in the near future.

Logic f/ Big Lenbo "Young Jesus"

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Logic can be a total cheeseball and, OK, in places "Young Jesus" is no exception. Seemingly unaware that cool Droogians and Beast Coast representers have been rehashing this era for a decade now, he opens saying: "This is that '95 shit right here." Over a sample of ESG's "UFO"—a record that reached its peak sample usage a few years earlier—nonetheless! Still, among garbage Migos knockoffs and lingering Mustard imitations, there's something refreshing about the fake Kool G Rap/Big Pun/Originators-era Jay Z flows bitten throughout. Logic's guy Big Lenbo's got bars too, with a little more edge than you normally get from these kinds of museum piece revivals.

Chinx "How to Get Rich"

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It's no secret that New York hip-hop has had its ups and downs lately, but nothing seemed quite so crushing as Chinx's murder earlier this year. With his passing there's been an outpouring of enthusiasm for his records in the five boroughs, and "How to Get Rich" is an easy high point. It treats its title less as a road map than as a tool kit, with Chinx singing over plaintive pianos and prioritizing experience over shortcuts. It's a clever record in part because the concept seems so obvious, and yet I can't think of any examples of recent records tackling it from this perspective—one so pointedly straightforward and real: "Ain't nobody got the million dollar ticket, ain't nobody got that overnight life/Everybody that I know that came up from the bottom put that work in on them overnight flights/Ain't nobody really worried 'bout ya, cuz everybody worried 'bout the same thing/And you gon' find out sooner or later can't nobody teach us, they don't know a damn thing."

Keyshia Cole f/ Young Thug "Don't Waste My Time"

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No question R&B is in a good space at the moment—at least for male vocalists. With Bryson Tiller's new record garnering attention and acclaim, and Tory Lanez climbing the charts with "Say It," it seemed worthwhile to draw the spotlight towards an x-chromosomed singer who's moved hip-hop/R&B fusion in a new direction. Hearing Young Thug singing alongside an Keyshia Cole creates an odd resonance, particularly when they start echoing each other over the chorus like a new age Womack & Womack. Somehow this collab is a more interesting blend of hip-hop and R&B than any of the more lethargic, murky attempts at Weeknd-core.

Jeezy "God"

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Jeezy may not have the widespread influence in the industry of his sometime rival Gucci, but he makes up for it with pure consistency. "God" is no exception, its slow, staggering production offering the kind of detuned exoticism that sounds at once backwoods familiar and a bit warped, a lil strange. With Jeezy rapping about "stamps looking like a cruciifix!" it's loaded in religious imagery that is oddly spiritually abstract for the rapper who once focused almost single-mindedly on all the white that'll hurt your eyes. He's gone from the here and now to mythic, theological imagery.

Jose Guapo f/ Skippa da Flippa and Lucci "Run It Up"

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I'm going to let you in on a little secret: It's getting harder and harder to appreciate Atlanta's current sound. Call me biased, but post-Migos, the sound is rapidly approaching a zone of fruitless repetition. Yet someone can always come along and redeem an approach. Or better yet, just go left: Jose Guapo's "Run It Up" is a record with one of those samples you can taste on the tip of your tongue that keeps on escaping. Is that a sample of Sixpence None the Richer?


Deep Cotton f/ Jidenna "Let's Get Caught"

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If Janelle Monae doesn't end up in a video on her Puffy shit like, "I thought I told you that we won't stop," sometime soon, she's missing her chance to really stunt. Her last album I found a bit dicey; chasing influences as if it were as simple as a math formula, the album felt more like formal genre exercises. But Monae's label has been firing on all cylinders lately, approaching pop music with a boldness that seemed sapped from her more recent music. "Let's Get Caught" is a great piece of retro-pop with incredible songwriting and a casual performance from the duo Deep Cotton. And Jidenna is a real star: His arrival in the video is such an event. This may not reach "Classic Man" status, but it might be the better song.

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