Bout To Blow: 10 New Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon

Miguel, Travis Scott, G Herbo, and some artists you'll be hearing a lot more of, soon.


Image via Michael Kovac/Getty


Welcome to the October edition of Bout to Blow. This column has two goals: 

1. To use the many tools available today to get some idea as to which songs are really bubbling with "the people"—in other words, to insert some science into the process. 

2. To contextualize that information, because numbers in a vacuum will 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 of cheerleading, too. Many of these songs might be flourishing in certain markets and 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 October 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.

G Herbo "I Like"

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G Herbo's Humble Beast surprised folks in the industry when it did a solid 20,000 copies (counting hard copies and streams) in its first week independently. For those in Chicago, it was obvious he was already a star, with scattered YouTube drops churning up view counts. But still, it had been two years since his regional smash "I'm Rollin" became the city's song-of-the-summer, and a full five years since his "Kill Shit" collaboration with DJ L and Lil Bibby launched national and international imitators.

"I Like" is a welcome return to form; I've watched it the last few months as its success has steamrolled, uncertain if its blunt lyrics were liable to pick up, particularly among his devoted female fanbase. But they have, in part no doubt because of his unconventional songwriting talents. This is a song "for the ladies" that holds onto G Herbo's muscular approach to songcraft. Though much of Humble Beast leans more towards reflective soul sampling, cuts like "I Like" and "Everything" hold onto what makes his sound unique, without falling back onto the sonic clichés rappers emulating him do.

Miguel f/ Travis Scott "Sky Walker"

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Right now there's a sense that male R&B singers, relative to other eras, aren't really connecting. Yet Miguel's "Sky Walker" works thanks to a rough similarity to the compositional style pioneered by artists like Rae Sremmurd, whose formula the song slightly resembles. This is one catchy-ass record, though, starting with its earworm melody. It's he kind of record that sticks with you long after you've listened to it.

YBN Nahmir "Rubbin Off The Paint"

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When SayCheeseTV first posted YBN Nahmir—the vector by which YBN Nahmir was first exposed to the world, prior to Chris Brown blowing Nahmir up through Instagram—the site's Twitter asked if he was the "new Tay-K." This angle made sense. Like Tay-K, YBN Nahmir stood apart by wedding SoundCloud-friendly prodution styles to drill rap imagery and a plainspoken rap style. In contrast with the past five years of post-Keef "mumble rap," the clarity of his rapping was an immediate standout.

Unlike Tay-K, though, YBN Nahmir has a sunnier disposition, though perhaps as slightly less distinct way with words. (The gun imagery in the video feels unnecessary; Nahmir's strong personality is less confrontational than exuberant, as if sports cars would be more up his alley than weapons.) Nahmir's biggest distinction from Tay-K, of course, is the lack of a tragic, looming prison sentence. The song blew up almost overnight, before Tay-K's "The Race" has even managed to reach its own popular peak.

SOB x RBE f/ Lil-G and TD Bandz "Damn"

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Yhung T.O.'s Miguel-sampling "Slidin'" is picking up a lot of traction among Bay Area hip-hop fans. I'm more partial to his SOB x RBE bandmate Daboii's uptempo sci-fi banger "Damn," which banks off eerie synthesizers, stabbing bassnotes, and strong performances from guest rappers Lul G and TD Bandz.

ZumBee "Banana Peels"

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ZumBee's "Banana Peels" uses misdirection, ignoring the overfamiliar banana clip metaphor and indulging instead in playful Mario Kart imagery. With his one cosmetic contact lens and lithe build, there's something spiritually reminiscient of Young Thug in ZumBee's swag, but it remains a parallel track, rather than straight emulation. ZumBee's rap style is less concerned with melodic architecture than tight, purposeful rapping and a concept he calls "RiF"—"Rap is Fun," a reminder of hip-hop's potential for unpredictable, artful jouissance. The song's joyfulness expands past its formal boundaries, an expression of confidence in the artist's vision.

Coca Vango f/ Asian Doll "Shinnit"

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"Shinnit" is a great concept for a record, a catchy verbal pattern that sounds like a record scratch dashing through his verses. Texas rapper Asian Doll—who has appeared in this column previously—aquits herself well, though it would have been fun to hear her follow Coca Vango's whisper-flow pattern for more of her verse. Either way, "Shinnit" feels like one of those records which clicks early in the party while the dancefloor's still getting filled, a clever, subtle lark.

Lil Xan "Betrayed"

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Like you, I was thrilled at the notion of a rapper named "Lil Xan," an endorsement of whom my name will be associated with for life. Yet his solo cut "Betrayed" shows a surprising compositional maturity (especially when compared with his earlier sound, which is best described as "Lil Pump, but less refined.") Part of what works about this record is the "White Lines"-like attitude towards its subject, which suggests an initial enthusiasm numbed into ambivalence. Its slow tempo and chiming production feed on the overall tone of antipathy and uncertainty.

Lor Choc "Fast Life"

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Baltimore's Lor Choc first jumped out to me at the end of last year, when I caught her reggae-like "Worth the Wait," a melodic street corner ditty that didn't fully prepare me for the catchy insistence of her latest, "Fast Life." Though this cut has yet to catch anything like a viral audience, its chorus is an immediate, unforgettable gem. It deserves to blow, and though one imagines a bigger artist loaning some star power might help amplify it, there's something undeniably, uniquely sweet to her sing-song all on its own.

Hoodrich Pablo Juan "We Don't Luv Em"

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Nine out of ten rap fans seem to agree: Hoodrich Pablo Juan is up next. His subtle, low-key version of a post-Migos rap universe has yet to overwhelm the game, but it's made steady inroads. Though the similarly Danny Wolf-produced "Zombamafoo" had a more obvious hookiness, "We Don't Luv Em" seems to have more traction, its subtle distinctiveness owed in large part to Danny Wolf's clanking production and quirky melodic sense.

03 Greedo "Mafia Business"

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Los Angeles rapper 03 Greedo's tribute to a beloved California street figure Raymond Lee Arnold, AKA Mafia Ray, is a powerful emotive force. Though the video's been out since January it hasn't had much exposure, but feels like the kind of record which could take off if given the opportunity. Despite its clear popular appeal, the heartfelt salute has a singular sound, its multi-tracked vocals smearing over the soft, backspun-guitar-laced beat, a sincere sing-a-long that channels an overwhelming feeling of love.

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