March goes in like a lamb in 2016: after a strong January, February was a relative lull in great up-and-coming hip-hop singles. That's not to say there weren't a few scattered tracks worth keeping up with. Welcome to the March 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, we narrowed March 2016 down to the 10 best records you have to know. It's this month's edition of Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon.