No exact science can determine what's hot in music. Maybe it's the right sound, the right combination of lyrics and rhythm or just a little bit of luck. And since commercial radio is so dominated (and saturated) by Top 40 records, determining local and regional records on their way up can lead you to that next big song.
Today no other genre adheres to regionalism quite like rap. In the past, rock has had certain differences in style -- Seattle had angst and grunge, while L.A. had both hair- and speed-metal guitarists -- but now a lot of that regionalism is nestled in rap. It's how a record like Nelly's "Country Grammar" made St. Louis a hip-hop hotbed some 14 years ago, how Atlanta has stuck around as the spot to break the latest craze, how Los Angeles has found a resurgence and how New York acts borrow bits from every other region to make their own hits.
Naturally, a database and chart had to be conceived to forecast what could be the next big record. Charlie Jabaley and his crew at DJ Service Pack managed to offer a bit of microanalysis into the hottest songs in certain regions. Why Houston and Dallas got grouped together is beyond me, but the list they determined via various DJs, party promoters and record spins determined things by social media, YouTube views, radio airplay and more.
Here's the Houston/Dallas list:
What Did We Learn? Virally, these records have a hold on people. BeatKing's "Throw Dat Ass" has been around for more than a year now, a giant club staple. Same goes for DJ Chose's "3rd Level." The more recent two tracks, Propain and Rich Homie Quan's "2 Rounds" and Slim Thug's "Flex4Eva" were released last summer ("2 Rounds") and fall ("Flex4Eva"), respectively.
Does Radio Play Matter? Not at all. We'll excuse 93.7 The Beat, since it's only really been in operation since January. The Boxx only seems to play "3rd Level" or "2 Rounds" during its daily countdown shows, which count as at least two spins. Ironically enough, Fat Pimp -- who has a similar hold in Dallas that BeatKing does here, in terms of club music -- has more spins than the other six songs combined.
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The Club Scene Rules Everything While terrestrial radio in Los Angeles and New York is pushing some of these records, few have actually needed airplay, surviving instead on social media, club mixes from various local DJs and more.
While it's not a foolproof system (see Propain's "2 Rounds" at No. 1 without high spins or YouTube views), the chart is getting on the right path when it comes to gauging what's hot in what city. To see the full Infographic, click here.
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