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The Year 2017 in Review
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

A few thoughts before we begin... The trends are not good in the music industry right now. Physical sales have dwindled to the point that the RIAA now uses a standard "unit" which constitutes one record sold - for example streaming a song 150 times on YouTube or Spotify now counts as one "unit." You could blame any number of things for this decline - a shift toward the convenience of digital music, the sheer volume of free albums being given away as "mixtapes" online devaluing commercial releases, the hidebound A&R's of a past generation clinging to outmoded "copy what works and sell it" ideals, a young generation that no longer sees the value in physical media for music, books or even video games, or all of the above.

The good news is that while album sales may be hurting, artistic creativity is exploding in turn as quality artists seek to create sounds that rise above the noise threshhold. There's an old saying about the "starving artist" being the most creative that may no longer be literally true when middle class kids and rich kids don't automatically make whack records any more (technology has helped level the talent required to get in the game), but as previously noted with so much free music for the taking the artist who wants to be paid for their hard work is probably working TWICE as hard to be noticed. Perhaps that's not fair, but if you want to enjoy good music and you're willing to look for those "noisebreakers" then you as the consumer still reap the rewards.

Flash's Top Ten Albums of 2017
#10. MC Eiht: Which Way Iz West

#9. Jay-Z: 4:44

#8. Vince Staples: Big Fish Theory

#7. Big Sean: I Decided.

#6. Logic: Everybody

#5. Joey Bada$$: All-Amerikkkan Bada$$

#4. Rapsody: Laila's Wisdom

#3. Brother Ali: All the Beauty in This Whole Life

#2. Open Mike Eagle: Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

#1. Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.

Originally posted: January 9, 2018

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