Audience members at the Roseland Theater in Portland at the Smokepurpp and Lil Pump tour in March. Credit: Kyle Johnson for The New York Times

2017 Popular Music Findings

This past year was a big one for me and the family.

We actually became a family, and welcomed our two daughters, Tilda & Rei into the world.

Suffice it to say, my most listened to track was The Baby Shusher™

Despite that, starting our new family hasn’t meant listening to less music. It’s meant that music took an even more meaningful place in my life.

It’s hard to separate the opening lyrics of oh baby from the feeling of speedily and emotionally walking into the NY Presbyterian entrance to visit our babies in the NICU. I have a warm feeling listening to Holding On, because we rocked that as we drove the babes home down the FDR six weeks later. And I’m still filled with energy when A Dollar a Day opens, because that was my hitting-the-pavement interview soundtrack, starting, say, May 9 :)

Broaden the lens out, and 2017, politically, was a year that couldn’t be over fast enough. 2017 musically though was as interesting a year as any, and not because of protest music (it was perhaps too on-the-nose for many to go the FDT route this year…though Witness is a real banger. Tinseltown Swimming in Blood feels like commentary. BagBak lets some ideas fly…huh…maybe there was a lot of great protest music).

2017 saw a real distinct genre blossoming, I would say, in rap music…er, trap music or “bubblegum trap” or Soundcloud rap, or a multi-generational Atlanta-dominated sound, at times mentored by the likes of Coach K. Whatever the classification, it felt like there was a new generation rapping and that sort of dominated my alleged 40,781 minutes of Spotify streaming.

And then there was all sorts of other good indie pop music.

So this year I devoted a playlist to each. One is more SFW than the other ;)




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