In its early years in the mid-twentieth century, rock music faced a lot of backlash due to its nature of inclusivity and breaking down of racial barriers. It served as a massive economic opportunity for performers of color, with artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard marching to the forefront of the national conscience and opening up a door into a whole new world of minority voices. Sadly, this year, we lost Chuck Berry, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of kickass dance moves and damn good guitar licks.
However, as the saying goes: When one door closes, another one opens. As such, in 2017, we found ourselves incredibly lucky to have so many minority voices present in the sphere of rock music during a year where they were most needed. In 2017, new albums from — and just the existence of — bands like Downtown Boys exist as an inherent protest to the policies of the current presidential administration, making these releases more than just good music, but also imperative parts of the national dialogue.