Barack Obama Drops Annual Summer Playlist Featuring Jazmine Sullivan, Silk Sonic, Drake and More

Rihanna, J.Cole, H.E.R. and more also secured spots on the 44th president’s list.

Barack Obama watches a game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.
Barack Obama watches a game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo: Streeter Lecka (Getty Images)

Barack Obama is the coolest president we’ve ever had.

Yes, I know “cool” is subjective. But I honestly don’t remember a president prior who possessed as much grace, class and swag as he did. If you don’t believe me, look no further than his annual summer playlist.

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Released every year with the help of his daughters, the former president’s list almost always includes bangers ranging various eras and genres. This year’s list is no exception. Some of the artists and songs setting the tone for Summer 2021 include: Jazmine Sullivan’s “Pick Up Your Feelings”; Migos’ “Straightenin”; Silk Sonic (aka Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak.’s) “Leave the Door Open”; Miles Davis’ “Walkin’”; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown”; Erykah Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know”; and Drake’s “Wants & Needs,” featuring Lil Baby.

“With so many folks getting together with family and friends, there’s a lot to celebrate this summer,” Obama tweeted over the weekend. “Here’s a playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately—it’s a mix of old and new, household names and emerging artists, and a whole lot in between.”

“Chowd. I done shouted & threw my wig. Thank you @BarackObama,” Jazmine Sullivan captioned a post on Instagram after finding out her song made the list.

Smokey Robinson echoed similar sentiments, saying, “Hope you’re listening to President Obama’s official summer playlist! You might hear a familiar tune if you do. Thank you, @BarackObama!”

Additional hits include: SZA’s “Good Days”; J.Cole’s “Neighbors”; up-and-coming artist Brother Sundance’s “Text You Back”; The Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There”; Nezi’s “So Hard”; and one of my personal favorites—Roy Ayers and Ubiquity’s “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.”

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I appreciate anybody who takes the time out to curate some sounds. It’s an art form at best and a fun way to pass the time at the very least. Barack Obama’s 2021 Summer Playlist is available to stream now on Spotify.

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