Gosh, I really miss Barack Obama every single day. Every time he posts on Instagram, I’m quick to “double-tap” whatever he’s put up, solely based on the fact that it’s Barack Obama who posted it. However, on Monday, I ‘liked’ what he posted because it shows his incredible musical palate.
That’s right folks: Our Forever POTUS’ annual Summer Playlist has been revealed!
In the caption of his playlist shared to Instagram, Obama wrote that he’s had more time than usual to listen to music, and some of the songs he selected for the 2020 edition of his coveted playlist were by artists who are performing at this week’s Democratic National Convention including Common, John Legend, Leon Bridges, Billy Porter and folk-pop singer Maggie Rogers.
“As always, [the playlist is] a mix of genres that travels through various eras,” Obama wrote. “I think there’s something in here for everybody—hope you enjoy it.” Oh, we will!
A hip-hop head of sorts, 44 made sure to include some of the genre’s heavyweights and newcomers, such as Nas (“Memory Lane”), Outkast (“Liberation”), Little Simz (“one life, might live”), and KYLE (“The Sun”). He also made sure to include some throwback hits, such as Stevie Wonder (“Do I Do”), Otis Redding (“These Arms Of Mine”), Nina Simone (“My Baby Just Cares For Me”) and War (“All Day Music”). Truth be told, I’m having a really hard time imagining Barack Obama listening to “Savage (Remix)” by Megan Thee Stallion, but if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that life is chock-full of surprises. (Editor’s note: Somehow, it didn’t surprise me at all.)
Several of the musicians featured on the playlist posted their reactions to being included. Rapper, model and activist Chika, who was recently named to the 2020 XXL Freshman Class, wrote on Twitter: “A song i wrote at 19 after dropping out to pursue music, while living at home and working at fuckin chipotle ended up on Obama’s 2020 summer playlist...what thee fuck?” Grammy-nominated group Tank and the Bangas took to Instagram to say that they are “Honored to be on any list @michelleobama and @barackobama are curating.” They were featured on Michelle Obama’s podcast playlist, which was released earlier this month.
In previous playlist years, Obama has included artists like H.E.R., Janelle Monáe, Lizzo, Rihanna, Prince, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones in his coveted rotation. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s playlist—the best playlist of any playlist that’s ever been created—features Scott Baio singing his praises, a children’s community theater rendition of “Seventy-Six Trombones” from The Music Man, and a bagpipe trying to play “Taps” with a torn seam.
Join the discussion! The Root is hosting its first-ever, virtual Root Institute, presented by Target, featuring several of the leading minds in our community talking about politics, culture, health, community building and social impact. Subscribe for updates today!