Barack Obama has refuted suggestions that the former President himself did not create his annual indie-focused recommendation lists.
At the end of each year, Obama shares a list of music, movies, and books that entertained and inspired him that year, with lists that included the likes of The War On Drugs, Little Simz, and Mitski.
Some, however, assumed that the playlists were put together by a fellow politician and not Obama himself.
Rejecting the claim in a new interview with comedian Hasan Minhaj, Obama said when asked if he listens and chooses himself: “I do! I listen. I’m very happy to have this opportunity. People believe the books and the movies, but the playlist, somehow you think – and this is mostly coming from young people like you – somehow, you all think you invented rock ‘n’ roll , you thought hip-hop.
“And so my playlists are, you know, pretty awesome – people seem to think, well, he must have had a 20-year-old intern come up with this latest cut. Nah, man! It’s on my iPad right now”.
He added: “Look, this is what my playlists and my book lists and my movie lists are about. I’m very scrupulous about making sure they’re things that I really like. I admit there are times – when there are playlists, in music lists – where I get recommendations.
“Because I don’t have time to listen to music all the time. People usually say to me at the end of the year: “Man, you have to listen to this. This is good. But if I don’t hear it, see it or read it, I don’t put it on.”
Last year, Obama shared a summer playlist featuring Wet Leg, Burna Boy, Harry Styles, and Sampa The Great, among others.
At the end of 2022, he revealed that Kendrick Lamar’s single ‘The Heart Part 5’, Bad Bunny’s ‘Tití Me Preguntó’ and Ari Lennox’s ‘POF’ were among his favourites, and songs another on the list that qualified Zach. ‘Something In The Orange’ by Bryan, ‘Last Last’ by Burna Boy, ‘American Teenager’ by Ethel Cain and ‘Communion In My Cup’ by Tank And The Bangas.
At the top of Obama’s 2021 list is Mitski’s feedback track “The Only Heartbreaker,” from “Laurel Hell.” It also features prominently on the setlist “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”, from The War On Drugs, from the group’s last self-titled album.