President Barack Obama has had a pretty good summer so far: his approval rating is on the rise and Joe Biden gave him a sweet birthday gift, and to celebrate he shared two summer playlists today on his personal Twitter account.
While it may be hot in Washington, D.C., this summer, Obama’s playlist is pretty cool. The playlist mixes timeless classics by artists such as The Beach Boys and Aretha Franklin with newer hits by artists such as Chance the Rapper and Courtney Barnett, and the playlist’s blend perfectly proves that Obama is our first president with hipster credentials. Obama began the tradition of creating a summer playlist in 2015, and he was the first sitting president to do so. This isn’t much of a surprise, as Spotify, known for its playlist feature, originated during Obama’s tenure.
The playlist also shows Obama’s loyalty towards his favorite artists, as many of the performers listed in President Obama’s playlist have previously performed at the White House. It’s clear that Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” made an impression when she performed for the Obama family in 2014 for Malia Obama’s birthday, as the track also makes an appearance on Obama’s summer playlist.
Janelle Monae and Jay-Z also both made donations to Obama’s campaign — maybe that’s all it takes to score a place in the presidential playlist?
Like last year’s version of the playlist, Obama’s 2016 summer playlist is actually split into two: one for daytime, and one for nighttime. The daytime playlist would be perfect for a barbecue (or perhaps a chill hangout session with Prime Minister Trudeau, President Obama?). It fittingly begins with “LoveHateThing” by DC native Wale. The song touches on the topics of life and success in the nation’s capital: “From the city that made me love you forever for it / Hope you celebrate every moment forever ignore it / You made me what I am, you made me what I’m not / They gon’ love you a little different when you at the top,” lyrics that President Obama no doubt can relate to.
The daytime playlist definitely has an air of swagger that matches Obama’s confidence, with pump-up tracks like “The Man” by Aloe Blacc and “Classic Man” by Jidenna. It’s not difficult to imagine Obama getting ready for a meeting in the Oval Office while listening to the playlist.
The nighttime playlist definitely captures the vibe of a cool summer night. Many responded to Obama’s nighttime playlist by pointing out how sexy it is — the list includes the always-sensual classic “Criminal” by Fiona Apple, and opens with the smooth, sultry jazz of “If I Have My Way.”
Many of the artists featured were understandably delighted by their inclusion in Obama’s playlist. Some took to Twitter to express their gratitude to President Obama, including Corinne Bailey Rae:
Jidenna offered his interpretation of how Obama listens to “Classic Man”:
Common used the playlist to make a commentary on President Obama’s leadership skills:
Billie Holiday’s social media account celebrated the famous singer’s second year on Obama’s playlist:
Sara Bareilles played it cool:
And finally, Wale responded to President Obama’s tweet announcing the playlist with understated pride:
Of course, the featured artists weren’t the only ones excited by Obama’s summer playlist. The playlist saw a positive reaction on social media, with many praising Obama’s song choices:
Thinking about Obama listening to Classic Man literally brings tears to my eyes— Girl Fieri (@IsabelArcelia) August 11, 2016
I just died and went to heaven if Obama is daytime listening to Classic Man lmfaooo— Leyland (@_leyland) August 11, 2016
Obama has "Me gustas Tu" by manu chao on his summer playlist so yeah he's an ok dude i'd conversate with him— yuli (@x_Yulissa) August 11, 2016
And some were disappointed that President Obama didn’t include their favorite songs of summer in the playlist, and offered their own suggestions for the summer playlist:
Can we impeach Obama if he didn't include Young Thug on his playlist? https://t.co/PKwM5VlT6H— Tonee? (@ItMeTony) August 11, 2016
I couldn't love Obama more but I'm just honestly concerned that Can't Stop the Feeling didn't make it onto his summer playlist :///— Sarah Hinrichsen (@sarahhinrichsen) August 11, 2016
It’s clear that the Obama family has plenty to celebrate during their last summer in the White House, and hopefully we’ll even get a fall playlist or two before inauguration.
[Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]