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The Ultimate "Goodbye Obama" Mixtape

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    Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.

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    Rajul Punjabi is a freelance writer. The views expressed here are her own.

    As we near the end of President Obama’s final term in office, all kinds of emotions are bubbling up.

    Will his predecessor lead the country with the same tenets of equality, justice, and grace? Will he or she be able to help craft crucial policies, amend and foster invaluable relationships with other nations, and connect with disenfranchised youth?

    Most importantly, do Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump even know the words to Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together?

    Obama promised us change, but I’m not ready for this kind.

    It feels like a breakup, and not the "good riddance" kind. This man is leaving us for greener pastures (a golf course, probably), to a destiny that feels dangerously uncertain. As the president gears up to leave the White House, I find myself enduring the classic five stages of grief — everything from blissful denial to straight-up depression.

    So, much like a lovesick tween of the '90s, I made a mixtape to cope. Ahead, 10 tracks that most accurately express how I feel about our commander in chief splitting up with us after eight years.


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    Mariah Carey — "Always Be My Baby"
    Denial is not just a river in Egypt — it’s the water that sustains me during this difficult time of transition. Mariah Carey captures my stubborn refusal to let go in this track, rejecting the idea that her man will ever belong to anyone else. While there will be a new leader of the free world at this time next year, Obama will always be my president.

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    1 of 10

    Blackstreet — "Don’t Leave Me"
    “My love runs deeper than the ocean and sea but if you sail away you’ll take the center piece of me,” croons Teddy Riley on this heartfelt track. I’d ordinarily be too proud to beg, but this is a special case.

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    Drake — "Best I Ever Had"
    I’ve seen a few leaders come in and out of the White House over the years — most of whom had the charisma of a middle-school gym teacher or the ethics of a…well…Trump. And then came Barack. Not sure we can do better than this. Drake and I — equally comfortable emoting — both know this.

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    Jackson 5 — "I Want You Back"
    This one’s a little upbeat, but it can’t hurt to dance through the stress. Little MJ bargains, “Oh baby, all I need is one more chance.” Wear your mom jeans if you want, Obama. We won’t make fun of you anymore if you put in another term or two.

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    Adele — "Someone Like You"
    Here come the real tears. “You know how time flies,” Adele says. If you’re set on retiring, can I at least have someone like you in the White House to ease the blow? I’d blare this on a boom box on the White House lawn if it didn’t guarantee jail time.