For several years now, former President of the United States Barack Obama has jumped on Twitter to share a list of some of his favourite songs, films, and books of the year. Truly a worldly and cultured individual, many of his picks are the cream of the crop; last year's list included Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, "Apes**t" by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and the fastest selling book of 2018, his wife Michelle's memoir Becoming.
Today, Obama dropped the last in the long-awaited 2019 edition of his annual lists. From the looks of it, the former POTUS has been bingeing critically acclaimed several films and television series, showing love to titles like Netflix's Marriage Story and The Irishman, Watchmen, and Fleabag. He also spent much of his free time in 2019 reading the works of Bernadine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other) and NBA All-Star Andre Iguodala (The Sixth Man).
The 44th president also shared his favourite songs of the year, and a lot of the entries are...interesting, to say the least. Of course, as people, we're allowed to like anything and everything that catches our attention — one look at my recently played playlist on Apple Music, and you'll see everything from Afrobeats to second generation K-pop to 90's R&B — but Obama's 2019 "Songs of the Year" playlist truly is a sight to behold.
The playlist is diverse from beginning to end, spanning from some of the year's biggest party hits ("Anybody" by Burna Boy swept the African diaspora when it was released as a single off of his album African Giant, and no one can deny the power of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road) to the moodier, more low-key melodies ("I Want You Around").
It's so all-encompassing, in fact, that inquiring minds want to know: Is Obama really listening to all of this music? Granted, he is the father of two very cool Gen-Z daughters, so it's highly possible that Sasha and Malia put him on to the criminally underrated melodic mumble rap of Young Thug. But come on.
Summer Walker's "Come Thru" made the cut. The song, which samples Usher's Billboard Hot 100 hit "U Make Me Wanna" and features the R&B singer, is quite literally about a late night invitation for sex. "You make me wanna come through/Quarter after two/Just to put it down on you," Walker and Usher harmonise seductively during the chorus. Not that President Obama's sex life is any of our business, but you sir, are a whole husband of almost 30 years. It's not called a "dick appointment," it's just date night.
Next up, please turn your attention to "Suge" by DaBaby. The single put the Charlotte, North Carolina, star on the map, and it peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. On the bop, the rapper confidently talks his shit, dropping expletives left and right. Obama curses, we know that much (he's a cool dad after all), but wow. Is that so, Mr. President?
Nonetheless, the end of the day, the playlist is well-rounded from beginning to end. Now, I don't know if it's purely Obama behind these songs, if Sasha has been blasting Migos at the house, or if it's the influence of one of his interns, but it doesn't really matter. It slaps regardless.
Check out Obama's 2019 songs of the year below.