Obama's summer jams: The playlist you never knew you needed

Rejoice music lovers and fans of the US president: Barack Obama has dropped his 2016 summer playlist.

This is the second year in a row he's shared what he's listening to, and we can only imagine that it was one of the harder decisions of his tenure. Seriously, how can you pick just one Prince track?

Like last year, it's conveniently separated into two playlists: Songs For The Daytime and Songs For The Nighttime.

Say what you will about Obama, but he's undeniably America's coolest president. His popularity amongst millennials is huge, and this is no doubt helped by his trendy taste in music. Let's face it - which other president has had Beyonce sing at their inauguration?

Whilst Queen Bey hasn't made the list this year, Obama's selection is a well-balanced mix of old and new. Here are our highlights from POTUS's playlist.


Smooth Sailin' - Leon Bridges

Let's be clear - this isn't your dad saying that he likes Flo Rida just "to be down with the kids". Obama knows what he's talking about when it comes to contemporary music. Bridges adds some old school gospel and soul to the list, but is an incredibly relevant artist.

He's one of the many artists featured who have been to the White House to meet the president - he performed there in February in honour of Black History Month.

Tightrope - Janelle Monae

Monae was at the White House just last month for the Fourth of July celebrations, performing alongside Kendrick Lamar. This track is fun, upbeat and peppy, and just right for a summer's day.

We are somewhat disappointed that Kendrick hasn't made the list as Obama has so often sung his praises. We'll make up for it by watching his brilliant White House performance.

Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys.

A classic crowdpleaser, it's been on everyone's summer playlist since 1966.

Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator

Courtney Barnett
(Rich Fury/AP)

This was an unexpected choice from Obama, but a great one if you ask us. Barnett is a deadpan Aussie singer, with lyrics that tell some truly bizarre stories.

Also on the summer playlist is Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady, which is a repeat from last year. Love the consistency, Barack.


Acid Rain - Chance The Rapper

Chance the Rapper
(Chris Pizzello/AP)

No surprises that Chance makes it on to Obama's list, as the two Chicago natives go way back. Chance's father used to work for Obama, and Chance first met him when he was 16. His dad then went on to be deputy chief of staff to mayor Rahm Emanuel, meaning that Chance grew up surrounded by Chicago politics.

While Chance may have been somewhat embarrassed that the President of the United States chose one of his songs that so openly references acid, there are so many reasons why it makes sense on the list. We imagine that the lyrics "I think love is beautiful too" are pretty resonant for the president.

Chance made an appearance at the White House earlier this year along with various other prominent artists (including Common, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj) to talk about the anti-violence initiative My Brother's Keeper.

With regards to the rest of the nighttime playlist, all we can say is we love how unashamedly sexy Obama's song choices are. Green Aphrodisiac by Corinne Bailey Rae, Lover Man by Billie Holiday, Trapped By A Thing Called Love by Denise LaSalle - these are all beautiful jams for the warmer evenings.

Obama dancing.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

So once again we commend Obama's taste in music. The one thing we are slightly troubled by is his choice of Nina Simone song. In 2015 Obama picked Feeling Good, whereas this year he opted for Sinnerman. We'll try not to read too much into that.

You can listen to Obama's playlists on Spotify now.

Read Full Story