Barack Obama Reveals Summer Playlist: Combination of Expected (Kendrick, Beyonce) and Surprises (Wet Leg!)

Former President Barack Obama has unveiled another of his summer playlists, and as in the past it’s a combination of the expected – NPR level but edgy rap and R&B, some old soul chestnuts, a little alt-rock and country, a nod to his podcast mate Bruce Springsteen, and some international gems – along with a few “woah!” surprises, especially British upstart Wet Leg. (We could provide more examples, but see below.)

Like his previous lists and his annual summer reading listsit’s a combination of age-appropriate, adventurous (but not at adventurous) and family-friendly music with a uniformly positive or socially relevant message – just like the man and the policies of his presidency, which feel so long ago.

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He writes: “Every year I get excited to share my summer playlist because through you guys I learn answers about so many new artists – it’s an example of how music can really bring us all together. This is what I listened to this summer. What songs would you add?”

Beyoncé: “Break My Soul”
Tems: “Vibe Out”
Harry Styles: “Music for a sushi restaurant”
The Spinners: “Mighty Love”
Joe Cocker: “Feel Good”
Sampa the Great: “Energy” [ft. Nadeem Din-Gabisi]
Rosalia: “Saoko”
Lil Yachty: “Split/all the time”
Prince: “Let’s go crazy”
Maggie Rogers: “That’s Where I Am”
Al Green: “I Can’t Get Next To You”
dr. John: “More Than You Know”
Miles Davis: “Blue in Green”
Burna Boy: “Last Last”
Doechii: “Convincing”
Hope Tala: “Cherries” [ft. Aminé]
Aretha Franklin: “Save Me”
Lyle Lovett: “Nobody Knows Me”
Bad Bunny & Bomba Estereo: “Ojitos Lindos”
Coffee: “Pull up”
Bruce Springsteen: “Dancing in the Dark”
Wet leg: “Angelica”
Rakim: “Like IB on Tha Mic”
Drake: “Too good” [ft. Rihanna]
D’Angelo: “Spanish joint”
Nina Simone: “Am I moving you? (Version II)”
Dave Brubeck: “Take Five”
Pheelz & Bnxn: “Finesse” [ft. Buju]
Amber Mark: “Bliss”
Jacob Banks: “Found”
Caamp: “Apple Tree Blues”
Otis Redding: “I loved you”
Wyclef Jean: “Guantanamera” [ft. Ms. Lauryn Hill]
Jack White: “I’m Shaking”
Big John Hamilton: “I just want to thank you”
Fatboy Slim: “Praise you”
Dijon: “Many times”
The Foreign Currency: “Better” [ft. Shana Tucker and Eric Roberson]
Omar Apollo: “Tamagotchi” Maren Morris: “The furthest thing”
The Internet: “Under Control”
Kendrick Lamar: “Die Hard”
Vince Staples & Mustard: “Magic”
Kacey Musgraves: “Keep looking up”

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