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Barack Obama Drops His Obviously Tasteful Favorite Songs of 2023

As he’s always wont to do, Barack Obama has been trickling out his favorite bits of culture from 2023 over the past few weeks, and he’s finally shared his list of favorite songs.

The playlist is vintage Obama-core — a wide-ranging, always tasteful, potentially focus-grouped assortment of music from across the globe. A mix of hits, critical darlings, and plenty of songs that make you wonder, “Ok, which intern, or daughter, put him onto that?” (Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that — there’s plenty of overlap between the ex-pres’ list and our own favorite songs of the year.)

From a pure charts perspective, the two biggest songs on Obama’s list are the first two he mentions, Karol G and Shakira’s “TQG” and Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves’ “I Remember Everything.” He also highlighted songs from artists he’s shown love for in the past, including Beyoncé (“America Has a Problem,” featuring Kendrick Lamar), Allison Russell (“The Returner”), Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (“Cast Iron Skillet”), Burna Boy (“Sittin’ On Top of the World,” featuring 21 Savage), Megan Thee Stallion (“Cobra”), and Big Thief (“Vampire Empire”).

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Other refined choices include Victoria Monet’s “On My Mama,” Tems’ “Me & U,”  Yng Lvcas and Peso Pluma’s “La Bebe” (Remix), Asake and Olamide’s “Amapiano,” Mitski’s “My Love Mine All Mine,” Blondshell’s “Joiner,” and Dave and Central Cee’s “Sprinter.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Obama list without some extremely “dad music” choices, hence the presence of Lenny Kravitz’s “Road to Freedom” and Rita Wilson and Keith Urban’s “Crazy Love.” 

Prior to sharing his favorite songs of the year, Obama tossed out his lists for best books and movies. The latter list actually got a special addendum, too, with Obama tweeting last night, “Update: I just saw The Color Purple and loved it. I’m adding it to this list as one of my favorite movies of the year.” This led to a deluge of good Twitter jokes and memes about the former President of the United States fielding a very stern, perturbed phone call from one of the film’s producers — Oprah.

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