Here’s Every Hip-Hop Artist Who’s Been Featured on a Barack Obama Playlist
Don't you miss the days when the leader of the free world was an unabashed hip-hop head? Forget about the Kanye West's bromance with 45—we're talking about former U.S. President Barack Obama, who openly embraced everyone from Kendrick Lamar and Common to Pusha-T and Hov. His tenure in the Oval Office may be done, but his fandom for rap music seems to be lifelong.
Since 2015, Obama has been curating eclectic playlists with Spotify and Apple Music to document his favorite songs of each year—and that love for hip-hop shines through.
For his first playlist, one released during the summer of 2015, the then-Commander-in-Chief kept things on the conscious tip, pulling up with selections from Yasiin Bey ("Umi Says") and Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek ("Memories Live"). The next year, he made sure to include Nas and Jay-Z ("So Ambitious" with Pharrell).
There's more where those artists came from, too. In all, Obama has dropped four of his own playlists (2015-2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) and one with his wife, Michelle Obama. Just yesterday, Obama went harder than ever on the rap end, unloading a 2019 list that included J. Cole, Young Thug and DaBaby.
Looking back at all the presidential playlists by No. 44, XXL compiles a list of every hip-hop artist featured on one of Obama's special playlists. Whether it's the reflective stylings of hip-hop's most thoughtful lyricists or a free-wheeling rhyme session for certified rap stars, Obama made sure to cover a lot of hip-hop bases. Check out the full list below.