President Obama Playlist: From Beach Boys to Jay Z

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During the day, the President enjoys the Beach Boys, Aretha and Prince

During the day, the President enjoys the Beach Boys, Aretha and Prince

Whoever wins residency of the White House in November will have a lot to prove—especially when it comes to taste in music. President Obama has shared his summer playlist, nearly 40 diverse tracks divided into daytime and nighttime lists. To say his taste is eclectic is an understatement! The Pres glides smoothly from classic rock (the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” War’s “All Day Music”) to vintage soul (Aretha’s “Rock Steady,” Aaron Neville) but he also has a thing for great jazz (Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Charles Mingus) and, of course, Prince (“U Got the Look”).

But no one can accuse Obama of being stuck in the past. The vast majority of the songs he’s chosen are from more recent times, running the gamut from hip-hop (Chance the Rapper, Jay Z) to alternative (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). There’s some world music sprinkled in, some blues and reggae as well.

There are several tracks from artists we confess we’ve never heard of, which makes us wonder one thing: How does the President of the United States have time to find all this cool music?

The President’s “Daytime” playlist

LoveHate Thing – Wale
Smooth Sailin’ – Leon Bridges
Elevator Operator – Courtney Barnett
Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Many the Miles – Sara Bareilles
Tightrope – Janelle Monáe
Classic Man – Jidenna
So Ambitious – Jay Z feat. Pharrell
Me Gustas Tu – Manu Chao
Forever Begins – Common
The Man – Aloe Blacc
As We Enter – Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
Sinnerman – Nina Simone
U Got the Look – Prince
Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin
Good Vibrations – Beach Boys
Don’t Owe You A Thang – Gary Clark Jr.
Man Like That – Gin Wigmore
II B.S. (edit) – Charles Mingus

At night, POTUS grooves to Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Janet Jackson

At night, POTUS grooves to Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and Janet Jackson

The President’s “Nighttime” Playlist

If I Have My Way – Chrisette Michele
Espera – Esperanza Spalding
Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville
Alright – Ledisi
Trapped By A Thing Called Love – Denise LaSalle
Lady – D’Angelo
So Very Hard to Go – Tower of Power
Midnight Sun – Carmen McCrae
Cucurrucucú Paloma – Caetano Veloso
Green Aphrodisiac – Corinne Bailey Rae
I’ll Be There for You / You’re All I Need – Mary J. Blige / Method Man
Lover Man – Billie Holiday
Criminal – Fiona Apple
Acid Rain – Chance the Rapper
My Funny Valentine – Miles Davis
Do You Feel Me – Anthony Hamilton
I Get Lonely – Janet Jackson
Lean In – Lizz Wright
All Day Music – War
Say Yes – Floetry

The best thing about President Obama’s playlist is that the White House is sharing it on Spotify. To play the songs on the summer list, go here. And to hear POTUS’ nighttime grooves, go here.

Best Classic Bands Staff
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