Former presidents — (some of them) are just like us. Barack Obama released his rundown of favorite songs from 2021 on a new curated Spotify playlist, and the eclectic 27-track roster includes everything from pop, rock and hip-hop to reggaeton, jazz, house, Tuareg guitar jams and gothic blues.
A number of his selections will probably be familiar to many, including Brandi Carlile‘s “Broken Horses,” Lil Nas X‘s smash “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” Jon Batiste‘s “Freedom,” Aventura and Bad Bunny‘s “Volvi” and the Lizzo/Cardi B collab “Rumors.”
In a note accompanying the playlist, Obama wrote, “I’ve always enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music, so it’s no surprise that I listened to a little bit of everything this year. I hope you find a new artist or song to add to your own playlist.”
As usual, the 44th president’s list had a bunch of deep-dive tracks that spanned a wide variety of genres and left-of-the-dial selections, including the driving Mitski kickoff track “The Only Heartbreaker,” the War on Drugs/Mitski team-up “I Don’t Live Here Anymore,” hypnotic Nigerian guitar music from Mdou Moctar (“Tala Tannam”), Adia Victoria’s haunting “Magnolia Blues,” slinky retro soul from Durand Jones & the Indications (“Witchoo”) and Esperanza Spalding’s signature R&B-inflected jazz (“Formwela 10”).
There’s also low-key hip-hop from Ghanaian-Australian rapper Genesis Owusu (“Gold Chains”), Little Simz’s bubbling rhymes (“Woman”), high-energy reggaeton from Farruko (“Pepas”), Spice, Shaggy and Sean Paul’s dancehall super summit (“God Down Deh”), as well as songs from Wye Oak, Teddy Afro, Allison Russell, Courtney Barnett, Bad Bunny, Yebba, Yendry, Parquet Courts and more.
Check out Obama’s playlist below.