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Barack Obama’s Favorite Songs of 2021: Mitski, Lil Nas X


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Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images

Mitski, Isaiah Rashad, Parquet Courts — no, this isn’t some “hip” indie playlist; it’s the former president of the United States’ favorite songs of the year. Year-end-list season continued with Barack Obama releasing his annual best-songs list, which itself followed his lists of books and movies. And as is the case every year, Obama’s songs list is full of surprises. Among them: “The Only Heartbreaker,” by indie darling Mitski; “Headshots (4 da Locals),” by Chattanooga rapper Isaiah Rashad; and “Walking at a Downtown Pace,” by Queens indie-rock icons Parquet Courts. So what intern made this list? As usual, Obama’s selections bore the influence of his Gen-Z daughters, Sasha and Malia, with Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and Lizzo and Cardi B’s “Rumors” making the cut. And okay, sure, there were a few pretty 60-year-old dad choices, too, from the War on Drugs’ “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” to Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill’s linkup “Nobody.” Find Obama’s full playlist (which features nothing as head-scratching as The Card Counter’s inclusion on his favorite-movies list) below.

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