For the second consecutive year, President Barack Obama has shared two summer playlists. “Been waiting to drop this: summer playlist, the encore,” Obama tweeted Thursday morning. “What’s everybody listening to?”
Like in 2015, the Obama-curated summer mix is broken into two halves, one for day and one for night. The daytime mix features hot (pun intended) emerging artists such as Courtney Barnett (“Elevator Operator”) and Leon Bridges (“Smooth Sailin'”), as well as enduring classics by the likes of the Beach Boys (“Good Vibrations”) and Nina Simone (“Sinnerman”). The nighttime mix sports a similarly eclectic blend, featuring cuts from Obama’s fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper (“Acid Rain”) to Janet Jackson (“I Get Lonely”).
Many of the artists on both playlists have strong ties to Obama and his time as president. “American history wells up when Aretha sings,” Obama recently told The New Yorker of iconic soul singer Aretha Franklin, whose “Rock Steady” appears on the daytime portion of the mix. And many of the featured artists — including Common, Janelle Monáe, and Gary Clark Jr. — have performed at the White House.
Comparing this year’s playlists to last year’s also confirms Obama’s breadth of music interests. While he included Franklin’s “Rock Steady” both times around, the president largely avoided doubling up on artists. That means that in 2016, seminal acts from Bob Dylan to Howlin’ Wolf to Justin Timberlake didn’t make the cut. When Obama did repeat acts — Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and Miles Davis are the only ones besides Franklin — he chose different songs.
Obama has long documented his pop culture interests for the American people, from breaking down his iPod’s music library when he first took office to dutifully serving his role as the country’s reader-in-chief.
Check out Obama’s summer playlists — conspicuously missing his latest pump-up jam, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” — below.