Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen team up for new Renegades: Born in the USA podcast
Former President Barack Obama and legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen are known for their power on the mic. And today, the two have released their very own podcast: Renegades: Born in the USA. The eight-episode series (of which the first two episodes are out now) features the duo in dialogue about everything from their similar childhoods as "outsiders" to being role models to how to approach the divided state of America today.
"How did we get here?" Obama asks in the intro to episode 1. "How could we find our way back to a more unifying American story?"
The podcast is the second to be released under the partnership between Spotify and the Obamas' production company, Higher Ground. Former First Lady Michelle Obama debuted her interview podcast last year.
Renegades: Born in the USA was recorded at Springsteen's converted farmhouse in New Jersey — a "house of 1000 guitars," as Springsteen so humorously describes in the opening moments of the podcast.
The two influential figures met on Obama's 2008 presidential campaign trail. In episode 1, "Outsiders: An Unlikely Friendship," Obama and Springsteen talk about their immediate kinship, borne out of their upbringings facing adversity head-on. Springsteen, 71, was raised in the small town of Freehold, N.J., and remembers the race riots and financial struggles that took place in New Jersey growing up. "When you went down Main Street, the town was sort of dead on arrival," he describes.
Obama, 59, grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, a place where he "wasn't easily unidentifiable. I felt like an outsider."
The first episode also features Springsteen playing a rendition of "My Hometown," and Obama and Springsteen discussing Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, as well as how much has or hasn't progressed in America since they were growing up. They also emphasize the need to empower people to spark change in their own way.
"As an active player at this moment in time, you have some power to acknowledge these things and perhaps do something about them," Springsteen says on the podcast.