Before the years end, former President Barack Obama resumed his contributions as culture tastemaker, sharing his favorite books, films and music of 2021.
“Art always sustains and nourishes the soul. But for me, music and storytelling felt especially urgent during this pandemic year — a way to connect even when we were cooped up,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram Wednesday. Obama also welcomed followers to post their own 2021 recommendations for him to catch up on.
Debuting on his social media channels, Obama gave followers 27 wide-ranging titles of choice songs, including “Rumors” by Lizzo featuring Cardi B, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” by Lil Nas X and “Headshots (4R Da Locals)” by Isaiah Rashad, and — most surprising — “In My Blood” from Mo3 and Morray.
“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,” Obama said. “I hope you find a new artist or song to add to your own playlist.”
Earlier in the year, Obama posted his annual summer playlist, which featured tracks both throwback and new from Rihanna (“Desperado”), Migos (“Straightenin”) and Erykah Badu (“Didn’t Cha Know”). After attending Obama’s 60th birthday party in August, Badu apologized for posting unauthorized pictures at the event, where guests were seen not wearing masks.
Obama’s 2021 “Favorites” also featured recommended films and books for families to bond over during the holidays. While the film list included Judas and the Black Messiah, The Tragedy of Macbeth and Passing, Obama enjoyed books “that felt urgent during this pandemic year” from authors Clint Smith (How the Word Is Passed), Colson Whitehead (Harlem Shuffle) and Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks).
As we await Obama’s 2022 summertime playlist, below is the full list of his 2021 recommendations:
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