President Barack Obama changed the presidency in numerous ways. One of his unprecedented moves was being incredibly open about his musical taste. According to Rolling Stone, Obama released a list of his favorite songs of 2019 to the internet. Here are the best jams from this list.
Lizzo – ‘Truth Hurts’
If you listened to any new music at all during 2019, you definitely heard Lizzo’s smash hit “Truth Hurts.” In fact, you probably heard it numerous times. Although the track received plenty of exposure, it’s still worth sitting back to appreciate how “Truth Hurts” is a great pop crowd-pleaser. Few hit songs have as many memorable lyrics as “Truth Hurts.”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – ‘Old Town Road’
People don’t associate country music with trap music, as they’re very different genres. However, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus proved they could work together well. The song somehow manages to be goofy, fun, nostalgic, and thoughtful.
With its combination of genres and tones, it’s no wonder “Old Town Road” became a hit. It will be interesting to see Lil Nas X’s career evolve from here – and to learn whether or not “Old Town Road” represents a revival of Cyrus’ fame. Last year, the two singers probably didn’t anticipate they would collaborate – or that their collaboration would be admired by President Obama.
Beyoncé – ‘Mood 4 Eva’
Beyoncé might not have as many major radio smashes in the 2010s as she had in the 2000s, but she’s continued to be a significant artist. One of the best latter-day Beyoncé tracks is “Mood 4 Eva.” The Africana influence on the song works beautifully alongside its trap beats. Fittingly, Jay-Z references several notable figures from African history in his verse, like Mansa Musa and President Nelson Mandela.
In addition to its interesting musical elements, “Mood 4 Eva” features some of Beyonce’s trademark braggadocio. Who could forget a line like “I am Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter/I am the Nala, sister of Yoruba/Oshun, Queen Sheba, I am the mother/Ankh on my gold chain, ice on my whole chain/I be like soul food, I am a whole mood?” This song is good enough it deserved to be a major hit. Hopefully, Obama’s list will draw more attention to this trap masterpiece.
Solange – ‘Binz’
Like sister, like sister. This list includes a Beyoncé song and a song by her sister, Solange. Although she’s not as famous as Beyoncé, Solange deserves to be respected as an artist in her own right.
Solange’s song “Binz” was one of the best R&B jams of 2019 – a year with several great R&B jams. Few songs will make you feel as cool and relaxed as “Binz.” Its minimalist baseline is to die for.
Alongside the list, President Obama released a short note. “From hip-hop to country…here are my songs of the year. If you’re looking for something to keep you company on a long drive or help you turn up a workout, I hope there’s a track or two in here that does the trick.”