Does Barack Obama really make his playlists? The former president insists it’s really him.

His end-of-year recommendations have long prompted skepticism of his allegedly wide-ranging taste, but he pushed back in a new interview with Hasan Minaj.

June 22, 2023

It’s an end-of-year tradition: former President Barack Obama shares his favorite books, movies, and songs of the year, and the internet gets to debating whether or not he actually makes them. And look, it’s an understandable assumption that Obama, like most former high-level government officials, did not spend 2022 blasting “Tití Me Preguntó." But Mr. Obama really wants you to know that he is actually listening to all that music.


The topic was breached during a new half-hour interview with Obama conducted by Hasan Minaj. When Minaj asked if those playlists are actually made by him, the answer was an emphatic (and somewhat defensive) “I do!” He continues: “People, they believe the books and the movies, but the playlists, they somehow think — and this is mostly coming from young people like you — somehow, y’all think you invented rock ’n’ roll. You invented hip-hop. And so the fact that my lists are, you know, pretty incredible — people seem to think, well, he must’ve had some 20-year-old intern who was figuring out this latest cut. No, man! It’s on my iPad right now.”

Minaj doesn’t let up, though, and asks Obama if his iPad really contains “Life Is Good,” a song by SiR and Scribz Riley. “Yes, I do,” Obama says as sweat begins to bead on his forehead. “Come on, man. Don’t play with me.” Minaj then raises the bar, asking the former leader of the free world to summarize the plot of After Lives by Abdul Razak Gurnah, and Obama deflects. Listen, I’ll grant that he probably reads the books, but someone needs to tell him that there’s no shame in listening to the same Al Green greatest hits compilation and almost nothing else.


Watch the clip via TikTok and the full interview via YouTube below.


Mr. President, be honest… who’s making those playlists? 👀

♬ original sound - Hasan Minhaj
Posted: June 22, 2023