Inside Michell and Barack Obama’s African music library

Posted on January 23 2020 , at 02:09 pm
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All over the world, articles are written and debates are had on the “Obama playlists.” It has now become a thing for former US President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama to post playlists of music they are feeling and give fans a little glimpse of their taste in music.

Between them they have over 100 million followers on social media so there’s a large audience waiting for these picks from modern day icons. We took a look at the playlists they’ve shared so far to see what the African part of their music library looks like. Here’s what we found: 

The Obamas love the East and Central African vibes

In the first playlist Barack Obama ever shared on December 28, 2018, only two African songs make it onto the former presidents “favorite songs of 2018” list. Fatoumata Diawara’s guitar-laden “Nterini” from Mali and DRC’s Jupiter and Okwess’ fast-paced “Ekombe”. Both songs are very instrument heavy and upper-mid to high tempo. 

They were tentative with Nigerian music

The next playlist the Obamas shared was their “Summer Playlist 2019” and this time only one African song made it onto the playlist – Rema’s “Iron Man”. Of course this may not be the Obamas first foray into Nigerian music but you know who wouldn’t care? Rema. 

The Obamas are loving African music more

For their favorite songs of 2019, three African songs make the list: Burna Boy’s “Anybody”, Angelique Kidjo’s “La Vide Es Un Carnaval” and Rema’s “Iron Man’. It’s starting to look like the Obamas are getting a taste for African music. 

Burna Boy has made two Obama playlists

The one discussed in the paragraph above and on Michelle Obama’s 2020 workout playlist with “My Money, My Baby”. This could mean that the Obamas are starting to jive more to Burna Boy and feeling the African giant’s artistry. 

What do you think of the Obamas African picks? 

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