Barack Obama Swears He Doesn’t Take Any Shortcuts When Building His Famed Year-End Lists Of The Top Music, Movies, And Shows

Barack Obama was the 44th President Of The United States for eight years, but his most eternal legacy might be as an ongoing curator of books, movies, and music. Obama shares his favorite offerings every December, and his “Favorite Music Of 2022” list included Ari Lennox, Bad Bunny, Burna Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, Omar Apollo, Rema, SZA, and more. That’s before mentioning his 2022 Summer Playlist

Hasan Minhaj asked what all of us struggling to complete ordinary to-do lists have been thinking.

“Mr. President, when you do your end-of-the-year lists, do you really read all those books, watch all those shows, and listen to all those songs,” Minhaj posed to Obama for a sit-down interview posted to his YouTube on Wednesday, June 21.

“I do!” Obama responded.

Minhaj giggled and countered with, “No, you don’t!” But he allowed Obama to make his case.

“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 and roll. You invented hip-hop,” the former president explained. “And so the fact that my lists are 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!”

Obama later added, “I am very scrupulous about making sure that this is stuff that I actually like. I will confess that there are times — on the playlists, on the music lists — where I will get suggestions because it’s not like I got time to be listening to music all the time. Typically, at the end of the year, what happens is folks will be like, ‘Man, you need to listen to this. This is good.’ But unless I’m actually listening to it, watching it, reading it, I won’t put it on there.”

Minhaj and Obama spent the rest of the 29-minute conversation discussing how bleak the country’s outlook feels, reflecting on Obama’s most trying moments in office, and updating his Twitter bio.

Watch it in full above, and revisit Obama’s latest lists below.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.