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Former President Barack Obama Releases Year-End List of Music, Books, and Movies Recommendations

Elgin Nelson

Former President Barack Obama concluded the year by releasing his annual year-end best-of recommendations highlighting his favorite books, movies & music. His latest edition marks the ninth annual year-end list since Obama began the tradition while still in office in 2015. 

The former president’s year-end, best song(s) list featured perennial superstar Beyoncé with her hit song ‘America Has a Problem’ featuring Kendrick Lamar, alongside rising South-African star Tyla with her chart-topping hit, ‘Water’, and superstar rapper Megan Thee Stallion, with her popular song, ‘Cobra.’ 

Obama also shared his affinity for Afrobeats, a genre of music with percussion rhythms that uses elements of jazz and funk to produce an up-tempo sound. Those songs included in the genre that made his list are Me & U by Tems, Sittin’ on Top of the World by Burna Boy featuring 21 Savage, Unavailable by Davido featuring Musa Keys, and Amapiano by Asake & Olamide.

The former president also expressed his support for the strike that took Hollywood by storm last year culminating in changes that “will transform the industry for the better.” His favorite movies of the year include Golden Globe-nominated films such as American Fiction, The Color Purple, A Thousand and One, The Holdovers, Past Lives, and Oppenheimer, to name just a few.

He also lists Leave the World Behind and Rustin, both produced under his production company, Higher Ground. I’m biased since these [last two] were produced by Higher Ground, but these are three of the best films I saw this year.”

Finally, Obama’s year-end list of book recommendations includes 15 titles— with bestsellers such as The Kingdom, The Power and The Glory, Poverty: By America, The Wager, and Chip War. Other titles such as The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, All the Sinners Bleed, and The Best Minds, which feature various genres, including fiction, history, and memoir.

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