President Barack Obama released a 28 track Spotify playlist this past Thursday profiling some of his favorite music. While it is quite obvious that his staff handpicked each track, it is certainly notable to watch the Commander in Chief embrace some of today’s online media platforms. In addition to the Spotify playlist, Obama announced the release of this playlist on his Tumblr and Twitter accounts.
Taken at the face value, the track names included in Obama’s playlist alone are enough to inspire change, something I imagine he was going for. Some of the tracks that induce a spirit of perseverance are Raphael Saadiq’s “Keep Marchin’,” The Impression’s “Keep on Pushing,” REO Speedwagon’s “Roll With the Changes” and Ledisi’s “Raise Up”. Other choice track names include “Different People,” “Everyday America,” and “We Take Care of Our Own”.
One of the tracks that Obama was likely to have actually chosen is Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” especially in light of his brief rendition of Green’s hit at a fundraiser last month.
Roots drummer QuestLove, on his music blog Okayplayer, hypothesized on Obama’s involvement in Spotify with this statement:
I am pretty sure what Spotify gave Obama in return for this incredible bump (the government should not pick winners in the digital music industry!) is detailed, demographically parsed data about American listening habits, broken right down to the most-played songs in key voting districts in the swing states of Ohio, Michigan and Florida.
MSNBC also weighed in on the playlist, breaking down Obama’s motives in an article titled, “Obama’s Spotify Playlist: 7 Things It Says About His Campaign”. If the playlist is an effort to get votes and establish unity heading into the election, Obama, or rather his staff should have thought a little broader in creating their mixtape. The MSNBC article highlights key demographics that are ignored in music including America’s Latino population apparently represented by a Ricky Martin song, as well as women, due to the fact that only 6 songs on the 28 track playlist are by female vocalists.