We already knew that President Obama’s iPod contained an eclectic mix (Springsteen, Kanye, Marvin Gaye, Fugees) – but by now the Commander-In-Chief’s record collection will have swelled to include such cult classics as Captain Beefheart’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’ and The Flying Burrito Brothers’ ‘The Gilded Palace Of Sin’.
That’s because both albums feature in the official White House Record Library, situated in the basement of Obama’s new residence. The collection was initiated in 1973 during the Nixon administration (wonder if it included Billie Holiday’s ‘It’s A Sin To Tell a Lie’..?), and encompasses such canonical works as ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ and ‘Never Mind The Bollocks…’.
But while it’s gratifying to imagine the new President kicking back on a Friday night, acquainting himself with the history of classic rock, there’s a problem: the library hasn’t been updated since 1981. More troublingly, it represents an overwhelmingly white, ‘Rolling Stone’-approved version of music history.
Clearly, it’s time to suggest some new records for the Presidential collection. But which ones?
Young Jeezy’s ‘Mr President’ would be an obvious choice, particularly the inauguration night version featuring Jay-Z’s Obama-specific guest verse.
A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Can I Kick It?’ captures something of Obama’s mix of positivity and loose-limbed, open-necked informality. If he was feeling narcissistic he might even listen to the bootleg version featuring excerpts from his own speeches.
He’ll also need something to help him let off steam. Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Evil Empire’ album, say, might be the perfect fillip after a hard day trying to force his economic recovery package past stolid Republicans in the Senate.
Then again, why not take the opportunity to expand Obama’s tastes with something really leftfield? Fuck Buttons, say, or Five Finger Death Punch?
Any other suggestions?