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Obama's 'Best Of 2017' List Draws Criticism

Obama's 'Best Of 2017' List Draws Criticism Promo Image

The numerous rap tracks on Barack Obama's favorite songs of 2017 playlist have raised the eyebrows of some listeners who feel the sexually explicit lyrics are too controversial in the post-Weinstein era, especially in the middle of the #MeToo movement.

In a New Year's Eve Facebook post, the former president continued his in-office tradition of sharing his favorite books and songs of the previous year, this time with his 55 million social media followers.

"With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up," Obama wrote, "I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here's my 2017 list."

The 44th president's favorite books included both fiction and nonfiction, as well as memoirs.

ABC noted that a number of the 12 titles -- such as "Janesville: An American Story" by journalist Amy Goldstein and "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond -- touch on poverty in the U.S. CNN, meanwhile, reported that some of the titles are political.

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Obama's 22 favorite songs of 2017 were diverse, ranging from country to indie to R&B. But it was the ex-president and self-proclaimed feminist's affinity for rap music that drew ire from some conservatives.

Hip-hop artists featured in the playlist include Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Young Thug and DJ Khaled. The Daily Wire's Jared Sichel called attention to the explicit lyrics of some of the songs, questioning why progressive supporters of the #MeToo movement weren't calling them misogynistic.

Sichel singled out Camilla Cabella and Young Thug's "Havana" ("Bump on her bumper like a traffic jam / Hey, I was quick to pay that girl like Uncle Sam") and DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts" ("Ayy, uh huh, uh huh, I heard that p***y for the taking / I heard it got these other n***as goin' crazy / Yeah I treat you like a lady, lady / F**k you 'til you're burned out, cremation.")

The Daily Wire's Sichel also cited other examples of politically incorrect lyrics in Obama's playlist. Some of the words, Sichel argued, are not too far off from Donald Trump's famed assertion that he likes to "grab women by the p***y."

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A number of think pieces have been written about re-examining the sexual objectification of women in many rap songs in light of the #MeToo movement. One such piece, written by Jasmyne Cannickfor the Los Angeles Sentinel, argues that artists should not be allowed to hide behind disrespectful lyrics: "In 2017, it cannot be socially acceptable to complain about racism freely and point out the sexual misconduct in the film industry but not to criticize a rapper’s sexism and misogyny simply because it’s 'art' and we like the song."

Sources: Barack Obama/FacebookThe Daily Wire, CNN, ABC News, Los Angeles Sentinel / Featured Image: Chuck Kennedy/The White House / Embedded Images: Johan Viirok/Flickr, Obama White House/Flickr

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