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10 Metal Songs That Should Be on Barack Obama’s Summer Playlist


Former president of the United States Barack Obama is something of a celebrity, and not just because he ran this country for eight years. When he’s not serving as a target for Ted Nugent, Number 44 makes plenty of public appearances, some political and some not.

Since he took office, Obama has reliably shared a summer playlist. This year’s is full of great songs from Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Bad Bunny and Rakim, plus 40 others, but we can’t help but notice something: there’s no metal! Here are 10 metal tracks that we think should be on Obama’s summer 2022 playlist.

Sleep – “Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream” (Volume 1, 1999)

Obama has never made it a secret that he’s indulged in the devil’s lettuce at points in his life and he seems like the most likely current or former president to enjoy Sleep‘s thick, smoky riffs and hazy melodies. With a runtime under five minutes and a few quieter passages, “Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream” seems like Obama’s summer stoner pick.

Municipal Waste – “Crank the Heat” (Electrified Brain, 2022)

We noticed an upsetting lack of party thrash in the chosen 44 songs but that’s okay; Obama probably just forgot that Municipal Waste have been cranking out feel-good jams with their new album, Electrified Brain. The soundtrack to every good party includes a drinking song and Municipal Waste are the kings of thrashing under the influence.

Clutch – “Electric Worry” (From Beale Street to Oblivion, 2007)

Taking a look at his past summer playlists reveals that Obama likes his rock on the bluesy end, which makes Clutch the perfect pick to bridge the gap between his world and ours. “Electric Worry” features plenty of swing and foot-stomping goodness as Clutch revel in their heavy rock glory.

Imperial Triumphant feat. Kenny G and Max Gorelick – “Merkurius Gilded” (Spirit of Ecstasy, 2022)

Avant-garde black metal unit Imperial Triumphant are pretty much as lofty and upscale as black metal can get. The band’s members have established jazz backgrounds and they wear cloaks and gold masks, writing songs about futurism, urban decay and other philosophical musings. Imperial Triumphant are the thinking man’s metal band and their recent offering, “Merkurius Gilded,” features living jazz legend Kenny G. and his son, former Imperial Triumphant touring guitarist Max Gorelick. Obama shows his love for jazz on the playlist and Kenny G.’s name might be enough to pull him in, at least for a single listen.

Amorphis – “House of Sleep” (Eclipse, 2006)

How many presidents have we had who are aware of Finnish death metal and reference it in speeches? Though we’re still waiting on the report that provides the damning evidence that more heavy metal is responsible for the higher quality of life that Finns enjoy, the thought of the POTUS listening to Children of Bodom in the Oval Office is pretty fucking great. As much as I want to picture him rocking out to “Punch Me I Bleed,” it’s more likely that Obama gets down to Amorphis‘ mid-2000s rock-oriented work.

Motörhead – “Bomber” (Bomber, 1979)

British legends Motörhead are another band that straddles the line between rock and metal, making them a solid bridge between Jack White and Imperial Triumphant… right? Lemmy was clear about his feelings on Obama while the rocker was still alive and the chorus to “Bomber” sounds kind of like “Obama! Obama!” thanks to the frontman’s British accent.

Backxwash – “I Lie Here Buried with My Rings and My Dresses” (I Lie Here Buried with My Rings and My Dresses, 2021)

Another genre that our 44th president was never shy about expressing his love for is hip hop. Backxwash is the best modern example of why elements of extreme music work so well in rap. The provocative producer and emcee has performed at Roadburn and received plenty of love from the metal community. I Lie Here Buried with My Rings and My Dresses is totally on Obama’s turn-up playlist.

Metallica – “Master of Puppets” (Master of Puppets, 1986)

He’s hung out with the Stranger Things cast before. You know he watched the season four finale and had the main riff stuck in his head for weeks.

Korn – “Freak on a Leash” (Follow the Leader, 1998)

Depending on your memory for viral internet content, you might remember a 2015 clip in which Obama confirmed that he is not Jonathan Davis, the singer of Korn. The story goes back to the time that Davis visited a wounded medal of honor recipient in the hospital but it also spawned this incredible video. Besides, it’s fun to picture Obama doing Davis’ scats in “Freak on a Leash.”

Turnstile – “Wild Wrld” (Glow On, 2021)

Glow On saw Baltimore hardcore crew Turnstile fully complete their transformation into pop-hardcore beasts who connect with both scene veterans and 311 fans. Pretty much every song on Glow On features a hooky chorus and breakdowns that inspire more booty shaking than crowd killing. POTUS will see you in the pit.

Deftones – “Change (in the House of Flies)” (White Pony, 2000)

Back when he was still just Senator Barack Obama, the big man campaigned on one word: Change. Few things will remind you of the good times more than Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno singing your slogan but, like, before it was your slogan.

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