The former POTUS has often shared his love for hip-hop, but does he have a favorite verse? When interviewed by Complex, Obama was asked if there was a rap verse he could recite by heart and he responded by citing JAY-Z’s “My 1st Song.”
“I’ve mentioned a couple of songs that even when I was running for president came up a lot on my iPod. One of them was ‘My 1st Song’ by JAY-Z, which is a song that I love because it talks about the struggle of just trying to make it,” he said. “And sometimes you have to resort to false bravado and hustle and tamping down your insecurities and when I was running for president, obviously, at that point I didn’t know whether I was gonna make it, so somehow that inspired me.”
One lyric in particular resonated with him. “There’s a line in there, ‘Treat my first as my last and my last as my first and my thirst is the same as when I came,’” Obama shared. “And I actually kept on listening to that song during the presidency because it was a reminder that–even when you do make it–having a little bit of that sense of still being hungry, still having to work hard, still having to prove something, that’s what keeps propelling you forward.”
However, he stopped short of actually rapping the verse. “You do not know want to hear me rap,” said Obama. “When I have tried to rap, my daughters have rolled their eyes, covered their ears. They think it’s painful. They even think my dancing is better than my rapping.”
In December, he included “My 1st Song” on his “Promised Land” playlist, compiled of 20 memorable songs from his administration.
His wife, Michelle Obama, recently revealed that she’s been listening to another hip-hop great, Tupac Shakur. “I’ve gotten back into Tupac lately. It kinda goes like that,” said the former First Lady. “I’ll like hear something and I just want to hear it over and over again. And right now I’m into Tupac.”