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Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

on January 10, 2017, 7:00pm
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Tonight, Barack Obama will bring a close to his tenure as the 44th president of the United States with a speech in Chicago. It’s strange that we’re already here, not just because it’s yet another reminder of how quickly eight years can go by. It’s strange because Obama will leave office in a haze of uncertainty, both about what will follow him and what Obama himself will do when he continues his work as a civilian.

For as truly weird as it is to consider Barack Obama a civilian, he’s just a human being like the rest of us. (Assuming the illuminati isn’t a thing and lizard people aren’t either, at any rate.) He gets into the same pop music and TV phenomena as the rest of us, and unlike a lot of past presidents who carefully guarded their private lives from the public, Obama has been one of the most accessible presidents of the modern era.

obama cute Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

Sure, that’s as much a function of the rising Internet as anything else, but Obama understood something that future presidents will need to understand and that the next one in line very clearly hasn’t figured out so far: there’s little divide left between the internet self and the real person. The “second life” is as real to America and its social and political processes as reality, whether we like it or not, and Obama knew that to disclose just a little more was to truly be a man of the people in this age.

Consequence of Sound has heavily chronicled Obama’s work, especially when it pertained to the legion of essential musicians who passed through the White House during his tenure, or the artists with whom he’s surrounded himself since the beginning of 2009. Hell, this was the president who ran a music festival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

obama gif music Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

We know of his accomplishments and shortcomings alike as the President, but we also know that he was into Homeland for a while, and we knew what was on his iPod while he was trying to fix this whole mess. In a way, it made people feel a little closer to Obama than Bill Clinton’s cool-guy posturing with a saxophone ever did. Maybe that’s just calculated perception, but it mattered in this moment, at this time.

With that, we’ve taken the liberty of piecing together some of our favorite news articles about the president over the past eight years, to look back and to share our gratitude for what was always imperfect, but what we’ll generally call a job well done.

Thanks, Obama.

–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Film Editor


Live … From 1600!

January 2009: Arcade Fire perform “Born in the USA” at Obama’s Staff Ball

July 2009: Foo Fighters end hiatus at Obama’s First Family’s July 4th festivities

May 2010: Regina Spektor performs at the White House

December 2010: Jim James performs at the National Tree Lighting Ceremony

April 2013: Listen to Jay-Z’s new track “Open Letter”, White House forced to respond

June 2013: Finally, President Obama covers Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”

March 2014: Zach Galifianakis interviews Obama for Between Two Ferns

April 2014: White House declines petition to deport Justin Bieber

bieber mugshot

August 2014: Obama appears on the Foo Fighters’ documentary for Sonic Highways

June 2015: Prince and Stevie Wonder perform secret concert at the White House

footage Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

January 2016: Kendrick Lamar met with President Obama in the Oval Office

barack kendrick Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

July 2016: Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monáe make President Obama’s Fourth of July BBQ the highlight of his presidency

August 2016: President Obama celebrated his 55th birthday by partying with Kendrick Lamar

October 2016: Here’s what happened at President Obama’s South by South Lawn Festival

obama sxsl Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

October 2016: Frank Ocean gave his first interview in three years at the White House

December 2016: Chance the Rapper performs “Sunday Candy” at the National Christmas Lighting

December 2016: President Barack Obama and Bill Murray putt golf balls in the Oval Office

bill and obama Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

January 2017: The Obamas threw an epic going-away party at the White House last night that ran until 5:00 a.m.

obama Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories


Hipster Obama

Barack Obama

June 2015: Morrissey on President Obama: “He seems to be white inside”

morrissey general motors vegan seats letter detroit Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

December 2015: Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost” was President Obama’s favorite song of 2015

January 2016: President Obama picks a winner in Kendrick Lamar – Drake rap battle

Obama Kendrick Drake

March 2016: President Obama to skip Nancy Reagan’s funeral in order to attend South by Southwest

obama shrug Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

August 2016: President Obama hypes himself up with Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”

August 2016: Hipster President Barack Obama shares his summer playlist

October 2016: Hipster President Barack Obama shares his gym playlist

October 2016: Hipster President Barack Obama invited Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean to White House State Dinner

screen shot 2017 01 10 at 4 52 48 pm Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

October 2016: President Barack Obama picks eight essential sci-fi films and shows to watch before the coming apocalypse

screen shot 2016 10 13 at 9 20 42 am Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

October 2016: Barack Obama dances to “Hotline Bling”, dabs during final musical event as president

October 2016: President Obama reads Mean Tweets, including a Nickelback insult

October 2016: President Barack Obama reveals his top five rappers

November 2016: President Obama sang “Purple Rain” after seeing a tiny trick-or-treater dressed as Prince

November 2016: The Internet thinks President Barack Obama’s turntable setup is trash

December 2016: President Obama signs nationwide legislation banning ticket bots

January 2017: Hipster Obama is throwing one last White House party (and trolling Trump in the process)

January 2017: Spotify offers Barack Obama a job as its “President of Playlists”


Obama and Kanye

Kanye Obama

December 2013: President Obama praises Kanye West’s music

kanye obama Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

March 2015: President Obama speaks on his relationship with Kanye West

August 2015: President Obama doesn’t care about Kanye West’s new album

kanye obama Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

October 2015: President Obama gives advice to Kanye West on 2020 presidential run



Photo by Heather Kaplan

August 2014: The Secret Service took Malia Obama to Lollapalooza

Malia Obama Lollapalooza

July 2016: Malia Obama skipped Radiohead’s set at Lollapalooza

Malia Obama

July 2016: Malia Obama skips out on Democratic National Convention for Lollapalooza

Malia Obama

September 2016: Malia Obama wears “smoking kills” shirt after getting caught with pot at Lollapalooza

Malia Obama


The Obama Bump

Obama Kendrick

2008: Obama to appear on a new Q-Tip song

October 2012: Bruce Springsteen plays Obama campaign rally, debuts new “rally song”

November 2014: Watch President Obama awkwardly sing along to “On the Road Again” with Willie Nelson

June 2015: President Barack Obama appears on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast

November 2015: President Barack Obama is a guest on the new Coldplay album

September 2016: All Michelle Obama wants to talk about is Beyoncé

Michelle Obama // Photo by Philip Cosores

October 2016: President Obama salutes Prince at tribute concert: “You will be in our hearts forever”

prince obama

November 2016: Parody news site spreads photo suggesting DJ Khaled is leader of ISIS

Obama Khaled

November 2016: President Obama awards Bruce Springsteen the Presidential Medal of Freedom


Curtain Call

obama mic drop Eight Years of President Obama: Our Favorite News Stories

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