End-of-year lists are mostly bullshit—did everyone we follow on Instagram really read that beautifully curated stack of books that they say they did? Former President Barack Obama’s lists can be different (there’s obvious irony, for example, in him naming Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive among his top picks), but at least he reads. 

Skepticism aside, the former curator-in-chief has extremely good music taste (Adia Victoria? Big Thief??) and North Carolina gets a nice shout-out on his end-of-year list.

Next to releases from Lizzo, Bruce Springsteen, and Mavis Staples, Obama named “Raleighwood” by lesthegenius ft. Sonny Miles and Jaxson Free as one of his favorite songs of 2019. All three artists on the track live in Raleigh; two other songs by North Carolina artists (“Suge” by DaBaby and “The London,” which features J. Cole) were also among Obama’s top picks. 

On Twitter, Lesthegenius—who was born in London and moved to Raleigh as a child—retweeted the list and wrote “Bro I’m a lost for words.. thank you so much. ❤️❤️❤️I’m fucking geeking.” 

The song, posted on YouTube at the end of October, had less than two-thousand views as of Monday afternoon—but the listens are quickly ticking up. Check out the music video below:

YouTube video


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