Former President Barack Obama released his latest memoir, A Promised Land, on Tuesday. The book features the president giving readers an inside look into how he ran his presidency for eight years. Of course, the book was also full of personal anecdotes about Obama, including what songs he used to hype himself up before he debated. In A Promised Land, Obama shared that he, like many others, utilized music to get himself prepared for a significant moment in his life. The president even shared the two specific songs that he listened to get himself into the right frame of mind, and they're two tracks that you've likely heard of.
"Ultimately, it was rap that got my head in the right place, two songs especially: Jay-Z's "My First Song" and Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Both were about defying the odds and putting it all on the line... how it felt to spin something out of nothing; getting by on wit, hustle, and fear disguised as bravado," Obama wrote. "The lyrics felt tailored to my early underdog status. And as I sat alone in the back of the Secret Service van on the way to a debate site, in my crisp uniform and dimpled tie, I'd nod my head to the beat of those songs, feeling a whiff of private rebellion, a connection to something grittier and more real than all the fuss and deference that now surrounded me. It was a way to cut through the artifice and remember who I was."
I took photos of Barack Obama’s book A Promised Land where Eminem is mentioned.
He had a ritual before debates. Part of it was listening to Jay-Z & Eminem.
He quotes lyrics from Lose Yourself by Eminem & explains how they connected with him. pic.twitter.com/rR1UiYTmI7— WickedWays (@flowstoowet) November 20, 2020
Obama addressed an array of other topics in A Promised Land, as CNN noted. He also discussed how President Donald Trump pushed forward the racist birther conspiracy theory during Obama's presidency, the road to Obamacare, and even the fact that former Gov. Sarah Palin served as the late Sen. John McCain's running-mate in 2008. The former president wrote that he "wonders" whether the late senator would have still chosen the Alaskan governor if he had known that "her spectacular rise and her validation as a candidate would provide a template for future politicians, shifting his party's center and the country's politics overall in a direction he abhorred." He went on to write that he believes that McCain would have chosen another candidate as he "really did put the country first."