Few summer “traditions” are more media generated than the annual unveiling of former President Barack Obama’s “Summer Playlist.”

The tradition, which appears to have begun in 2015, has the former president put out a list of songs that he’s been listening to and it usually comes and goes with nary a fuss.

To be sure, those with an interest may debate whether or not certain songs deserve to make the cut but it seldom goes any further than that.

This year, however, Obama found his summertime playlist — and his legacy as president — being attacked by an artist featured on his list.

The artist in question is all-female rock band “boygenius” — and at least one member of the musical trio is not a fan of the former president at all.

Obama listed the band’s song “Not Strong Enough” in his 2023 playlist. In response, singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus (who makes up the band with fellow musicians Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker) retweeted the former president with a simple label for him.

Dacus tweeted out “war criminal” and accompanied a sad face emoji next to the simple message.

The words were few but the intent was clear: Dacus, like millions of Americans, apparently disagreed with much of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

She wasn’t thrilled with her band’s inclusion on the former president’s musical playlist.


According to Mediaite, Dacus and her bandmates are on the far left of American politics. Dacus is a supporter of Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mediaite reported, and the band performed a concert in Nashville, Tennessee, in June in drag to protest the state’s law against drag shows in public or where they could be viewed by children.

Whether Obama actually committed any war crimes is almost immaterial to critics like Dacus (to be sure, the former president has never been formally charged with war crimes.)

What Dacus’ remarks do suggest, however, is that the well-polished veneer of the Obama’s is beginning to lose some of its luster with the celebrity world that was such a vital part of the Obama family’s political image.

Obama has been featuring these summertime reveals for nearly a decade now, and do reveal that the man, whatever you may think of him as a politician, at least has varied taste in music.

While Obama has never been tried or charged with war crimes, his reported use of drones and the collateral damage those caused have been under immense scrutiny.

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