In an interview with Rolling Stone to be published later this week, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama has revealed some of the contents of his personal iPod. “I have pretty eclectic tastes,” said Obama, who said he had music from a wide range of artists on his iPod, from Miles Davis and John Coltrane to Jay-Z and Ludacris. Obama, who grew up in the 1970’s, said he listened to the Rolling Stones (his favorite Stones track is the seminal “Gimme Shelter”), Elton John, and Earth Wind and Fire, adding that Stevie Wonder was his “musical hero” of the period.
Interestingly, Obama also had a wide selection of tracks from Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ favorite Bob Dylan, including the entire Blood on the Tracks album. “Actually, one of my favorites during the political season is ‘Maggie’s Farm,’ ” Obama said. “It speaks to me as I listen to some of the political rhetoric.” In the song, Dylan sings about trying be himself, “but everybody wants you to be just like them.” Many musicians appearing on Obama’s iPod have lent him their support during his campaign, including Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. “I’ve got to say, having both Dylan and Bruce Springsteen say kind words about you is pretty remarkable,” Obama said. “Those guys are icons.”
Obama also admits to having concerns over the the content of some rap music to which his daughters might be exposed. “I am troubled sometimes by the misogyny and materialism of a lot of rap lyrics,” he said, “but I think the genius of the art form has shifted the culture and helped to desegregate music.” He went on to call hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and rappers Jay-Z and Ludacris “great talents and great businessmen,” adding that “it would be nice if I could have my daughters listen to their music without me worrying that they were getting bad images of themselves.”