US presidential hopeful Barack Obama makes it his business to know the issues. Turns out he knows his music too. In a new interview to be published in Friday's issue of Rolling Stone, the presumptive Democratic nominee talks about what's on his iPod, and the artists who fuel his political ideals.
"I have pretty eclectic tastes," says Obama, who lists Bob Dylan, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow and Jay-Z as just some of the names on his iPod. As a child of the '70s, Obama says he listened to The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Earth, Wind & Fire. He cites Stevie Wonder as his musical hero from the era.
Not surprisingly, several musicians on Obama's iPod are mutual fans, including Bruce Springsteen. Obama says he hasn't met Springsteen, but the two have talked over the phone. "Not only do I love Bruce's music, but I just love him as a person," Obama enthuses. "He is a guy who has never lost track of his roots, who knows who he is, who has never put on a front."
Yes, but the real question voters want to know is this: Did he address him as the Boss? "You've got to," the candidate says.
Asked for his thoughts on rap, Obama says the genre has been an incredible musical force, although he admits he's nervous about his daughters Malia, 9, and Sasha, 7 istening to it.
"I am troubled sometimes by the misogyny and materialism of a lot of rap lyrics," he says, "but I think the genius of the art form has shifted the culture and helped to desegregate music."