Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration will be one of the most hopeful days many of us have had in a long time. To acknowledge the optimistic outlook of their first term, the president and vice president-elect have commissioned a sprawling inauguration day playlist full of hopeful songs from across seemingly every genre imaginable. To help curate the list, the duo’s team brought on DJ D-Nice, whose Home School quarantine streams offered a warm distraction from the stress of the early pandemic, and Issa Rae, whose record label Raedio presents the playlist.
There are 46 songs on the list, nodding to the 46th President of the United States, ranging from underground rap like Kota The Friend’s “Lupita Interlude” to all-American rock legends like Bruce Springsteen. There are also some not so subtle messages to the American people in the titles of the song choices, as in the aforementioned Springsteen selection “We Take Care Of Our Own.” The incoming President wants to “Give The People What They Want,” courtesy of the O’Jays and promises to “Pick Up The Pieces” via Average White Band.
And while the feel-good vibes extend throughout the playlist, it’s probably also going to be fun to imagine Joe bopping along to the late MF Doom‘s “Coffin Nails” or SZA’s “Good Days.” Fortunately, there are plenty of well-tread classics for the older set, including Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up,” Jackie Wilson’s “Higher And Higher,” and Sounds Of Blackness’s “Optimistic.” To put it bluntly, it’s a way better list than anything we could have expected from the other guy, and a smart move on the inauguration committee’s part to nab a purveyor of tastemaking cool like Issa Rae to select a collection of songs that speaks to the needed tone of the Biden-Harris presidency: One of unity, diversity, and hope.
Check out the list above.
Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.