Kendrick’s “How Much a Dollar Cost” Was Obama’s Favorite Song of 2015, ‘The Knick’ Was His Favorite Show


As publications begin to roll out their highly subjective “_of the year” music lists, the one thing that seems to be a little less subjective is the excellence of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly — it’s topped pretty much every Best Of list of note. And it turns out it’s not just music writers looking back at the album as this year’s musical zenith. President Obama told People that his favorite song of the year happens to be from that album, as well.

The track in question is Kendrick’s “How Much a Dollar Cost” (initially about an encounter with a homeless man who asks him for money, which ultimately lyrically spirals into the social implications of the interaction). Obama’s clearly a big and devoted fan — the song wasn’t even a single. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama’s favorite track of the year was Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

And, beyond music, the Barack and Michelle Obama also named their favorite books — Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies for the President, Elizabeth Alexander’s The Light of the World for the First Lady.

In film, Barack Obama chose The Martian as his #1 for 2015, and Michelle named Inside Out her favorite. Also excitingly, in television, the President liked Steven Soderbergh’s exquisite and unremittingly bleak The Knick the most (between this and “How Much a Dollar Cost,” it seems the President’s has a taste for thought-provoking and eviscerating works), while Michelle opted for the similarly sharp, but far less upsetting, black-ish.