Former President Barack Obama on Friday released year-end lists of the books, movies, and songs he cherished most in 2018—and apparently, 44 is a fan of Cardi B, Janelle Monae, and Black Panther. Wakanda Forever, right?
Obama wrote in Facebook and Instagram posts that he wanted to keep his list tradition alive because it allows him a moment of reflection.
“It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved,” he wrote. “It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers—some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before.”
One of his favorite movies? Annihilation, which The Daily Beast agrees is one of the best sci-fi movies of 2018. Eighth Grade—which The Daily Beast writer Nick Schager called “a coming-of-age masterpiece”—also made the cut, along with Black Panther and Roma, the Netflix film following a Mixtec housekeeper working in Mexico City.
Cardi B, an artist who’s thrived by not playing by the rules, made Obama’s best songs list with her hit “I Like It.” “Made Me Feel” by Janelle Monae, “Mary Don’t Make You Weep” by Prince, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde, and “Apes**t” by The Carters, aka Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z, were also among the ex-president’s favorites.
This year, Obama’s favorite books include (no surprise) Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming—“obviously my favorite!” he wrote—Feel Free by Zadie Smith, and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Whether he intended to or not, Obama seemed to be sending a political message with several of his other reading choices, including How Democracies Die by Steven Livitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, Factfulness by Hans Rosling, In The Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu, and Immigrant, Montana by Amitava Kumar.
Obama shared a year-end list last year that included Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen. The 2017 list didn’t include his favorite movies—but we’ll chalk that change it up to necessary self-care over some of the year’s, uh, events.