(Senator Kamala Harris at her swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
California Senator Kamala Harris, every Republican’s favorite colleague to cut off mid-sentence, just released a Spotify playlist featuring the work of black artists in celebration of African-American Music Appreciation Month, and—at the risk of editorializing—it rules.
“Our nation has an indelible soundtrack, songs that have become anthems recognized across the world,” Harris told the Huffington Post on Tuesday, adding, ““Much of that soundtrack is inspired and informed by the vast contributions of African-American artists in jazz, R&B, rap, hip-hop, and beyond.” The 45-song playlist features classics from Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday, mixed with newer hits like Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” and SZA’s “Pretty Little Birds.” The playlist also features some evergreen ’90s content from Boyz II Men and TLC (never stop blasting “Waterfalls” on repeat, Senator.) There are several artist overlaps with Barack Obama’s famed 2016 summer playlist, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and John Legend.
The daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris is only the second black woman to be elected to the United States Senate, and it’s exciting to see her honor her heritage so proudly; this playlist actually seems like she might have put it together herself, rather than instructing an overwhelmed 19-year-old Senate intern to “throw something together.” For a song-by-song analysis, head over to The Root, where writer Monique Judge took a deep dive into Harris’s playlist, praising the senator’s inclusion of Beyonce’s “Love On Top” thus: “Queen. I see you.”
And here’s the playlist in question:
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