*Former President Barack Obama made time to surprise popular YouTube twins Tim and Fred Williams on their channel, “TwinsthenewTrend,” after they reacted to a song on his latest playlist.
The song that sparked the virtual chat is “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan. Obama included the track on a playlist that he shared earlier this week on social media, calling them “memorable songs from my administration.”
The twins posted a video Thursday of them listening to the song, and later shared a video conference of their conversation with Obama.
“Hey people, what’s going on? I hear you guys were asking questions. I decided I’m just going to go ahead and come here live,” said Obama.
The New York Times bestselling author then explained how he curates his popular playlists.
“I do playlists all the time just for fun, and I did that when I was president. But one of the things I did was do a playlist because I released my book about the first part of my presidency called ‘A Promised Land’ and music’s kind of a theme in the book.”
Music has always played an important role in my life—and that was especially true during my presidency. In honor of my book hitting shelves tomorrow, I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it. pic.twitter.com/xWiNQiZzN0
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 16, 2020
The twins asked Obama about the significance of Dylan’s song.
“I’ve been a Bob Dylan fan for a long time, partly because I’m just older. He was part of that kind of social conscience that was in rock music and then later in hip hop music,” said Obama. “Look, I’m like everybody else; I like music about girls and cars and … but whenever you can find some musicians that really have a message about how America might be, how the world might be that always is something that I pay attention to. And then he’s one of the greatest examples of it.”
Before they wrapped, Obama shared his advise for the youth.
“One of the most important things we can do as people, but especially young people, is opening our minds to how other people feel, what their traditions are. You know, trying to make common cause with folks, even if they don’t look like us, or didn’t come from the same neighborhood. The country is so divided right now,” said Obama.
“On the internet and a lot of times, everybody’s just mad. And you guys are doing, which is being open to new ideas, new experiences and reaching out to different traditions, that’s America at its best. And I think you guys, sending that message is powerful. So keep on doing what you’re doing.”
Scroll up and watch the moment via the YouTube player above, or peep the clip below.
This was fun. I heard Tim and Fred were listening to some of the songs on my A Promised Land playlist, so I decided to drop in and surprise them. We talked about a lot, from Bob Dylan to old-school mixtapes to the role music played in my memoir. https://t.co/8A0cuVNHZI pic.twitter.com/rQwW8r0wBX
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 19, 2020