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  • -We were lucky enough to have you on our show twice

  • while you were in the White House.

  • The first time was 2012 on "Late Night."

  • And then again in 2016, at the end of your presidency.

  • And I have to say that I saw a different

  • President Obama the second time around.

  • Because the first time around --

  • I don't know if you remember this, but we --

  • we did a "Slow Jam the News" bit.

  • And at the end, I go -- and it was great.

  • It was one of our best things we ever did.

  • And I said, "At the end, can you go like, 'Ohh, yeaah'?"

  • And you go, "Uh, no."

  • -[ Laughs ]

  • -I go, "Yeah, but, maybe, can you give like a little --

  • just a little like a ohhh."

  • And you go, "Yeah, no, I'm not going to do that.

  • I'll say, 'Oh, yeah.'"

  • And I go, "Okay, yep, absolutely right."

  • And by the way, those writers, Bashir and Diallo,

  • went on to do "Sherman's Showcase"

  • and "South Side." They're doing really well.

  • Like, the same writers that wrote "Slow Jam."

  • And they were so excited to write that for ya.

  • -That was -- one of my greatest pieces ever, by the way.

  • -Thank you. -I -- I loved --

  • I loved "Slow Jam."

  • -Thank you. I appreciate that.

  • -That was terrific. -That was fun.

  • And then, the end of your presidency,

  • we did another "Slow Jam."

  • And at the end, I wrote in a part where I wanted you to,

  • like, kind of stiffly say, "Like Rihanna,

  • we have to go to work, work, work, work, work."

  • And you go, "Why do you have me doing that?

  • Like, can't I go like, work, work, work, work, work"?

  • and I go "Stop. You cannot."

  • And I was telling you, no, no, no.

  • You're this close to leaving the White House.

  • You're not -- do not do that now.

  • You've been so perfect all the way.

  • No, do not -- we're not doing that.

  • And you go, "Okay. Alright. Yeah."

  • -Are you saying that that would have affected my legacy?

  • Because that is a jam and I know that jam well.

  • -[ Laughs ] No.

  • -So, I'm a little insulted... -Yeah, you should be.

  • -...that you didn't think I could pull it off.

  • -You should be. But I saved your legacy.

  • That moment in time and, hopefully,

  • that makes it in the second volume of the book.

  • That night, I also introduced you to Madonna.

  • Do you remember that?

  • -Yes, I do remember that. -And I will never forget this

  • because I go, "Madonna would like to meet you."

  • And you go, "Sure."

  • And we went over to see Madonna and she --

  • you know, she's so, like, tiny.

  • But she's, like, very like -- she's very flirty

  • and kind of just very, like, you know, she's Madonna.

  • She's very sexy.

  • And she was like, "Hello, hi."

  • And you go, all business, you're like,

  • "Hello. Pleasure to meet you."

  • I was like, "That's right. That's the way --

  • Michelle would be like, 'That's right. That's how you do it.'"

  • -You know what?

  • Don't think that you elected a fool.

  • -[ Laughing ] Okay. -I knew.

  • -Yep, you knew.

  • -I knew how to handle my business.

  • -[ Laughing ] Yeah, exactly.

  • We talked about music, and you were saying

  • that you were like an Earth, Wind, and Fire guy.

  • And then, you were talking about Dylan.

  • There's so many iconic music moments

  • in your White House history,

  • and you talk about it in the book.

  • And you'll even have a Spotify playlist based on the book.

  • I just thought we'd talk about a couple memories.

  • Beyoncé, "At Last."

  • -Beyoncé sang -- She sang at our inauguration.

  • That was our first dance with --

  • at the very first ball, and it was spectacular.

  • -I mean, her doing "At Last" -- And Michelle was dressed in

  • that white gown, and as I write in the book,

  • you know, she was just...special.

  • -Yeah. -Beautiful.

  • -Yep, just stunning. -Yeah.

  • -Bob Dylan -- I don't really remember the story.

  • Did he not talk to you or something?

  • -That's what happened.

  • He was Dylan-esque.

  • He's exactly how you wanted him to be.

  • -Yes! -So, you know, we --

  • I describe in the book, we have these concerts.

  • And they were really wonderful.

  • They'd be themed.

  • You know, so you had a Motown night or you had

  • a, you know, Broadway.

  • -Yep. -Or we had a poetry slam.

  • And, you know, we'd usually have kids

  • from the surrounding area come in,

  • and the artists would do workshops on music

  • or performance.

  • And then, they'd do rehearsals.

  • And so, by the time you actually had the concert,

  • you know, they'd been hanging around for a while.

  • There was a photo line.

  • Dylan's -- he skips all that, right?

  • Literally shows up a few minutes

  • before he's about to go on.

  • Comes on, on his trio.

  • Does this incredible rendition

  • of "The Times They Are A-Changin'."

  • -Gosh. -Beautiful.

  • -Yep. -Finishes.

  • Walks off the stage.

  • Stands in front of Michelle and me.

  • Does a quick nod, leaves. -He's out.

  • -That's it. -He's gone.

  • -And just mysterious, you know, has a little

  • kind of quirky smile on his face.

  • -Yep. -Perfect.

  • -Exactly what you want from Bob Dylan.

  • -That's what you want from Bob Dylan.

  • You know, you don't want him to be all, you know,

  • chatty and, you know, eating --

  • eating off the cheese plate and all that stuff, right?

  • -It wouldn't be real. It wouldn't be him.

  • -It'd disappoint ya. -Exactly right.

  • -Exactly.

  • -Where does your love for music come from?

  • -Well, look. I don't --

  • I don't come from a musical family,

  • but I think that partly because I had such a strange childhood,

  • right?

  • Mom from Kansas, Dad from Kenya, in Hawaii,

  • lives in Indonesia for a while, et cetera.

  • -That's an interesting playlist right there, yeah.

  • -Yeah. Well, exactly.

  • But what it also meant was

  • I was moving around a lot.

  • I was an only child till I was nine.

  • And so I think music becomes one of those things

  • that keeps you company.

  • And it becomes a way for you to connect with other people

  • and kids your age.

  • And so, you know, I still remember

  • the first two albums I ever bought with my own money, right,

  • Stevie Wonder's "Talking Book"

  • and Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

  • -Ah, phew.

  • -Pretty good choices. -Yeah.

  • -I have to say. -Fantastic ones.

  • -Yeah, and, you know, from that time forward,

  • I think music was just always, you know,

  • something I cared deeply about.

  • And Michelle and I, as I describe in the book,

  • I think used music as a way of reminding people of --

  • the magic of America is

  • we have all these traditions that we draw from,

  • that all get kind of jumbled up, right?

  • You know, you got country music and blues and rock 'n' roll

  • and gospel and hip-hop and, you know, reggaeton.

  • And all that stuff is this medley,

  • this blend of, you know, Irish folk songs

  • and African drums and, you know, all these different traditions.

  • And that, in some ways, is what makes America exceptional.

  • It's the reason why American culture exports everywhere.

  • Because people get a sense of "There's a piece of me in here."

  • -Yeah. -And so we thought it was

  • important to have that kind of music in the White House

  • as representing the kind of America we should want,

  • where everybody's, you know, part of the band.

  • -Yeah. -And everybody, you know,