President Obama Speaks At Reception Celebrating African Growth and Opportunity Act
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10 Things Obama Is Busy Doing Instead Of Sabotaging The Trump Administration

We're taking a look at some of the activities taking up Obama's newfound free time.

Since leaving the White House in January, former president Barack Obama has found himself in the praise of the public. Much like his journey to commander in chief in 2009, the relentless unwavering of his charm, poise and coolness factor has returned to social media, the platform he brilliantly used to his advantage during his tenure. But as Obama's glo-up continues, orange clouds have tried to dismantle it.

This week (Feb. 28), President Donald Trump shared with Fox & Friends his thoughts on the never-ending White House leaks. While the hosts asked a baited question connecting Obama to the leaks, instead of correcting them, Trump decided to ride the wave and connect him to his crumbling administration woes. “I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it,” Trump said. “And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, you know, some of the leaks – which are very serious leaks, because they’re very bad in terms of national security.” Tabloids have fueled the flames with unsupported accusations, which has been a wet dream to the alt-right.

But as we've seen in the past few months, Obama has remained focused on being a productive citizen and living his best life. As Trump's administration continues to do a great job sabotaging themselves, we're taking a look at some of the activities taking up Obama's time.

 

1. Getting His Life in the Caribbean

That smile, the kitesurfing skills and open-toed sandals were just a glimpse of Barack and former first lady Michelle Obama's British Virgin Islands vacation. While it may have seemed like forever, the Obamas enjoyed a few weeks on Moskito Island soaking up the sun and taking photos with other tourists and natives.

 

2. Enjoying Father-Daughter Time

Obama and the rest of his family (minus Malia) are currently residing in Washington DC's lavish Kalorama Heights, but his cozy home hasn't stopped him from taking a trip to see his oldest daughter in New York. The two were seen out and about Feb. 24, grabbing lunch and catching the Broadway production of Authur Miller's The Price. Obama enjoyed the show in plain sight with fandom ensuing after he left the theater. Sporting his signature smile, it's safe to say father-daughter time went well.

 

3. Prepping his Obama Foundation

During their final address to the public as president and first lady, the Obamas mentioned the Obama Foundation, a program designed to fuel his efforts in climate change, prison reform and rebuilding the communities of Chicago and beyond. “True democracy is a project that’s much bigger than any one of us,” Obama said. “It’s bigger than any one person, any one president, any one government. It’s a job for all of us.”

 

4. Meditating

We're sure he's finding time for this. What else can explain his glo-up?

 

5. Signing Book Deals

Obama's books The Audacity of Hope, Dreams from My Father, along with his children's picture book Of Thee I Sing, are all considered best sellers, so it's no surprise that Penguin Random House quickly offered Barack and Michelle a joint book deal valued in the millions. “There will not be a more eagerly awaited presidential autobiography than the one that he’ll write, because of who he is and because of the fact that people have high expectations for him as a writer,” David Axelrod, former chief strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns said. His speeches centered around gun violence and race have pulled on the heartstrings on America while Michelle's infamous DNC speech ("they go low, we go high" mantra) have done the same.

 

6. Preparing to Engage with Politicians

As part of his Obama Foundation, Obama is reportedly "ready to roll" on engaging with state legislators at a lower level once again. Former Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Tuesday (Feb. 28) that he's spoken with the former president about fundraising and other plans for his days as a citizen.

 

7. Still Reading Fan Letters

We're sure Obama might have taken home a couple hundred or thousand letters that were sent to the Office of Presidential Correspondence (O.P.C.). In a New York Times Magazine piece on the traditional way the public kept in touch with Obama during his time as president, Obama and interns shared their feelings on reading letters as simple as compliments from eight-year-olds to photos of deceased from grieving mothers who lost their children to gun violence. “The letters that matter the most to me are the ones that ... make a connection,” he said in January. “Somebody just recently wrote me a letter about when they were growing up — their mom always used to use the N-word and was derogatory about African-Americans, but was also an unbelievably great mom who worked three jobs to put the kids through school, and how ... sort of both troubling and proud — how troubling this woman saw her mother’s prejudice, but how proud she was of her mom as a person. And how, toward the end of her life, her attitudes changed, and she ended up announcing she was going to vote for the black guy. She had now passed away, but she thought I should know that."

Obama switched up the traditional system by advising staffers he wanted to read up to 10 letters a day. “You know, there are those kinds of letters, I think, that shape your attitudes,” he said. On Twitter, Obama called the letters the best part of his job as president.

 

8. Checking Bush For Fangirling Over Michelle Obama

Maybe, maybe not. While an unlikely pair, Michelle and George W. Bush's friendship is pretty funny to think about. "She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like," Bush said to People Magazine this week while promoting his new book, Portraits of Courage.

 

9. Finding Bo

We haven't seen Bo since the family departed from the White House. Where's he at?

 

10. Suffering From Success

In case you haven't noticed, Obama is definitely living the "miss me when I'm gone" stages of his political career. So much so that he was named on Thursday (March 2) the 2017 recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, for his efforts to keep the late president's legacy alive. "President Kennedy called on a new generation of Americans to give their talents to the service of the country," Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, said in a statement, Associated Press reports. "With exceptional dignity and courage, President Obama has carried that torch into our own time, providing young people of all backgrounds with an example they can emulate in their own lives."

Nice way to spend his time these days right?

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Mac Miller performs during Behind The Scenes With Mac Miller Filming Music Choice's 'Take Back Your Music' Campaign at Music Choice on July 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Thundercat, Juicy J, Ariana Grande And More Pay Tribute To Mac Miller For 27th Birthday

It's not lost on many just how much Mac Miller's influence affects today's lovers of hip-hop. The rapper and songwriter's passing was a blow to the industry last year as he seemed to be hitting a special space in his creative journey.

With today (Jan. 19) being what would've been his 27th birthday, friends and musical partners are sharing stories and messages of love about their favorite Capricorn.

Frequent collaborator and friend Thundercat shared on Twitter a moment Mac helped create with the "Them Changes" artist and his family. "All three of us were in the same room, playing and creating and enjoying music with Mac," he tweeted about an impromptu session with his brothers and Mac.

"Mac was and always will be a special dude, he was definitely Lebowski to me. I will always remember a man I considered to be another one of my real brothers and best of friends in the short time we got to spend together. I miss him so much every day."

See more touching messages from Mac's friends below.

Mac was hands down one of thee freshest people I’ve met so far in life, never a dull moment. I’ll share one of my favorite moments with you guys on this most dope day. I always enjoyed getting a chance to work with him, we would spend days at a time...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

..Creating music, playing music and introducing each other to new music all the time. This is the day he met my brothers @drummaboiblue1 & @_K_I_N_T_A_R_O_ it was a bit of a whirlwind how it all happened because at separate times they both came flying...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...through the studio door at separate times of the late night. My older brother @drummaboiblue1 kicked the door in and starts rapping and making hip hop hands at Mac who was sitting at the computer and it was so intense he just turned and looked at me like..

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...”Holy shit, this is your brother?” I didn’t know what to expect next because it could have easily gone south, but I got a chance to see what made Mac so special. My brother is hands down the most amazing drummer in the world *dont at me* and what I saw...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...from Mac really stays in my heart because I watched him turn my older brothers energy into creative energy by challenging him about the title of best drummer in the world, and handing him pots & pans and things from around the studio and the house...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

..shortly after Mac turns to me & says “hey man your brother @_K_I_N_T_A_R_O_ is gonna come by, I immediately felt like there was a possibility that this would be overwhelming for Mac, as I have seen from past situations in life experience with people & us..

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...but none the less, all three of us were in the same room, playing and creating and enjoying music with Mac. For those that don’t see the significance, music and family can be a very intense experience in itself in life (if you know, you understand)....

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...it’s not always so easy and lighthearted like everyone would like to imagine it is however as it may be, the night went on,and the moment passed. Since that moment me and my brothers never really would be in that same setting and satire for years...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...the reason that this story is so special is because while we were working on what’s the use, he started going through old music and came across that song, when he played it I began to tear up and I had to keep myself together because it was so special...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...that he captured it! Almost like a photo. he turned to me and reminded me of how wild that night was and we had a good laugh about it and continued working. No one really owns any recordings of us like that, so it was really special to me...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...Mac was and always will be a special dude, he was definitely Lebowski to me. I will always remember a man I considered to be another one of my real brothers and best of friends in the short time we got to spend together. I miss him so much every day...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...he changed my life in a real way. Thank you @MacMiller Happy Birthday! pic.twitter.com/4HVdwj2fMs

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

miss u.

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 19, 2019

Happy birthday Mac Miller! pic.twitter.com/DT31Smpbqt

— Hi-Tek (@HiTek) January 19, 2019

Happy Birthday @MacMiller. Love You Always & Forever

— THE INTERNET (@intanetz) January 19, 2019

Smile today - Mac Miller ❤️ pic.twitter.com/l5rmQDu5XE

— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) January 19, 2019

 

View this post on Instagram

 

damn i miss this so much! i miss jamming with you and writing with you and talking about anything and everything. just watching you produce was my favorite. i miss the way you used to support me in everything that i did. i miss your smile and your tight ass hugs. i love you. happy birthday to a legend.

A post shared by NJOMZA (@notnjomza) on Jan 19, 2019 at 10:07am PST

Happy birthday to one of the purest artists I’ve ever known, Mac Miller 🙏🏾 RIP https://t.co/e8IIGaRjhx

— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) January 19, 2019

we miss you and love you Mac Miller happy birthday

— rex orange county (@rexorangecounty) January 19, 2019

Happy bday to my brother Mac Miller i miss my bro every day https://t.co/pXAn552l1w

— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) January 19, 2019

happy birthday Mac! 👼 tell your friends you love em twice as much.

— bear (@6LACK) January 19, 2019

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20 Hip-Hop And R&B Albums That Went Platinum With No Features

Once upon a time, successful artists considered receiving a gold or platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a rite of passage to legendary status, especially if they did it on their own. Up until 2016, elite hip-hop and R&B artists were awarded plaques after one million units in album sales were sold. Now, any artist with music that goes viral overnight can join the platinum club.

After the RIAA modernized its rules for obtaining gold & platinum status in 2016, the music industry has been flooded with gold and platinum recipients, and it will only become more saturated over time. However, any rapper or R&B singer who sells over a million units without the help of outside artists should be heralded like the icons who came before them.

Since the 1980s, plenty of hip-hop and R&B artists have gone platinum with memorable music that will live on forever, but only a select few have made history by reaching platinum status without featured artists. Here are 19 albums (and mixtapes) that went platinum without other musical guests on the compilation.

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Genres Aside, Here Are Our 25 Favorite Songs Of 2018

Keeping up with all of the music from 2018 was a full-time job, with loads of songs releasing every week and not enough ears to keep track. But the volume of music comes with an advantage: there’s something for everybody. Fittingly, our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2018 represents the multi-genre mayhem that is in everyone’s playlists this year.

Some of the entries on our list, like cuts by Drake, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, were at the forefront of the conversation in 2018, dominating streaming services and radio around the country. Indie darling Saba made waves, and he’s included here as well. Jazz wizard Kamasi Washington dropped some of the best protest music of the year. But there are also some songs on this year’s list that spoke to the VIBE Tribe in a different way. Cardi B had hits all year, but an album cut impressed us most; Usher and Zaytoven’s new album didn’t make a huge splash commercially, but one of its songs appears here. And Beyonce appears on one of the best songs of the year that never even saw an official release–but that didn’t stop us from including it here.

Music broke the rules this year, and so did we. Read below, and tell us what surprise choices are making your songs of the year list.

READ MORE: Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

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