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Michael K. Williams is a well respected actor who has portrayed a myriad of roles, but Barack Obama’s favorite character “Omar Little” from The Wire will probably always be his most popular, and infamous. In a recent interview with New York magazine, the Brooklyn native shared the music playlist he used to get into the right mental zone to play the Baltimore thug that preferred intimate relations with dudes and had a knack for robbing drug dealers. “Music for me is a portal,” Williams told New York. “Once I’ve gone to that dimension and I’m there, whatever got me there, I just loop those songs.”

Omar’s playlist features a variety of Hip-Hop acts like Lauryn Hill (“Oh Jerusalem”), Common (“It’s Your Word”) and Tupac (“Dear Mama”). The Notorious B.I.G. get multiple tracks, including “Who Shot Ya?” Also, regardless of the character’s he playing, like say Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire, a certain Queens rapper usually makes the cut and is featured heavily as well. “There’s a 90 percent chance Nas will be on all my characters’ playlists,” said Williams. 

Check out the “Omar” playlist below. You can listen to the hour long set on Spotify, too.

Williams is set to play the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard in an upcoming biopic.


2pac, “Unconditional Love”

Nas, “Let There be Light”

Young Jeezy, “Dreamin’”

Mary J. Blige, “My Life”

Lauryn Hill, “Oh Jerusalem”

Jay-Z, “You Must Love Me”

2pac, “So Many Tears”

Biggie Smalls “Suicidal Thoughts”

Young Jeezy “Bury me a G”

Jay-Z, “Oh My God”

Biggie Smalls, “Who Shot Ya”

2pac, “Against All Odds”

Biggie Smalls, “Everyday Struggle”

Nas, “One Mic”

Lauryn Hill, “War in the Mind”

Common, “It’s Your World”

Lauryn Hill, “Mystery of Iniquity”

Meshell Ndegeocello, “Akel Dama (Field of Blood)”

Lauryn Hill, “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind”

2pac, “Dear Mama”

Sun Tan “Sunscreen”


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Photos: New York Magazine/HBO