September 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Jay-Z: Obama wanted to end the campaign 'Jordan-style'

Jay-Z: Obama wanted to end the campaign 'Jordan-style'.
Jay-Z: Obama wanted to end the campaign 'Jordan-style'.

(CNN) – Superstar rapper Jay-Z recalls that in the closing days of the presidential race, Barack Obama asked the rapper for help on the campaign trail and told him: "We need to end this game Jordan-style."

"He was calling me saying it was the fourth quarter and how we need to end this game Jordan-style," Jay-Z told New York radio station Hot 97 on Tuesday. "He was joking. He has a good sense of humor."

Jay-Z held several concerts for Obama during the presidential race to help the campaign register voters, and during inauguration week in January, he treated Obama campaign staffers to a private performance at the D.C. Armory in Washington.

Asked if their friendly relationship has cooled since Obama entered the White House, Jay-Z said, "Everything's cool."

During the sit-down, the radio hosts argued that the criticism over the president's nationally broadcast address to school students on Tuesday was racist - but the hip-hop artist had a slightly different take.

"I don't think it's straight racism, but they're talking to a racist audience, which is dangerous," he said of the President's critics. "But they're doing it for ratings. It's sensationalism, right? They're doing it for this type of attention."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ariana, VA

    You know I'm a young person and ocassionally listened to Jay-z's music, but I MUST say if I was running for pres, Jay-z is the LASSST person i would want helping me. He should stick to his sexist, violent music.

    September 11, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Turn Texas Blue

    We here in Texas see and here the many, but not all racists everyday, saying it openly around us because we are white, and they think, we think like them.They look for anything they can to deride the President.

    September 11, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Ariana, VA

    Ok and I'm a liberal, but please, enough with the racism claims. There's nothing wrong with people disagreeing with you.

    September 11, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    Remember how may people Booed President Bush, Clinton, Carter fron the Dems sides. No one complained then. Hummm! Double standard I'd say. Wouldn't you!!

    September 11, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. A. Goodwin

    CNN – Humm...a bunch of ring wing neocons post that you should bring up ACORN on your website, and BAM – there it is. And then you post this....I am starting to think that "fair and balanced" is not what you guys are about!

    Who care's if Jay-Z played some shows for Obama....at least when Obama used music for his events he did it lawfully. You can't say the same for McCain who is settling with several music groups for the unlawful use of their music.

    September 11, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. donttreadonme

    After 8 years of pure hatred toward Bush the libs are surprised that Obama is now getting his fair share. Any criticism of Obama can be called racist, it is a joke.

    On the flip side 99% of African Americans voting for Obama had nothing to do with race? Black conservatives and moderates voting for the most Liberal President ever… but race was not a consideration????

    September 11, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. rr

    My god, is everyone who doesn't like Obama or is critical of his policies racist?

    Does that mean African-Americans didn't vote for Bush, McCain, Dole, etc because they were racists towards whites?

    Give me a break!

    September 11, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Dan

    Maybe I'm just too white, but what exactly does it mean to end something "Jordan-style"? Is it the same as a slam-dunk? I should also mention that I'm not really a basketball fan.

    September 11, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    YOU SEE – already some commenter’s are saying that JAY-Z considered the School Speech episode RACIST!!!! He did not say that – READ and you shall LEARN.... this is to all of the HATERS out there!!!

    "... the radio hosts argued that the criticism over the president's nationally broadcast address to school students on Tuesday was racist — but the hip-hop artist had a slightly different take."

    READ HOW HE RESPONDED....!!! He DID NOT say that it is all racist... AND, no one can argue that some of it WAS racist!!!! JEEZ!!!

    September 11, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Jon

    And just as Jordan came back multiple times after "retiring," so has Obama come back multiple times to continue campaigning instead of running the executive branch.

    September 11, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Pulling the race card on EVERY disagreement is in of itself racism, is it not?

    September 11, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Sam Sixpack

    Why do you keep clinging to false hope? The game is already over. Meaningful healthcare reform is now dead for years to come. All we can hope for now is that we will be able to afford to pay our soon-to-be required premiums for the care we will be denied.

    September 11, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Kevin in Ohio

    The race card again. I'm sick of it. Conservatives and Republicans would easily support a President Rice or President Powell. We object to liberal socialism. Period.

    September 11, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. DrPangloss

    Yes, Jay-Z has no credibility. If only he was a country music star then he would have a right to an opinion. Lets just say we all have a right to an opinion and as a star he gets a platform that most of us don't have. I think that's fair.

    And to be fair, Republicans aren't racist (generally) though, just wrong and adverse to progress. They were against Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Civil Rights, Voting Rights... all the things that make this country more equal. Of course in hindsight, they now defend these things, but only for their own purposes. Sad, sad, sad.

    September 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. S Callahan

    This just irks me to no end. Get off the racism bandwagon.....
    I was one of those peeved person on the 'original' handout for the 'discussion' with students...it had NOTHING to do with racism..it was about projecting person ideology and not projecting National Idenity. Yes, it was cleaned up. The question will always remain..will it had been cleaned up if no one spoke up.

    Recieving criticism should not be scorned as a reflection on race when it's not true.

    September 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The precedents clearly state that the President is allowed to give a speech to school-age children.

    They blocked President Obama's speech from a number of school districts.

    They DID NOT block any other President's speech to school children. Nor were previous President's speeches published for "clearance".

    Racism at it's best.

    September 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. BRENDA

    out bursts, no respect but pres. oboma knows who he is working with and as he said some of whom supported him, turned on him, leaving him standing alone, thats ok his opponients knows the truth about this nation as pres.obama says it, they dont like hearing it from him because he is black and to intelligent to drop to their level.so hard as a people living with under these conditions so long, and here comes a rightous man and honest stands and say i will try and help rebuild this country from the ruins of the past yrs.of destruction.the haters tries in every way to destroy every thing he says,wears and his family oh and the dog . pres.obama is the best thing that has and will ever happen to this country ,i pray from him and may God bless him and protect from all the negativity of this nation as he continues

    September 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Willy Brown

    Only a true racist will call another a racist first.

    September 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Beverly

    I LOVE Pres Obama, Jay-Z is....ok – however, he could have kept this little piece of information to himself.

    September 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. 30m-PA-Dem

    Everything is always about race with Dems and black people. The true racists are the Dems and the black people. So sad. Martin Luther King, Jr. is rolling in his grave right now.

    September 11, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. Joe in NJ

    I don't like Jay-Z's music. Does that make me a racist?

    September 11, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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