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. munchmom

    Boy, this speaks volumes MORE about the credibility, or lack thereof, of our prez.

    September 11, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Obamalism

    What? Jay-Z? Seriously?

    September 11, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. white female

    Jay-Z speak the truth. This racism, and we will fight back with all barrell's to stop this kind of hate in this country, enough is enough, it is time to move on. And stop the fighting .

    September 11, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Conservative and Proud

    Worst. Article. Ever.

    September 11, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. Tarheel

    Anybody who disagrees with the President, no matter how far-fetched or Nation damaging the Presidents ideas might be, apparently is a racist. The race card is played on any blog that CNN has concerning someone disagreeing with Obama. The number one comment is that" they just can't stand having a black man, African-American, or someone with a different color face than their own sitting in the White House. Racism is truly alive and strong, just not where people thinks it is.

    September 11, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. C

    They're not all doing it for ratings, there are many people who have thought long and hard and still disagree with the President on a purely rational and argumentative standpoint.

    September 11, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Proud Member..Party of No

    yada, yada, yada.........these people are like a cuckoo clock....every half hour they pop up and scream "racism". It's an old, tired argument.

    September 11, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Post always rejected by CNN

    AND what I can't understand is why, after he released the speech, to schools etc, they refused to let students listen to it....but two days or so later they BUS the same students to listen to a speech by George Bush. If that is political I don't know what is....and the rabid rightwingers think stuff like that is OK.....these people gathering in the republican party are getting more and more violent.
    Real republicans are starting to leave the party and can you blame them pretty soon they will have nothing but jokes left, like bush, cheney, boehner, mcconnell, canter and palin and phewlenty.

    September 11, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. RR in AZ

    Jay-Z is right on the money! Sensationlism means ratings and ratings means more money for the stations....

    September 11, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. mike

    This country has taken Racism to a new level. It has been manipulated to a new type of Racism. I have many friends in the Latino community and African American Community who all agree.

    September 11, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Rob

    He may have wanted to end the campaign 'Jordan style', but so far his presidency has been 'Charlotte Bobcats style'.

    He's proving that he's what the sports writers would call a draft bust.

    September 11, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. in WI

    Did you see the republican members of congress during Obama's health care speech? ALL WHITE MEN, give or take a couple white females. OF COURSE they are racists! They are doing everything they can to see a black man lose. They are disgusting.

    September 11, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Jane/Seattle

    It is risky to make assumptions and draw final conclusions about other's motives. In my view this diversion from critical issues is part of the rapid-fire tactics of many in this political drama that unfolds. From many in the MSM who rather diligently use semantics to twist the debate and divert attention rapidly from one subject to another. Jay-Z has a point and I do think we have all been touched by some types of indoctrination regarding the big subject of racism from most quarters of this diverse melting pot. I do think there is much hatred and these attacks are just ANOTHER DIVERSION TO SWAY CITIZENS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE GOALS OF BIG bUSINESS TO DERAIL ANY MEANINGFUL HEALTHCARE provisions that could threaten profits in the long-term. Many of us are not moved and can see right through these flimsy arguments. Time tells all things and I wait. Peace

    September 11, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Leonard

    Jay-Z is right. about some of the audience. Some people out there are racist but some have legitimate grips. The problem is that the Republican leader need to step and weed the crazy peoepl out.

    Jay-z keep doing what you do bruh and speak the truth.

    September 11, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Kelby In Houston, Texas

    Current news. News de jure. News of the day. The campaign for the presidency is over...oh cnn, your short comings are so disappointing. Jay-Z is NEVER going to run for public office...OR WILL HE?!?

    September 11, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Rob Johnson

    I'm a big fan of sports metaphors myself, and the health care speech Obama gave on Wednesday was the equivalent of a 3-pointer from halfcourt with time running out. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat!

    Say what you want about Obama, he has proven over and over again that he is a competitor who is not to be taken lightly. He is the Jordan/Tiger Woods of politics, and anybody who underestimates him at this point hasn't been paying attention.

    September 11, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Flash in the Pan

    It figures....

    September 11, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. talking to a racist audience

    Hey Jay-Z, as a liberal, I have to ask you calling the audience racist, is that calling the kettle black?

    I think you and all the others who yell racist first ask questions later need to look in the mirror

    September 11, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Open Your 3rd Eye

    Truth be told...

    Jay-Z has more credibility than most Republicans.

    September 11, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. Sam Sixpack

    It is so good of you to promote the idea that anyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. It really helps your credibility at a time when people were beginning to think you might have a horse in the race – such as an economic dependency on pharmaceutical advertising dollars.

    September 11, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Bill

    Every kind of dissent of Obama is met with calls of racism. The man is mixed and this is not the 50's. Surely there are wacko racists but it is a very small part of the population. All race bating does is inflame and anger people and permanently end debate.

    September 11, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. single mom

    No, NO, NO! People who are against Obama's policies are not automatically racists!
    I don't care if he's purple with yellow polka dots. I don't agree with his POLICIES.
    Sheesh, the left-wing-nuts need to play a different tune.

    September 11, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Sam Sixpack

    As Obama clearly demonstrates, you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but all you need to do is fool enought of the people enought of the time.

    September 11, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Barbara Cato

    True racists are having a field day – I have to sit back and laugh at their ignorance. I have to commend the President for taking on the racists in Congress and House of Representatives.

    September 11, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. T'SAH from Virginia

    Wow – JAY-Z.... it feels so good to know that we're not just being used or characterized as NOBODY in America... We're finally moving on UP which is the REAL reason why the far right REPUBLI-CAN'Ts are acting the way they are! Why are they so afraid of the SAME Americans with different SHADES of color; known in their eyes as NEVER being able to do GOOD for America, are now in the EYES of the ENTIRE WORLD – and doing MORE than the normal GOOD!!!???

    Your last statement is exactly right!!! QUOTE: "I don't think it's straight racism, but they're talking to a racist audience, which is dangerous... But they're doing it for ratings. It's sensationalism, right? They're doing it for this type of attention." UNQUOTE

    I want to add that ATTENTION of that TYPE is also dangerous!!!

    September 11, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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