Jay-Z says he texts with Obama
July 11th, 2013
03:56 PM ET
1 year ago

Jay-Z says he texts with Obama

Updated 7/12, 8:01 a.m. ET

(CNN) - It's no secret that Jay-Z is close with President Barack Obama. The hip hop artist held big fundraisers for the president, and his megastar wife, Beyoncé, performed at Obama's second inauguration.

But Jay-Z said this week their friendship also plays out on the small screen–a very small screen. In an interview with New York radio station Hot97, the rapper confirmed that he and Obama exchange text messages.

"Yeah, I've spoken to him on the phone and had texts from Obama, of course," he said Wednesday.

Jay-Z stopped himself and quickly expressed regret for saying "of course," acknowledging the term may sound arrogant.

"Yes, that's happened," he continued, referring to the text messages.

The song writer and designer said Obama is "a regular guy" who uses a lot of sports analogies.

"I don't know if this is like breaching national security, but he was like–when he was getting elected the second time–he was like 'Hey, you know, fourth quarter, just give me the ball.' I said 'word'."

That conversation, Jay-Z added, happened in Cleveland when he performed at a rally for Obama shortly before Election Day.

He further admitted he gets a little star struck around the president, a big admission for one of the most successful musical artists in the country.

Jay-Z has previously hinted that he uses SMS with the president. In his 2009 song, "On to the Next One," the rapper mentions that he chills with Oprah "in the projects" and has Obama "on the text."

Obama's relationship with the power couple also made headlines this year when Jay-Z rapped that the White House–rather than the Treasury Department–gave him and Beyoncé approval for their high-profile trip to Cuba.

In an unusual White House press briefing, Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, was asked about the lyrics.

But Carney sharply denied that the White House gave the couple clearance for their travel.

"I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," Carney said.

The bonds between the rapper and the president go back at least as far as the 2008 campaign, when candidate Obama said the way to handle political mudslinging was by brushing one's shoulders off – mimicking Jay-Z's trademark move. Jay-Z's hits shuffle on Obama's iPod, he said in July 2010 – alongside the likes of crooner Frank Sinatra and opera great Maria Callas. The couple also visited the White House earlier that year, and their VIP tour included a stop inside the Situation Room.

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    can he text his buddy obama and ask him what he was doing while those 4 americans were killed in benghazi???

    mr. transparency can't seem to find the time to tell us.

    July 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Ah, a nice little strip of raw red meat for the pho bowl, eh, CNN? Conservatives' 2nd favorite subject, just behind Benghazi, is Jay-Z. The "celebrity"-meme for Obama never gets old for these people. And Jay-Z is a RAPPER. Also.

    July 11, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Interesting? Not really. Did anyone get surprised by this revelation? Not Really.

    July 11, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    And this is news why? Nice try at trying make something out of nothing.

    July 11, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. it must be said

    Hey, Obama needs something to do in between vacations and golf outings. He certainly isn't interested in doing his job.

    July 11, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Anthony in California

    here comes all the hate in 3,2,1...

    July 11, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. alexe

    "Beyoncé, performed at Obama's second inauguration."
    lol

    July 11, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Steveo

    Yes, but was it in English? Yo!
    Tomorrow's Friday people, lighten up!

    July 11, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Steveo

    Is the government looking for a loan?

    Tomorrow is STILL Friday!

    July 11, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Borderless

    Ya, Obama has a thing for the 1%, especially the over-privileged entertainment class.

    July 11, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "This ain't politically correct. This might offend my political connects." -Jigga

    July 11, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @Rick McDaniel: "Interesting? Not really. Did anyone get surprised by this revelation? Not Really."

    Meaning what? The President isn't allowed to text someone you don't approve of?

    July 11, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Babyboomer

    Can anybody tell us who President talked with from time to time. Crickets chirping... That's cause it and this are not news...

    July 11, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Babyboomer

    Meant to say President Bush.

    July 11, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @just sayin: "can he text his buddy obama and ask him what he was doing while those 4 americans were killed in benghazi???"

    How about some tweets from GW Bush on why he ignored warnings about bin Laden in August of 2011 and instead went on vacation to his ranch in Crawford?

    July 11, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    And this is news why?

    I'm guessing it makes "just saying" feel really, really important. Beyond that .... ?

    July 11, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. michael

    They want us to feel degraded that our PRESIDENT is in common contact with a RAPPER.. . Word'

    July 11, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. kabong30

    Hey maybe he could send him a quick note that we'd like him to go ahead and dump Obamacare completely (since apparently he can pick and choose which laws to follow) KTHXBAI :P

    July 11, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Bob

    That's no surprise - every president has been friends with entertainers. I mean, Reagan WAS an entertainer, for goodness sake. Surely there's no story here.

    Wait, sorry, did you say a BLACK entertainer? A RAPPER? OMG! Stop the presses! How could the president sully his office talking to BLACK people? I can't believe he'd sink so low!

    (What's that? The president's what? [Faints.])

    July 11, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Tony

    Obama probably texted the permission for Jay-Z and Beyonce to visit Cuba...

    July 11, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. brett

    glad to know our president is exchanging text messages with a former drug dealer.

    July 11, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. jean

    Wow, I am sure celebrities having friendships with a President has never happened before, or is that it never happened to a Black President?

    July 11, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. MikeDubbz

    @Just sayin, and then when he's done with that, can he text Bush and ask him where he was on 9/11 when 5000+ Americans died? Oh right, he was reading to a bunch of kindergarteners.

    I love this line of thought, as if one man miles away from a national or international tragedy has the power to stop such violence even if they do have knowledge about such threats before hand (oh and don't kid yourself, their were threats leading up to 9/11, it wasn't completely out of left field), or is soley responsible for the violence. I bet you don't even know the name of those actually responsible for benghazi. And don't say Obama, he didn't pull any trigger.

    July 11, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Frieda

    Most useless President , likes to golf , do fundraisers , loves Hollywood and now we know he likes to text with Jay-Z , WHOA...!!!
    Americans have become dumb and dumber to buy into all this crap.

    July 11, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. HereGoesNuthin

    I'm saying it without saying it... you know exactly what I mean.

    July 11, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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