May 14th, 2012
05:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Jay-Z still has Obama's back

(CNN) – Jay-Z may not be "a huge fan of the [political] system," but the rapper remains a firm supporter of President Barack Obama.

The rapper said Monday in an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow he knows little of GOP contender Mitt Romney, and considers Obama's announcement of support for states legalizing same-sex marriages to be a political plus.

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"I've always thought it as something that was still, um, holding the country back," Jay-Z said of not allowing same-sex coupled to wed. "What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. [It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination plain and simple."

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 rapper and his wife, Beyonce, visited the White House earlier that year, and their VIP tour included a stop inside the Situation Room.

An entrepreneur and music producer, Jay-Z is wealthy - just five years ago, he sold his clothing line for $204 million - and says the president should not be seen as a threat to the business world.

"We should absolutely support business and free enterprise in America, just not criminal activities, you know, unjust practices," he said, adding that "we should help people that are less fortunate than us, and we should all kinda find some balance."

The economic struggles were a test of American "character," he said, suggesting that Obama should be given credit for the current economic picture.

"Reversing the direction of the decline was a full time job in itself, so I think that it's stabilizing a bit now as some of the numbers show," he said.

Jay-Z admitted to being unfamiliar with Romney, and said he did not "want to talk about the man."

The rapper also showed some political savvy, comparing campaign rhetoric to a "hook," the catchy chorus at the core of rap songs.

Politicians "argue points and they forget that at the end of those points are real people, and real people going through real problems. So people put up these talking points and then they say, ok, we got something.

"It's almost like the hook of a song. Like I would go in a studio and say, I have this huge hook," he said. "At the end of [the rhetoric] there's real people."

Also see:

Ron Paul to end active campaigning

RNC, Team Romney roll out debt attack on Obama

Leading progressive group attacks Romney over women's issues

Obama headlines two high dollar fundraisers in NYC

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. BGT

    Obama is done ! You better get to know Romney because he's going to be your next President. People have opened their eyes to Obama's socialist agenda and failed policies. The latest polls have Romney ahead and its only going to get better ! Romney 2012 !!!

    May 15, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Fred

    Who gives a crap what some two bit rapper thinks.

    May 15, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Leslie

    Wow, jayz all about helping the little people. Which is why he closed off the ward in the hospital so his wife can pop out their baby. It didn't matter that other people wanted to see their babies. They had to wait. Oh and the fact that he has made around a half a billion dollars (fine with me) but could only fine a whopping $6000 to give to his own charity. Although he did say his mommy has donated a few computers. Yes jayz all about helping out the little guy.

    May 15, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. So What

    So he admits he doesn't know anything about Romney, but supports Obama. What an intelligent decision that he obviously based of facts and research. (Deep Sarcasm)

    Jay Z is clearly as clueless and ignorant as the vast majority of Obama voters. Yeah, Obama is half black, so we should support him...brilliant.

    May 15, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. TXnBud

    Wrong, Andy Smith. I'd say way more non-blacks voted for Obama in '08; more so than people who voted against him. Sure, anyone can vote for a person because of 1 single issue...but when that issue is because of his color then that is just pure ignorance. If black people voted for Obama because of the single issue that he was black, then that's for the completely wrong reason.
    Just as one should not be discriminated against because of race or color, so, too, should they NOT be favored because of it. Obama should be judged by his accomplishments..or in this case, his lack of.

    May 15, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. jq

    White people voted for Obama becaouse he is black, whats the point?

    May 15, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. david

    Oh wow, a rapper supporting Obama! How unique!

    May 15, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. Peruna

    Let's see.....he's black: 95% Democrat and he's in the entertainment industry: 95% Democrat so about a 99.75% chance he supports Obama. Shocking!!!

    May 15, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Dave

    And this is news? Who cares what the rappers think and Hollywood for that matter? Most American's do not agree with these individuals and their hypocritical views. If they are so into income redistribution, let them give all of their money away.

    May 15, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |

    If black Americans are voting for President Obama simply because of his ethnicity, then, isn't the implication that all the previous presidents have been voted for by white Americans because they too are white?

    People: check your fallacies first before you click "post." Have a nice day. đŸ™‚

    May 15, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Motley Crue

    Who cares who a rapper supports, his music and culture are what is wrong with America. Im not surprised he supports another no nothing President Obama

    May 15, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. HERE

    Oh Good! Cause I was really wondering! Thanks C N N!


    May 15, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Eli

    Wow, I really thought Jay-Z would consider supporting Obama.

    May 15, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. Tom, Tom The Piper's Son

    Same thing happen in 2008. The black vote was based solely on race and not the policies of ether nominee. That’s what so many are unhappy with Obama.. they expected a free ride (more than they are already getting) and he has actually kept in place more republican policies than he has introduced democrat ones. On the other hand that’s the same reason repubs look so stupid when they call him a socialist.

    May 15, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. Patricia

    While I do not support Obama. I appreciate the fact that JayZ held back on Romney. He stated simply he did not know him and did not want to comment about him. I give him credit for showing real class.

    He is a shining example of how to support someone while avoiding the offensive crass and venom filled diatribes of the bulk of Obama supporters.

    Bravo Jay Z and god bless your family

    May 15, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Nick Danger

    Jay Z > Anyone who votes for Romney

    May 15, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. Laaaz

    Equal rights for all!!!! Hopefully this is the start of the fall of the teabaggers, the repug-licans and the crazy Jesus-freaks spewing all their hate and hypocrisy! I just don't see how there will even be a repug-lican party in the next decade, they will be so radical and out of touch. I applaud the President 100%, whether this helps or hurts him politically, it's the RIGHT thing to do. Obama 2012!!!!

    May 15, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Dan

    Jay-Z says that "Obama should be given credit for the current economic picture." ...he may want to rethink that statement.

    May 15, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    What we will not get with Mitt Romney is a guy spending his effort working the celebrity opportunity of the office. That's okay. A clear focus on the economy and the people who elected the candidate is more of what America needs right now. We've got enough celebrities.

    Romney 2012

    May 15, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Robin Harris

    What's the deal. I'm seeing a lot of post saying that a black guy is supporting another black guy. What about the white guys supporting the other white guy just because of race? It's a two way street people if you want to make that argument. In fact people that make this argument are bigots. I support Obama because he gives us the best chance of balance in America. Also because gay's should have the right to marry.

    May 15, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |

    Wow! Some people have some real thin skin. What part of discrimination don't you religous zealots understand? Discrimination by any other name is still discrimination. Precisely why DADT was repealed and the President doesn't support DOMA. In the 60's, it was illegal for interracial marriage. What did Willard think of marriage then? That it's defined as one white man and one white woman?

    May 15, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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