Jay-Z says he texts with Obama
July 11th, 2013
03:56 PM ET
9 years 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. Rand

    50 Cent texts with Bush

    July 11, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Beers

    Very un presidential. JayZ stabbed a man and got off and bragged about it in a song. Some of his Rap songs contain the N Word. Unacceptable to Americans. Doesn't send the right message to youth. The President is Head of Sate of our Nation.

    July 11, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Ray

    Of course. Nothing surprises me with this mystery man in office.

    July 11, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Doodlebug2222

    Nothing like using someone else's clout to help boost your own.

    July 11, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. remy730

    meh, I'm sure the president texts a lot of people

    July 11, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Jerry

    Is dat Hoodrats?

    July 11, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. The_Koran_is_Fiction

    Jay-Z is a good role model.

    July 11, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Frank

    Not a big deal. I am sure Bush probably kept in contact with some celebs or country music singers.

    July 11, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. HZ

    LOL @ all the 'saint's in here claiming the President is bad for being friends with Jay-Z. Read your bibles, bible thumpers. Jesus was friends with everybody.

    July 12, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  10. Laughing out load

    I would rather he be associated with Jay-Z that Bush's Big Oil Connections. How did that work out for the country? The left rich while we lost millions of jobs. Or Even Reagan's Corporate buddies that used Reagan to crush the unions. Those Presidents had real role model constituents.

    July 12, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  11. JaNay

    You know he said in his song "On to the next"...MJ at summerjam and Obama on the text......I love you, Jay Z!

    July 12, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  12. Danram

    Doesn't surprise me at all, given that Barack Obama is more of a celebrity himself than a real leader.

    July 12, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Jay-Z sang a song for 6 hours straight last night.

    July 12, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  14. tv22

    Just what we need. Scandals, problems at home, problems abroad, people stealing our secrets and the President is texting with Jay-Z.

    July 12, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. Chase

    Who cares? it's not as if this will actually affect his representation of our country or interfere with his presidential duties. If he was texting national secrets, that'd be different.

    July 12, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  16. Mat

    I think the President has more pressing issues to worry with, rather than socializing.

    July 12, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. Steveo

    @Rudy NYC

    Jay-Z sang a song for 6 hours straight last night.
    That would be a trick, since Jay-Z is not a singer!

    July 12, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  18. Matt

    Nothing to see here folks.

    July 12, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  19. Mary Dancy

    I do not remember anyone saying anything about President Kennedy when he was friends with the rat pack.

    What is wrong with JZ being friends with President Obama. Give me a break.

    July 12, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. Steveo

    "I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," Carney said.
    Yo! Jay-C! That was good, made me chuckle!

    July 12, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What? THIS President can't have friends either?
    Get over yourselves.
    Not a follower of either Beyonce or Jay-Z but I appreciate all of the support they've offered our President in both elections.
    I'm also a little envious. Just a little. Lol!

    July 12, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. MikeMongo

    Jay-Z and Obama have a lot in common, Jay-Z creates Muzak (pretend music) and Obama pretends to be Presidential.

    July 12, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wonder how Ted Nugent is doing? Let me call Romney and ask him.

    July 12, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. KC

    Why is this "news"?

    July 12, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  25. CLT

    If (y)our opinions on the topic really mattered, this article wouldn't have been the way this situation was made known. This is an entertainment piece, nothing to do with national security, role models, or presidential duties. They're both human beings who happen to communicate. Ehh.

    July 12, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
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