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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I wonder if Reagan had any celebrity friends seeing how he was a B actor before he was governor? Maybe I should ask the monkey he was in that movie with...

    July 12, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. Sheila

    "Laughing out load," did you ever check the unemployment numbers under the leadership of both Reagan and Bush? Compare that to the numbers since Obama took office, then look at the jobs that have been destroyed!

    July 12, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. E Michelle

    Seriously? First of all, whether or not I like it, President Obama is POTUS at the moment. This whole "trying to be cool" crap is getting annoying. This whole "first Black President" thing is overrated. Can we PLEASE have a President that could care less about being popular and is more concerned with doing the right thing for this country and it's people? I am ready for a President that says "You may not like it, but tough too bad....America isn't the only continent on this planet, and you are free to move elsewhere if you don't like the decisions that are being made." All of this people pleasing from Former Presidents Clinton on up is getting us nowhere. I no longer vote because I have come to realize that it does absolutely no good whatsoever.

    July 12, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Toni

    This falls under the category of "who the hell cares".

    July 12, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  5. JJ236

    The rapper is a key advisor to the O. Where else can all the crazy stuff come from?

    July 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "America isn't the only continent on this planet"
    Um, America is a country not a continent.
    " I no longer vote because I have come to realize that it does absolutely no good whatsoever."
    And yet you want a president that blah, blah, blah.
    If you don't vote for the president that you want then you don't have a say about the president that you got.
    It's hard to make some of you people up.

    July 12, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. scott

    Just amazing. Who cares about either of them. Soon, very soon a change is coming. Good luck to Zimmermann

    July 12, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. abdulthebutcher

    I wouldn't brag about texting the President,.. I would be more ashamed.

    July 12, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. censored

    I text Obama too but he don't text back.

    July 12, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. Sheila

    And not voting is part of the reason we are stuck with "the president that you got"! Of course, a little illegal voting didn't hurt either!

    July 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why is this "news"?
    It isn't, just like the Biebs and Failin Palin.

    July 12, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Willy100

    This is really COOL – getting to Tweet with the Prez – – I would have thought the guy was busy with other 'stuff' – – Go WH

    July 12, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    One thing is probably for sure. Neither one of those guys is texting while driving.

    July 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. Erik

    America is a continent, actually. North and South. Poorly worded, nonetheless.

    July 12, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Make you to say WOW! President Obama is keeping it real. Go President Obama

    July 12, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Why is this "news"?
    It isn't, just like the Biebs and Failin Palin.
    Read it carefully. They're recycling the old story about Pres. Obama authorizing the couples trip to Cuba. The truth of the matter is that tens of thousands apply for travel to and from Cuba every year, and get it. The right wing wants you to believe that Jay-Z and Beyonce were given special treatment because of the strict relationsip between the US and Cuba. They want you to believe that no one travels there because it is prohibited, when in fact tens of thousands request permission to travel and get it every year.

    July 12, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  17. realsickofit

    It's nice to see that our community organizer (B0) has a new adviser.

    July 12, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Jermaine

    Okay its timed for Jay-Z to shut his mouth!

    July 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. YEA!!!

    Jay-Z is just trying to get close to Obama so whenever the world is crashing and the president hides in the bunker, Jay-Z is hoping to have a reservation in there too.

    July 12, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. t

    "Rapper says he texts with Obama "
    doesnt Jay-Z et more credit than a title of "rapper". Sure its not incorrect but the title makes it seem like Obama talks to Lil John or some other rapper of lower status.

    July 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. Dave

    I'm doing well under the president. My portfolio is growing everyday. Maybe the president is not the problem, trying looking in the mirror. Wow – that hurts!

    July 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Read it carefully."

    I'll take your word for the content of the article, Rudy. It has too much nonsense for me to read through it. I agree with Dominican mama. Reagan was a class B actor... up to... throughout... and beyond... his presidency. And for all that, the right wing still insists "courting" Hollywood is a Liberal offense. Good grief. Their "shinning star" lived, breathed, and aped Hollywood throughout his life. Obama "tweets" and the whole mass of right wing America is shocked. SHOCKED. They crack me up.

    July 12, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Time for change

    how about texting congress?

    July 12, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. TruthSeeker

    JayZ, Okrah Wimpfrey, Madilla, Woods, Little Spike, Morgan, and many black millionairs donated atleast $10MM for Obama's Campaign.

    July 12, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. the dude

    lol– gets to text the prez- all he can say is "word"


    July 12, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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