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. Steveo


    JayZ, Okrah Wimpfrey, Madilla, Woods, Little Spike, Morgan, and many black millionairs donated atleast $10MM for Obama's Campaign
    Yet no Ambassadorship for any of 'em!

    July 12, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Steve Schmidtleton

    So what, the President isn't allowed to text? He's just another human being, operating at the mercy of corproate dollars. There's no "president" in america, it's all about corporations & money – makes no difference who's in office. I don't care if Obama is texting Snowden.

    July 12, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. cheddarbob

    So a RAPPER has the number to the president, if so shouldn't all American's be provided the same luxury?

    July 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Sharp T

    Obama is too cool. He can't help himself. Even a megastar like Jay-Z gets giddy when he's in his presence.

    July 12, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. matyellott

    This is why he was hired because he is soooo cool! Does Romney even have the number of an entertainer?!!!! if not he will not get the 20 something vote.

    July 12, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. CryBabies

    America voted for the "cool kat". This is what "cool kats" do. America is turning into "cool katsville".....nice.

    July 12, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. .rrl

    confirmation of the president being bought

    July 12, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Steveo

    This is why he was hired because he is soooo cool! Does Romney even have the number of an entertainer?!!!! if not he will not get the 20 something vote.
    Man, I hope you are kidding or being sarcastic! Because if that is the reason 20 somethings voted for him we are in more trouble than I thought!

    July 12, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  9. CryBabies

    @ FalseProphet...That was no fake scandal.....Just our Leaders not doing their jobs, making up false excuses, and not stepping up to face the U.S. citizens and explain what party the Mad Hatter and Alice and the White Rabbit were attending.

    July 12, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Revolution

    Barry's text" yo can I get some chronic"

    July 12, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. EdL

    Not surprising at all. Two peas in a pod.

    July 12, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Too much Bling, it's blinding

    Perhaps Jay-Z would have been wiser to keep this private? Seems to me.

    Some peoples' kids..

    July 12, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. nuclear mike

    rap crap it up U2!!!

    July 12, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. drinker75

    There is something a bit un-presidential about Obama texting a musician.

    July 12, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Ellie

    Sad.....sad...sad... this is what the U.S.A. is turning into. ......dignity and pride... going...going...gone!

    July 12, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. tendofreak

    Well....wonder if he uses the same terms in his texts as he does in his songs??? Obama ia a hypocrite. One minute he's in church with a racist preacher and next he's exchanging texts with a racist rapper. Wonderful people our President hangs out with. Come on 2016 so he finally leaves office.

    July 12, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jim

    Well of course! What else do you think Obama has to do with his time when he's not on the golf course or vacation?

    July 12, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Mike

    Someone subpoena those texts.

    July 12, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. not important

    Ok..and? What is the problem?

    July 12, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Kristi

    HOW is this NEWS on CNN???? Who cares!?!?!

    July 12, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. justinbeeber

    so what, I got Clinton on my speed dial

    July 12, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Terry

    So, B.O. spends time texting this foul-mouthed, racist "artist". Glad to know what a quality individual B.O. is.

    July 12, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Snoopz

    Its good that he texts someone whose music inspires racism and violence.

    July 12, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Bumble Bee

    Really drops my image of Obama.

    July 12, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. farside

    He looks like a cartoon character

    July 12, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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