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. John

    Why do I click on these things?

    July 12, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Kelby in Houston

    Rappers also say that they sell drugs, pimp women and kill people and in most cases none of which is true but you don't let the truth stand in the way of a good rap song!

    July 12, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Jacob

    His era of music is unique to those who follow. I have never been into Rap. If it sells, more power to him.

    Cuz in this world, the disparity between white and black is profound in all aspects of American society. That difference is worse for any other minority.

    July 12, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Carrie

    I am sure he does Obama is a Super Star not a president.

    July 12, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. dnokc

    Gettin interviewed for a Cabinet position....of course!

    July 12, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    It's funny to call Jay-Z a "rapper." He's way more than that. How about mogul?

    July 12, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Erik

    That's because he is a cartoon character.

    July 12, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. marie

    I don't think it was necessary or smart to say he texts w/the president. First of all it sounds like bragging – just keep it to yourself. Who does it serve to say you text w/the president?

    July 12, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. hefailed

    Why does this not surprise me...

    July 12, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. yo!

    Obama is dancing to a Jay-Z tune right now.

    July 12, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Dude

    This should be grounds for impeachment.

    July 12, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Condor Golf

    "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'."

    "Like" what is this guy...about 12 years old and never been to an English class. I don't care if he is worth $100 million, learn to speak like an adult.

    July 12, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Condor Golf

    "Like" who is this guy...a 12 year old who has not been to English class. I don't care if he is worth $100 million, learn to speak properly.

    July 12, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. True

    Wow...Obama, Jay Z, and Kanye have so many haters. Its inspiring.

    July 12, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. JimK2450

    Yeah...and I text with the pope every Sunday before Mass!

    ...and now, Live from New York...IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!

    July 12, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. drc

    Was the use of the N word stated in the 'friendly' way at all used? Oh wait..that is allowable.

    July 12, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. Joe

    Not news.

    July 12, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. TheAnswer

    new allbum magna carta is MAD corny.. Jay Z you are like someones grandpa now, give it up

    July 12, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. John

    This is news?

    July 12, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. Rosanne Ferrara

    Shame on YOU, CNN! Trying to make a buck by referring to JZ as "rapper", not that there's anything wrong with the label of rapper, however in this case JZ is soooooooooooooooooooooooo much more than just that, unless you all don't read the news...oh, right ultimately you are just another Corporation; hence, why would you show JZ all the respect He & our President deserve.

    July 12, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. MJ282828

    who cares? why do you people waste time making comments on these kinds of stories/

    July 12, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. IndependentNYC

    How does Oblahblahblah have time to text with rappers?

    July 12, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Who cares

    He's an idiot.

    July 12, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Super J

    I've read some of JZs raps. I think it is deployer the POTUS would consider JZ a friend.

    July 12, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. lkk

    don't we have more important things to post on CNN? this country has more than enough problems...I don't really CARE if Jay-Z text's with the president..Obama should be working on resolving the issues the USA has.

    July 12, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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