Jay-Z says he texts with Obama
July 11th, 2013
03:56 PM ET
10 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. maljazur

    If the president DOES in fact relate on a personal basis with a celebrity, I'm quite sure it's with the understanding that said celebrity will shut their face about it. Ugh...

    July 12, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. PDirt

    Obama doesn't have time to send the Marines to save our ambassador in Libya but has time to text and tweet with other narcissistic phonies. That is so special.

    July 12, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Mike Wakowski

    The president of the United States exchanges texts with some who calls himself 'Jay-Z'...............

    July 12, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Victor Bakare

    Does that make Obama an undercover Rapper now?

    July 12, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Harley Quinn

    Who cares? At this point if I were Obama, I'd be phoning it in, too. All the squabbling below him makes it impossible to get anything done and it's not like he can run for re-election. I don't think anyone would vote for him again even if he could! Our country has come to the point where the only time the president can do any good for it is after they leave the office.

    July 12, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Steveo

    who cares? why do you people waste time making comments on these kinds of stories/
    Probably for the very same reason YOU commented.

    July 12, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Vince Flynn

    It's not like Obama is busy running a country or anything, of course he texts Jay-Z, between rounds of golf anyway

    July 12, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. Sound Off

    Who cares! I don't like this man at all. It's bad that the president even associates with the likes of these people.

    July 12, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. jayh

    He should tell him to quite spying on us!

    July 12, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. quinLee

    not helpful.......even though it is no secret and common knowledge that presidents of the past have regularly engaged in conversations/relationships with actors, business people, and so on, this is just fodder for the haters and the low brain cell types. This is just the kind of stuff that gets them all excited.

    July 12, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. yolanda

    Class act....maybe JayZ can perform some of his "ho" raps for Obama's daughters. Great role model.

    July 12, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Sailor101

    From Terrorists to Rappers; Obama just has such great friends.

    July 12, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Who cares. JFK had an affair with Marilyn Monroe and many others. He is considered one of the great presidents. Obama can't text jay-Z lol. That's laughable and I don;t even like commercial hip hop or jay-Z. I'm more concerned with Obam spying on me lol.

    July 12, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Who Cares

    I think all presidents communicate with people who raise millions for them. It's all about the benjamins!

    July 12, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. heywood

    I wonder if the talentless one uses the lovely words from his 'songs' to ask how the female side of the family is? Does Jay drone on endlessly in his tests as he does on his spoken word albums? The only musical talent he has sleeps next to him.

    July 12, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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