[artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] has dropped Barack Obama’s name in his rhymes, and Obama referenced Jay’s lyrics when he dusted his shoulder off during a campaign appearance before he ascended to the White House. But it turns out the pair have more than just a passing appreciation for rhetorical flourishes.
In an interview with Jonathan Ross airing on the BBC Friday (February 19), Jay-Z revealed that the president has invited the rapper to the White House a number of times since Obama’s inauguration.
“I’ve been invited to the White House a couple of times,” Hov told Ross, although he said he hasn’t taken up the president on the offer just yet. “Hopefully we’ll keep him in for eight years, so I’ll have time to get there.”
The Brooklyn MC was an avid supporter of Obama during the presidential campaign and referenced him in a series of lyrics, most notably for Young Jeezy’s hit “My President.”
“Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk/ Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run/ Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly,” he raps on the track. “So I’mma spread my wings/ You could meet me in the sky.”
“It’s just the progression. … You sat, you walked, you ran, you ran to fly,” Jay told MTV News about his Obama rhyme last year on the eve of the inauguration. “You know, just the progression and how far we’ve come as a nation. It feels good to say that, ’cause I never had that type of feeling to say ‘as a nation,’ like I was part of the American dream. And I believe a lot of people didn’t feel like a part of the American process for so long.”
Although Obama has professed a love for an eclectic playlist of music that includes Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan, he also said he is a fan of Jay-Z.
Jay-Z confirmed Obama’s admiration when he told Ross the president was playing one of the rapper’s albums when answered a phone call from Hov.
“Barack loves hip-hop,” Jay said. “When I called him he was playing [The] Blueprint in the gym.”