On Friday night, HOV took over HBO.
Jay Z turned the channel into his own personal playground, not only premiering his "Picasso Baby" performance art film, but making a guest appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher."
Jay appeared on a panel that included former Massachusetts senator Barney Frank and Alexis Goldstein of Occupy Wall Street, and was introduced by Maher with a nod to the "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" remix: "He's not a businessman, he's a business, man, and he also dabbles in a little bit of rap."
A bit later, Maher laughed "I feel like Ed Sullivan when he brought the kids the Beatles," before asking Jay "Do you remember Ed Sullivan?"
"No," Jay joked.
Jay didn't shy away from discussing politics, either. At one point, he engaged in a debate with Frank about budgetary cuts that have eliminated police presence in low-income neighborhoods. Frank maintained that all communities wanted more police on the streets, though HOV disagreed.
"More jobs would be better than police," he said. "I don't want to scare America, but the real problem is there's no middle class; the gap between the have's and the have not's is getting wider and wider. It's going to be a problem that no amount of police can solve."
Maher also asked Jay about his spat with singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, who accused him — and his wife, Beyonce — of not doing enough to help their community. And Jay didn't duck the question.
"If it was a real problem, I'm not very difficult to find, especially for a man of that stature. he could reach out to me and we could have a conversation and do some good together," Jay said. "I just thought it was a bit grandstanding ... and i didn't appreciate that. Especially dragging my wife into it, it was a bit of a low blow."
Later on, Maher informed Jay that, in seven years, he'd be eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Jay wasn't aware of that fact — and asked who he'd like to induct him. And this was where HOV really flexed his political muscle.
"Obama," he laughed. "He owes me a couple."