In a radio interview Thursday with Colby Colb of Z107.9 Hip Hop Cleveland, President Obama discussed his relationship with superstar couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé, saying that he has taken on a role of advocate for the women in the young family.
“They just had a new baby and they’ve got a new daughter. And I made sure that Jay-Z was helping Beyoncé out [with the baby], and not leaving it all to mom and the mother-in-law,” Obama said. The couple gave birth to their first child, whom they named Blue Ivy, in January.
Colb had asked Obama about how he relates with the music stars and what they talk about when they get together. The trio were recently photographed chatting together at an exclusive $40,000 per person Obama fundraiser hosted at the rapper’s 40/40 club in New York City.
“Obviously, they’re unbelievably successful, but they really are down to earth folks,” Obama said, noting that he and Michelle Obama have spent time with Jay-Z and Beyoncé at the White House. “We talk about the same things that I talk about with all my friends. We talk about kids….”
Both artists were big Obama supporters in 2008 and have actively contributed to his reelection campaign, particularly its get-out-the-vote efforts. Jay-Z has hosted several concerts for grassroots supporters, while Beyoncé has appeared in Web videos encouraging people to register and turn out to vote.
President Obama told Colb that he is also a big fan of Jay-Z’s music, with “a bunch” of his songs on the presidential iPod. But the playlist apparently does not include a song with lyrics that might be offensive to some women.
“Is ’99 Problems’ on there?” Colb asked.
“You know, I gotta say I go with some other stuff like ‘My First Song,’ which just kinda keeps me steady,” Obama said. “It’s a great song. It reminds you that you always gotta stay hungry.”
Here’s the chorus of “99 Problems”:
99 Problems but a b**** ain’t one
If you havin’ girl problems
I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but a b**** ain’t one hit me.
Here’s the chorus of “My First Song”:
It’s my life — it’s my pain and my struggle
The song that I sing to you it’s my everything
Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first
And my thirst is the same as — when I came
It’s my joy and my tears and the laughter it brings to me
It’s my everything.