Barack Obama delivers touching speech for Jay Z Songwriters Hall of Fame induction

"Nobody ... expected us to be where we are today," he said.

ByMichael Rothman
June 16, 2017, 10:52 AM

— -- Jay Z was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame Thursday night, introduced via video by none other than former President Obama.

The music mogul, born Shawn Carter, 47, wasn't on hand either for the official induction in New York, but he's still the first rapper in this 48-year-old Hall of Fame and Obama made sure to sing his friend's praises in the video for the ceremony.

After paying homage to the other inductees, Obama said, "I'd like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today."

He continued, "We know what it's like not to have a father around, we know what it's like not to come from much."

The president spoke about their helping others follow in their footsteps and how much he and Jay Z love their daughters.

"Although he's going to have me beat once those two twins show up," he joked.

"And let's face it, we both have wives that are significantly more popular than we are," he added of Jay Z’s wife, Beyonce, and Obama's wife, Michelle.

Obama also touched on the use of the rapper's lyrics in his campaigns.

"I'm pretty sure I'm still the only president to listen to Jay Z's music in the Oval Office," he added. "That may change at some point but I'm pretty sure that true now."

Watch the full video below.

Music mogul Jon Platt accepted the award on behalf of Jay Z.

He said, according to Variety, who attended the ceremony, "Let me start as I think Jay would, by acknowledging some of the most important people in his life: his lovely wife and daughter, and Jay’s mother and grandmother are here tonight. And if Jay would have been here tonight, he made it known that he wanted to sit right between both of you because you are two of the most important people in his life."

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