Former President Barack Obama inducted rapper Shawn “Jay Z” Carter into the Songwriters Hall of Fame Thursday and opened up about the bond that cements his unlikely friendship with the hip-hop legend. Carter — who is the first hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Hall of Fame — was recognized for his prolific songwriting career and award-winning collaborations.
Obama said Jay Z should also be considered a “true American original” for charting his own path to success, despite adversity.
“I like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other,” Obama said. “Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today.”
“We know what it’s like not to have a father around. We know what it’s like not to come from much, and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks that we did.”