Jay Z has officially been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, making him the first rapper to receive the honor. And Jay was helped to get inducted by someone very special: Barack Obama.
While he couldn't be there in person, former President Barack Obama recorded a video tribute to the Brooklyn native, calling him a friend, an original and an inspiration.
After calling out all of the inductees, Obama went on to give a really touching speech about Jay Z, hitting on how they are similar, referencing their upbringing, their family including children and wives, before landing on all of the reasons he's a fan, and how Jay has influenced him in his career and life. Read the full speech below:
"I'd like to think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would ever 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. And so we try to prop open those doors of opportunity, so that it's a little easier for those who come up behind us to succeed as well.
Jay and I are also fools for our daughters. Although, he's gonna have me beat once two twins show up. And let's face it, we both have wives who are significantly more popular than we are.
Like all of you, I am a fan. And I've been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry state senator. I sampled his lyrics to close my speech at Selma. I tweeted a reference to 'My First Song' as I was putting the finishing touches on my final State of the Union address, I had to 'brush some dirt off my shoulders' during a campaign, so I'm pretty sure I'm the only President to still listen to Jay Z's music in the Oval Office. That may change at some point, but I'm pretty sure that's true now. In fact, Jay, you have been inspiring, in making me want to be active in my retirement, just like you have been in yours.
So I'm gonna close by sharing something Jay once said that struck me. He said, 'I've never looked at myself and said I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I've always wanted to stay true to myself and I've managed to do that. People have to accept that.' So, with that, I'm proud to help present this award to a true American original, the first hip hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mr. Shawn Carter."
Jay responded on Twitter, thanking the former president and calling him, quote "The best rapper of all time."
And the greatest rapper of all time OBAMA . Thank you 44 https://t.co/CueS0BynCj— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) June 16, 2017