President Obama Gives His Current Top 5 MCs As He Prepares To Leave Office (Audio)
When President Barack Obama took office in 2008, Hip-Hop was in a widely different place. That was the year that Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III sold more than a million copies in its first week available. That year, T.I. made one of his loudest statements in Paper Trail, before going away for a weapons charge. Kanye West would merge Auto-Tune with Rap, and forecast much of the feature with 808’s & Heartbreak the same fall that saw the Presidential election, and Obama defeat Senator John McCain.
Eight years later, President Obama—who invited many artists to the White House (ranging from Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole to DJ Khaled and Rick Ross, leaves office as America’s most “Hip-Hop” President.
Speaking with Sway In The Morning today (October 28), the President was asked about the state of the Hip-Hop union. “I think the young guys: Kendrick [Lamar] and Chance [The Rapper] are doing amazing work,” said the 55 year-old. Earlier this year, the Commander-in-Chief opined that he felt K-Dot would best Canada’s Drake in a Rap battle. Make no mistake though, Obama has room in his playlist for 2016’s best-selling Rap artist (who also achieved the million-a-week feat). “I love Drake, and the girls love Drake. So he’s, commercially, just doing great and [he is] unbelievably talented.”
However, President Obama still feels that Rap’s head of state is somebody who campaigned strongly for his Presidency and is also doing the same for Hillary Clinton. “Jay Z’s still the king; I mean he’s got a track record—the same with Kanye [West].” The President Obama was in office during ‘Ye’s MTV Awards incident with Taylor Swift, and reportedly upset with another Chicago representative, famously calling him “a jackass.”
“There’s a lot of talent out there. But when I look at who’s breaking new ground, Kendrick and Chance—those guys are doing just amazing work, and they’re wonderful young men.” In July, Lamar performed a concert at The White House, hosted by the President. There, President Obama spoke about Chance, who has several youth and voting initiatives. The two men have known one another since Chancellor Bennett was a child. “Chance, I’ve known for years, ’cause his dad was my State Director when I was a Senator in Illinois. I first met Chance when he was eight years old, so we’ve been family for a while.”
Elsewhere in the Sway In The Morning discussion, President Obama discussed Super Bowl and NBA Championship predictions. He also refuted notions that his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama will someday run for President.
The full interview is below: