President Obama Thinks Kanye West Is ‘Talented,’ Still ‘A Jackass’


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Remember when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs, prompting President Obama to call him a “jackass?” Well, Obama isn’t quite ready to retract that statement. In an interview with The Atlantic, the president was asked to choose between Jay-Z and Kanye West, and he didn’t have a very difficult time coughing up his answer, which was, “Jay-Z.”

After confirming that his favorite Throne MC is Hov, the ever-diplomatic Obama threw in a few nice comments about ‘Ye. “Although I like Kanye. He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented,” the president said.

The interviewer didn’t let the subject drop without mentioning that President Obama once referred to Kanye as a “jackass” when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s VMA speech, but Obama didn’t shy away from the comment. “He is a jackass,” Obama replied, with a perfectly even voice. “But he’s talented.”

Even without the whole VMA fiasco, it’s clear the Obamas have a very close relationship with Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé. Jay has been outwardly supportive of President Obama’s campaign from the beginning, and B recently joined a group of celebrities who designed personal swag for Obama’s re-election campaign.

This week, Beyoncé even penned a heartfelt letter to Michelle Obama, thanking her for being a great role model. “I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you to look up to,” she wrote. The two have previously collaborated on the first lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign, which targeted obesity in children. Beyoncé reworked her hit single “Get Me Bodied” into “Move Your Body,” encouraging kids to get fit.