By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Jay Z was a special guest on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” on Friday night (August 2). Rocking a very shiny gold Roc-A-Fella chain, Jay’s appearance was largely meant to plug the premiere of “Picasso Baby” afterwards. Still, the rapper joined Bill Maher and his panel to discuss several issues including thoughts on crime, poverty and other sociopolitical issues. Here are some of the best moments from Hov’s appearance.
Jay Wants Obama to Induct Him into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Bill Maher informed Jay that he would be eligible for induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in seven years and asked him who should do the honors. Jay responded that President Barack Obama would be a good fit. When Bill asked what if the POTUS was busy, Hov laughed, “He’ll be aight. He owes me.”
Bill Gets Paused: Bill asked what the inspiration was behind the song “Tom Ford” from Magna Carta Holy Grail, saying, “I’m sure some people are thinking, ‘Why is he on some white, gay designer’s d—?’” Jay laughed at the joke and “paused” Bill, making sure his sexuality was not being questioned. “I meant that metaphorically,” Bill added.
Jay Z Weighs in on Harry Belafonte: When asked about Harry Belafonte’s remarks that Jay and his wife Beyonce were not socially conscious enough, Jay said, “I didn’t think it was the correct venue. I’m not very difficult to find. He can reach out to me and we can do some good together…I ain’t appreciate that, especially dragging my wife into it. It was a low blow.”
“I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility,” said Belafonte earlier in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.” The legendary actor has since extended an olive branch.
Jay-Z on the Police: The rapper and former U.S. Rep Barney Frank got into a heated debate about the need for police in inner cities, based on NYC’s infamous Stop-and-Frisk program. Frank argued that more police were needed while Jay, who grew up in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, encouraged jobs over policing. “I don’t really want to scare America but the real problem is that there’s no middle class,” he said. “The gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider and wider…It’s a problem no police can solve”