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President Obama Prefers Jay-Z, Calls Kanye West 'Smart' and a 'Jackass'

A student of music and culture who has held perhaps the most star-studded benefit concerts in political campaign history, Obama says he's on Team Hova over Ye.

Obama Prefers Jay-z to Kanye Split - H 2012
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Maybe Kanye West never stood a chance.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have become fast friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce, with the First Family of the United States and the First Family of Hip Hop so often exchanging kind words, public endorsements and campaign checks (though that's mostly a one-way street). So it should come as no surprise that, when asked by The Atlantic whether he preferred Jay or Ye, the President aligned himself quickly with the Brooklyn-born star.

Not that Obama dislikes West's rhymes, of course. 

"He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented," he said about the provocative rapper.

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Obama and West have history, of course, as the President famously called him a "jackass" for interrupting Taylor Swift's VMA Acceptance Speech in 2009 (ironically, in support of Beyonce). And the President still stands behind that remark.

"He is a jackass," he said. "But he's talented."

Kanye took the initial comments, back in 2009, in stride, even throwing back a little jab at the President's vaunted hoops game.'

"When Obama called me 'jackass' after the Taylor Swift incident, I thought that must have been speaking off the record. Obama has way more important stuff to worry about than my public perception. He was trying to pass the healthcare bill," he told MTV UK. "And if he said that to relate to the room or lighten the room up and the whole mood, then I'd be more than happy to be the butt of all of his jokes if it in the some way helps his overall mission... I'm a soldier of culture. I'm resilient. I'm sure I'll still beat him in basketball."