By CNN Political Unit
(CNN) — It’s no secret that Jay-Z is close with President Barack Obama. The hip hop artist held big fundraisers for the president, and his megastar wife, Beyoncé, performed at Obama’s second inauguration.
But Jay-Z said this week their friendship also plays out on the small screen–a very small screen. In an interview with New York radio station Hot97, the rapper confirmed that he and Obama exchange text messages.
“Yeah, I’ve spoken to him on the phone and had texts from Obama, of course,” he said Wednesday.
Jay-Z stopped himself and quickly expressed regret for saying “of course,” acknowledging the term may sound arrogant.
“Yes, that’s happened,” he continued, referring to the text messages.
The song writer and designer said Obama is “a regular guy” who uses a lot of sports analogies.
“I don’t know if this is like breaching national security, but he was like–when he was getting elected the second time–he was like ‘Hey, you know, fourth quarter, just give me the ball.’ I said ‘word’.”
That conversation, Jay-Z added, happened in Cleveland when he performed at a rally for Obama shortly before Election Day.
He further admitted he gets a little star struck around the president, a big admission for one of the most successful musical artists in the country.
Obama’s relationship with the power couple also made headlines this year when Jay-Z rapped that the White House–rather than the Treasury Department–gave them approval for their high-profile trip to Cuba.
In an unusual White House press briefing, Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, was asked about the lyrics.
But Carney sharply denied that the White House gave the couple clearance for their travel.
“I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” Carney said.
The bonds between the rapper and the president go back at least as far as the 2008 campaign, when candidate Obama said the way to handle political mudslinging was by brushing one’s shoulders off — mimicking Jay-Z’s trademark move. Jay-Z’s hits shuffle on Obama’s iPod, he said in July 2010 — alongside the likes of crooner Frank Sinatra and opera great Maria Callas. The couple also visited the White House earlier that year, and their VIP tour included a stop inside the Situation Room.
CNN’s Ashley Killough and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.