Barack Obama has already stated publically that he is a fan of hip hop. He has songs from Jay-Z and Kanye West on his iPod, and famously brushed dirt off his shoulder in April referencing one of Jay-Z’s biggest hits.
In light of his appreciation for the genre, MTV News asked the Democratic presidential nominee how he feels about the overwhelming amount of support, lyrical shout-outs and mixtape love from hip hop’s finest.
“I enjoy it, but these days I don’t have the time to listen to it all the time,” he said.
“I’m a little older than hip-hop culture,” he added. “I was there at the beginning, but I was already getting older. … What I’ve appreciated, watching this hip-hop generation, is to see how entrepreneurial they’ve been. In the past, musicians oftentimes were commodities. They were just shuffled around. Obviously, they did well, but they didn’t have the vision to say, ‘I’m going to build a business. I’m going to build my own studio. I’m going to create my own production operations.’ I think they’re a lot more sophisticated than in the past, and that is a wonderful thing.”
Obama went on to tell MTV that he’s still seeing growth in the genre and that he’s optimistic about what’s ahead for hip-hop.
“What I’m starting to see is them stretching out more and thinking about social responsibility and how they can impact the culture in a positive way,” he said. “And I hope that continues.”