Jay-Z's presidential pals
Jay-Z finds it 'mind-blowing' that US presidents seek out his company because he felt so disrespected by politicians, he never used to vote when he was younger
Jay-Z finds it "mind-blowing" that he socialises with US presidents.
The '99 Problems' star - whose real name is Shawn Carter - still can't get used to the fact former president Bill Clinton and current US leader Barack Obama know who he is because he never felt respected or cared about by politicians when growing up in a tough area of New York.
He said: "It's unbelievable because it's so far away from where I come from. We were the kids who were ignored by every politician. We didn't have the numbers, the vote, to put anybody in office, because no matter who was in the office, we didn't think that it would affect change where we lived. So nobody went out and voted.
"For me, being with Obama or having dinner with Bill Clinton . . . It's crazy. It's mind-blowing, because where I come from is just another world. We were just ignored by politicians—by America in general."
The rapper - who is married to Beyonce Knowles - also said he takes a lot of inspiration from movie director Quentin Tarantino and sees a lot of similarities between rap and films.
He explained to Interview magazine: "Man, the way Tarantino went back and forth in time, that's it. I love 'Pulp Fiction'. I name-checked it before, but it was a big influence on my writing. If you listen to 'Meet the Parents,' the way he uses time as an element is big in that song.
"Rap for me is like making movies, telling stories, and getting the emotions of the songs through in just as deep a way. And I grew up in rap and movies the same way."