President Obama says he is team Jay-Z, and that he still believes Kanye West is a jackass.
In a brief interview with The Atlantic, published Thursday, Obama was asked whether he preferred Jay-Z or Kanye.
Jay-Z, he replied, but he also doled out praise to West: "Although I like Kanye," says the president, "He's a Chicago guy. Smart. He's very talented."
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
But what about the commander-in-chief calling Kanye a jackass back in 2009, following West's ambush of Taylor Swift on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards?
"He is a jackass," Obama replied, adding a wink to take any sting out of the remark. "But he's talented."
Kanye made further headlines last week when his new single "Theraflu" was semi-leaked. On the track he raps about falling for reality-star Kim Kardashian, creating speculation over whether the pair are currently dating, and what the status of their relationship was during Kim's short-lived, if much publicized marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries.
For Jay-Z, such presidential praise can be added to his list of recent personal and professional highs. He celebrated the birth of his first child Blue Ivy Carter with superstar wife Beyonce on January 7, his Rocawear fashion label signed a sponsorship deal with the New York Yankees, and his Watch the Throne mega-tour -- which he co-headlines alongside Kanye -- was a sell-out success in the United States at the end of 2011. The hip-hop juggernauts commence the European leg of the concert tour in May.