WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Obama raked in the cash during a fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce at the hip hop mogul’s 40/40 Club in New York City Wednesday night, earning a reported $4 million.
Beyonce, dressed in a red dress, said she and her husband support Obama because he shares their vision for America. She said the two were “pleased and proud” to host the event.
Obama praised “Jay” and “B'” and said first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia were upset with him because they were unable to go on the trip. Normally they are just as happy to skip campaign events, he said.
Obama called Beyonce a role model for his daughters and other young people, and said she and Jay-Z are “generous” supporters of his campaign.
Obama said he and Jay-Z share a special bond, beyond interest in basketball: “We both have daughters and our wives are more popular than we are.” Obama also added that Jay-Z “now knows why my life is like.”
But the fundraiser could come back and haunt Obama over Jay-Z’s notorious past.
Before making it big, Jay-Z was a crack dealer in Brooklyn at the age of 13. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2009, he called drug dealers in Brooklyn his “role models” growing up.
“It was normal. And at some point you, become addicted to the feeling. The uncertainty and adrenaline and danger of that lifestyle,” he told Winfrey.
He also has a history of violence. When he was 12, he shot his 16-year-old brother and he stabbed a record producer in December 1999. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation for the assault. Jay was even shot three times while growing up.
“You’re just in it. So deep in it, and so young,” he told Winfrey at the time. “It’s just living. And it’s fast.”
Jay-Z is now worth a reported $450 million.
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