Barack Obama isn't urging Jay-Z to prevent hip-hop artists from supporting President Donald Trump, despite a false report. The claim comes from a website known for publishing fake news. Gossip Cop can debunk this nonsense.
According to YourNewsWire, the former president recently called Jay-Z and asked him to tell his peers in the hip-hop community not to meet with Trump or publicly support any of his policies. It's said that Obama was compelled to do this after Kanye West voiced his admiration for the president on Twitter.
The blog picked up the premise from a tweet by a pro-Trump activist named Josh Cornett. Without any evidence to corroborate his claim, Cornett tweeted earlier this month, "BREAKING: Sources are confirming that former President Barack Obama has called Jay-Z several times over the past month pleading to discourage fellow Hip Hop artists from meeting with President Trump... developing."
Who are these "sources"? Cornett doesn't say. The Twitter user, who doesn't appear to be an actual journalist, never followed up his claims, despite ending his tweet by saying the situation was "developing." How exactly did a non-reporter get a huge scoop about a former president making a private phone call to one of the biggest rappers of all time? He didn't. YourNewsWire, which is included on a Wikipedia page of "fake news websites," even acknowledges in its piece, "The story remains unconfirmed."
Here's what seemingly happened. Earlier this month, some outlets wrongly reported that Jay-Z had discouraged Meek Mill from meeting with Trump at the White House for a prison reform summit. Following the rumors, Mill denied that Jay-Z convinced him to cancel the meeting. "That's not true at all, I just ain't feel good about it," the rapper said during an interview with radio station Power 99. He added, "The day before I started to think about it. It's too much criticism. Me and the president, we represent two different sides of things."
The false rumor that Jay-Z was involved in Mill's decision adds another layer to Cornett's tweet. But the notion that Jay-Z had anything to do with persuading another rapper to cancel a meeting with Trump isn't true. It goes without saying that Obama didn't persuade Jay-Z to do something he never did.
Regardless of how and why this story emerged, a source close to Jay-Z tells Gossip Cop on the condition of anonymity that Obama never asked him to tell other hip-hop artists not to support or meet with Trump. We also reached out to Obama's media relations department, and no one could confirm the claim. This story can be added to the pile of fake news that's all too rampant these days.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.