Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Obama says that Jay-Z is the easy answer over Kanye West

2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Performance

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Kanye West (L) and Jay-Z perform during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City.

I've got a secret: I prefer Kanye. This is apparently something I don't share with our nation's president, who, in a recent Atlantic magazine article on Kanye West, says emphatically that he prefers Jay-Z.

It's not too much of a surprise, after Obama previously called West a "jackass" after he interrupted Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Award acceptance speech.

Obama wasn't all down on Kanye, though. He added that he likes Kanye too. "He’s a Chicago guy. Smart. He’s very talented." When asked about that jackass comment, Obama reaffirmed both Kanye's jackassery and his talent.

Of course, that Atlantic article being titled "American Mozart" perhaps isn't going to deflate that Kanye ego anytime soon. Not that Jay's too humble; these two are on tour together, and some of Kanye's early success as a producer came as a result of getting the chance to produce tracks for Jay-Z.


Jay-Z and Beyonce debut Blue Ivy in song

The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

BEVERLY HILLS: Singer Beyonce arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Perhaps it's the too-close discomfort of being party to someone else's precious moment, but "Glory," the new Jay-Z single featuring the artist formerly known as baby bump, Blue Ivy, is kind of unsettling. With muffled cooing that sounds like it was recorded in Beyonce utero, the life-creation-rap-revelation gushes like an amniotic fluid-filled cheese ball. 

Brand spanking new, the 1-day-old wunderkind can be heard wailing toward the end of the track. The Knowles/Carter combo kid is already embracing her destiny('s child -- yes, there's a line in the song about that...), getting an early jump on recording artist superstardom. Or maybe she'll want to be a professional roller skater. Too soon to tell.

Jay-Z recently showed Los Angeles who its daddy was with a multiple dates Staples Center tour stop on the Kanye West co-headlining concert circus, "Watch the Throne."


Review: Kanye West & Jay-Z's 'Watch The Throne' at Staples Center

via Dane Cook on Twitter

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch The Throne" concert at Staples Center, Dec. 12, 2011.

It would be easy (and almost necessary) to spill an ocean of superlatives in trying to adequately explain the enormity of this entire Watch The Throne endeavor. Sure, it’s easy to chalk it up as a couple of 1 Percenters flexing their considerable industry muscle, and that’s a part of it.

Only a few songs into Monday night’s sold out show, it was apparent that this bombastic display of hip-hop’s considerable hold on the pop cultural zeitgeist was more than just a good time. It was one of the most impressively produced stadium shows, well, ever. The Staples Center was transformed into something of a giant boxing ring, with Jay-Z and Kanye West standing atop two massive hydraulic LED stages to open the show with a flurry of songs from the Watch The Throne album. The spectacle was akin to a rap Metallica (and just as loud), with both men ripping through verses from “Welcome To The Jungle” with ease and dexterity that transcends 99.5% of what passes for “rapping” these days. Flames towers erupted behind them at regular intervals, and the blinding laser light show was equal parts Daft Punk and Pink Floyd.


Behind the scenes of Jay-Z & Kanye West’s new album 'Watch the Throne'

Following her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Beyonce announced her pregnancy by unbuttoning her sequined blazer and rubbing her burgeoning belly. Greeted by cheers from fans and friends alike, Beyonce beamed while delighted hip-hop mogul/husband Jay-Z celebrated the announcement offstage with new best friend and collaborator Kanye West.

High-fives and congratulations flew as Beyonce and Jay-Z shared their personal news with an international crowd. Jay-Z and Kanye also had their own performance, playing "Otis," the first single off their new album "Watch the Throne." It was the first time they've performed a song from the album together live, according to MTV.

Disclosure and engagement between celebrities and their fans is becoming increasingly common, and Jay-Z seems to be embracing that intimacy. Following the August release of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album “Watch the Throne,” a documentary on the making of this grandiose, highly anticipated collaboration began circulating around the Web and streaming on music blogs.