In a new video released Monday by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z says the embattled incumbent made voting meaningful to people who now realize "how powerful our voice can be.
"When the president got in office initially, what he represented to a nation of kids was hope. You know, the hope of people all across the country who would look and see themselves and know the possibilities," says Jay-Z, a longtime supporter of Obama.
The president appears in the video—but one step removed. It shows him addressing the rap superstar's Made In America Festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 1. He praises Jay-Z as someone who "didn't come from power or privilege" but succeeded because he "refused to quit." The president urges all Americans regardless of party to register and vote.
"For so long there was a voice that was silenced out there, you know, as far as exercising the right to vote," Jay-Z says. "I think it was a voice that was silent because people had lost hope, they didn't believe that their voice mattered or counted, you know, and we thought it was just politics, people going back and forth, and at the end of the day it never trickled down to where we live.
"Now people are exercising their right and you're starting to see the power of our vote," Jay-Z continues. "He made it mean something for the first time for a lot of people, having someone in office who understands how powerful our voice can be is very important."