On Thursday, Jay Z became the first ever hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. People would not be surprised for Jay, as he is an outstanding musician and producer; he was recognized because of his "prolific songwriting career and award-winning collaborations," after all. But the most impressive and perhaps most touching thing about this moment is that former president Barack Obama himself honored Jay Z by saying a few words that highlight why the hip-hop artist deserves such prestige.

Jay Z, aka Shawn Carter, found an "unlikely friendship" with the popular former president

“I like to think Mr.

Carter and I understand each other,” says Obama. And perhaps it was this understanding is the core of how and why the former president found himself giving Jay Z the recognition he deserved.

The former president further expounded on the statement by saying that both of them knew how it's like to not have a father around, and how both of them did not really come from a well-off household. They got a break, though of course not from lack of hard work, patience, and perseverance.

Obama also jokingly added that they both have wives that are more popular than they are.

He said that they are both "fools" for their daughters, as well — a comment which may have inadvertently led to the former president revealing the gender of Jay Z's twins with wife Beyonce Knowles.

More than these lighthearted statements, Obama was quick to recognize that both he and Jay Z knew people who did not get the same "breaks" that propelled both of them to the top.

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With this, the former president pointed out another of their similarities: that is, using what influence they have to give opportunities to those who were not as fortunate.

Jay Z: a life turned around

Shawn Carter grew up in Brooklyn, in one of the many structures that line the housing projects in the area. He was involved with drug-dealing in his early life, but later pursued music as a means to get his life together. His career was punctuated with honors and awards, including 21 Grammys and the aforementioned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Jay Z's music could mean a lot of music to a lot of people; good and bad. However, no one can deny that he is one of the most influential movers in the music industry today.

Quoting former president Obama, the man is a "true American original" not only because he found success, but because he found success despite the hardships he went through.