It's old news that Jay Z and President Barack Obama are pals, but that won't stop writers from asking the rapper about his special relationship with the leader of the free world world's largest shut down government.

And that's a good thing: In a new Vanity Fair cover story, Jay Z says the election of a black man to the nation's highest office "renewed my spirit for America."

"It was like, Oh, wow, man, this whole thing about land of the free, home of the . . . it’s, like, real—it’s going to happen, everyone’s getting to participate in it," Jay told the magazine. "But growing up, if you had ever told a black person from the hood you can be president, they’d be like, I could never . . . If you had told me that as a kid, I’d be like, Are you out of your mind? How?”

Obama has figured prominently in Jay Z's work as of late, with direct references in songs like "Open Letter" and a remix of "B-tch Don't Kill My Vibe". There are also more references to the president on the rapper's latest album, "Magna Carta Holy Grail." The 43-year-old and wife Beyonce fundraised heavily for Obama during the 2008 election.

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  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce, center, and her husband Jay-Z, right, walk down the stairs at La Guarida restaurant in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/La Guardia)

  • CUBA-US-BEYONCE

    US singer Beyonce (l) is seen in a private restaurant in Havana, next to her husband Jay Z (C - green shirt), on April 4, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CUBA-US-BEYONCE

    US singer Beyonce is seen in a private restaurant in Havana, next to her husband Jay Z (green shirt), on April 4, 2013. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Beyonce

    U.S. singer Beyonce poses for photos with school children as she tours Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Beyonce is in Havana with her husband, rapper Jay-Z, on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, hold hands as they tour Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, right, tours Old Havana as a body guard, left, and tour guide, right, accompany them in Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce, center holding camera, walks with her husband, rapper Jay-Z, right of her, as they tour Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • People react to the press as they wait outside the Saratoga hotel to see U.S. singer Beyonce in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Beyonce is in Havana with her husband, rapper Jay-Z, on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, tour Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    Workers at the La Moneda Cubana restaurant stand on a balcony to watch the arrival of U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z

    U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, are surrounded by body guards as they tour Old Havana where a street performer on stilts looks on, right, in Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce

    U.S. singer Beyonce holds her camera as she tours Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Beyonce is in Havana with her husband, rapper Jay-Z, on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • Beyonce Knowles

    People position themselves outside a restaurant to catch a glance of U.S. singer Beyonce in Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Beyonce is in Havana with her husband, rapper Jay-Z, on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)