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Obama warms up White House for rapper Wale
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Obama warms up White House for rapper Wale

President Barack Obama speaks to a gathering of more than 130 college-bound students and guests from across the county participating in the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 23, 2015. The summit is part of the first lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher initiative. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — He can croon the blues. He can belt out gospel. But Barack Obama draws the line at rap.

“My rapping skills are terrible,” Obama told a crowd of teens visiting the White House on Thursday. “That’s one thing I can’t do is rap. I like rap but I cannot rap.”

He added, though: “I got enough of a rap that I got Michelle to marry me.”

The president made the confession when he turned up as the surprise guest at a mini-concert by rapper Wale in the East Room.

The singer was at the White House for a conference hosted by Michelle Obama aimed at helping college-bound teens overcome obstacles and succeed in college. More than 130 students attended the “beating the odds” summit, which ended with Wale rapping three songs for the group.

Earlier in the day, the Grammy-nominated Wale told the students he didn’t take his college education seriously at first, and came in hoping he’d end up in the NFL.

Wale said he landed on academic probation for a time, but college eventually taught him to be self-made and “take the training wheels off” in life.

Michelle Obama told the students her goal is “to make education cool again.” The president told the students that with hard work, “there’s no holding you back.”

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