music

Jay-Z posts pop-up rap about Cuba trip

 
 
 
 

Miami Herald Staff Report

Just days after his trip to Cuba with wife Beyoncé, rapper Jay-Z released Open Letter, a song about the controversy surrounding the trip.

Among the lyrics: “Politicians never did s--- for me ... except lie to me, distort history.”

“Obama said chill, ‘You gonna get me impeached,’ ... We don’t need this s--- anyway, chill with me on the beach.

“I’m in Cuba. I love Cubans. This Communist talk is so confusing. When it’s from China, the very mic that I’m using."

The power couple created a buzz recently after spending several days in Havana touring the streets and also watching young artists perform. Travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens who don’t have relatives on the island is prohibited without special licenses or as part of a policy that allows cultural and people-to-people exchanges. As it turns out, the Office of Assets Control, which issues travel licenses, said that the couple did not violate travel restrictions.

The track, developed on the spur of the moment in response to the flak over the trip, was posted early Thursday on Jay-Z’s Life + Times site.

After inquiries from Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, Treasury officials said the couple were granted an educational exchange license to travel. In the song, the lyrics include "boy from the hood, I got White House clearance."

That claim was disputed Thursday by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who said, "I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," — insisting it was the U.S. Treasury Department , not the White House, that OK’d the trip to the island.

Carney said Obama never talked about the Cuba trip to Jay-Z: "Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know and the White House has nothing to do with it," Carney said. "I am absolutely saying the White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s personal — anybody’s travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles."

Pressed on why Jay-Z had mentioned Obama, Carney quipped "Treasury, these are tough words to rhyme.

"It’s a song," he said. "The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip."

The rap contains explicit lyrics. To listen, click here.

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