Did Jay-Z Go Too Far With His Obama Rap on Cuba?

Jay-Z on Cuba: Boy From the Hood Got White House Clearance

Did Jay-Z Go Too Far With His Obama Rap on Cuba?

Jay-Z shoots back at critics of his trip to Cuba and implicates Obama in new "Open Letter" track.

Published April 11, 2013

Jay-Z's latest track most likely won't get a favored playlist slot on President Obama's iPod.

The rap mogul on Thursday released "Open Letter," in which he shoots back at critics of a recent trip he and wife Beyoncé took to Cuba to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.

“I done turned Havana into Atlanta,” he raps. “Boy from the hood, I got White House clearance… Politicians never did s--t for me except lie to me, distort history… They wanna give me jail time and a fine. Fine, let me commit a real crime.”

Three Cuban-American congressional lawmakers had questioned the legality of the trip this week because of a U.S. ban on travel to the Caribbean island. As it turned out, the couple had received clearance from the Treasury Department as required, but Obama had nothing to do with it, White House spokesman Jay Carney assured reporters Monday.

“Hear the freedom in my speech… Obama said, ‘Chill you gonna get me impeached," Jay-Z later raps. "You don’t need this s--t anyway, chill with me on the beach.'"

Carney on Thursday reiterated that the president and the rapper have not discussed the trip.

"I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," Carney joked on Thursday, adding, "The White House, from the president on down, had nothing to do with anybody's travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles." 

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(Photo: Paras Griffin /Landov)

Written by Joyce Jones


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