Chicago rapper Common has taken the baton from Jay-Z and Pitbull, becoming the latest hip-hop artist to lay vocals over the thumping Timbaland-produced “Open Letter” anthem.
On the properly titled “Open Letter, Part II,” Common briefly addresses Jigga’s Cuba trip, the backlash he has received in recent years and plenty more must-hear topics.
“My man went to Cuba/Caught in a political triangle, Bermuda,” Common raps. “Can’t a n*gga rap and make movies/Y’all seen how Fox News tried to do me/They say I’m too black, like it’s light’s out/Might not get invited back to the White House/Still, with the Obamas I ride/I’ll meet the President on the South Side/Marched the streets, parade for peace/Shorties keep shooting, they need a release/Trying to eat in the belly of the beast/I call them Lebron, they carrying the Heat…” (“Open Letter, Part II”)
Over the weekend, Miami’s Pitbull also stood up for Young Hov with an “Open Letter” freestyle.
Miami rapper Pitbull released a rap response to Jay-Z’s “Open Letter” rap response to Miami’s Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Marco Rubio for criticizing his recent trip to Cuba. (Yeah, it’s confusing. Here’s the last link that has other links). Partisans in the Twittersphere seem confused. Is Pitbull taking sides? The wondering is understandable. Pitbull is a party rapper not known for subtlety (Rubio said as much on Twitter before clarifying his remarks). “Politicians love to hate you/ But then they run away when it’s time to debate you.Question of the night:/ would they have mess with Mr. Carter if he was white?/ Hmmm, rhyme with treasury/ One way another in Cuba is where they’ll bury me/ Happy 5th year anniversary, Jay and B/ don’t worry it’s on me.” (Miami Herald)
A few days ago, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was forced to address “Open Letter” song and speculation of President Obama talking to Hov about his five-year anniversary Cuba vacation.
Rapper Jay-Z’s latest track is getting poor reviews from the White House. In the song, entitled “Open Letter,” Jay-Z brags that he “got White House clearance” for his recent controversial trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today denied the White House had any involvement with their trip, saying the Treasury Department handles all clearances for travel to Cuba. “I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” Carney joked. In the song, Jay-Z also recounts a conversation he had with President Obama about his trip. “Obama said, ‘Chill, you, gonna get me impeached… We don’t need this s-t anyway, chill with me on the beach,” he raps in the nearly three-minute song. (ABC News)
Back in 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama stood behind inviting Common to the White House despite conservative backlash from media outlets like Fox News.
“We had a poetry session and we invited young kids in just last week from all over the country” Mrs. Obama explained. “And they talked to some of the most outstanding poets, and they read their poetry in the state room. And then we had a poetry night and Common was there. He’s very cute. But everybody from poet laureates to hip-hop folks, being able to mix up the world in that very interesting way, The White House allows you to do that.” (RapFix)
Check out “Open Letter, Part II”: