Rap mogul Jay-Z‘s “Open Letter” has sparked so much controversy that even President Barack Obama has been forced to address Young Hov’s rhymes this week.
Appearing on the “Today” show, President Obama separated himself from Young Hov’s lyrics but did suggest the rap mogul and wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter had permission to visit Cuba a few weeks ago.
President Obama says the White House was not involved with the recent trip to Cuba by married singers Jay-Z and Beyonce. “I wasn’t familiar that they were taking the trip,” Obama told NBC’s Today show during a wide-ranging interview. “My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba.” A new Jay-Z song indicates that Obama approved of the trip, but Obama said the Treasury Department handles these kinds of things. “You know, this is not something the White House was involved with,” Obama said. “We’ve got better things to do.” The Today show taped the Obama interview Monday, just before the Boston Marathon attack. (USA Today)
Last weekend, Cuban rapper Pitbull dropped an “Open Letter” freestyle and rallied behind the super couple.
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)
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was forced to address the “Open Letter” song and speculation of President Obama talking to Hov about his five-year anniversary 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)
The trip even sparked a negative reaction from Hollywood actress Stacey Dash.
Stacey Dash may get a sting from the Beyhive after this. The actress, who has been very vocal about political issues since the last presidential elections, has now turned her focus to Jay-Z and Beyoncé and their decision to spend their anniversary in Cuba. She’s not very happy about it and she doesn’t think you should be either. Dash tweeted, “Do you care that The Jay Z”s have taken the capital you have given them and funded a communist oppressive regime?” (Apparently, Hov and Bey’s conjoined name is “The Jay Zs.”) Judging by her followers’ responses, no, they don’t care. “I like you better when you were CLUELESS,” one fan wrote, while another said, “What. Ever.” (E! Online)
Check out President Obama’s interview: