Jay-Z provides musical explanation for Cuba trip
All sorts of confusing noises have been emanating from the White House about the big Cuban vacation taken by Jay-Z and Beyonce, so Jay-Z decided to clear things up with a little rap song. In this song, he professes to find Communism “confusing,” which would suggest the trip was not successful as a “cultural learning experience,” its purpose according to the Treasury Department.
TMZ offers some lyrics from the rap song, with a bit of analysis (emphasis in the original):
In the song, titled “Open Letter,” Jay says …”Politicians never did s**t for me … except lie to me, distort history.”
He continues, “Obama said chill ‘You gonna get me impeached’ … We don’t need this s**t anyway chill with me on the beach.’”
The implication based on the lyric — that Obama did something shady in helping Jay-Z and Beyonce get into Cuba and he could be in political hot water as a result.
It’s a pretty believable lyric, considering how close Jay is with B.O.
There’s more — “I can turn Havana to Atlanta … ballin’ too much they try to jam you.”
“I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans.This Communist talk is so confusing.”
Also kicking up the temperature of the water bubbling around the Cuban junket is the White House’s explicit denial that they had anything to do with it. Supposedly it was a “Treasury matter,” not a “White House matter.” Who do we trust, the rapper or the White House spokesman? Has Jay Carney considered brushing up on his rap skills to make this an even fight? Jay-C versus Jay-Z!
According to Politico, the Treasury Department is now claiming it didn’t know President Obama’s pals would be among those experiencing cultural learning on this particular trip:
The U.S. Treasury Department told POLITICO on Wednesday that while the department approved for the trip’s organizers to travel to Cuba as part of a cultural learning experience, they were unaware that the couple would be attending, as it is department policy not to require organizers’ to provide a list of travelers.
It’s possible Jay-Z meant his new rap song as a joke, tweaking critics of his Cuban trip, but not many people are laughing off the affair. The Republican National Committee would like the conflicting stories about who authorized the trip cleared up:
“There seems to be some confusion regarding how Beyoncé and Jay-Z acquired visas to travel to Cuba. Just days ago, Jay Carney evaded questions on the celebrities’ trip,” RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi said in a public statement. “Any chance Jay Carney can clear up this confusion?”
As would Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the son of people who left Cuba because they found Communism even more confusing, and evidently much more alarming, than Jay-Z does:
“According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department,” Rubio said in a public statement on Monday. “If true, the Obama administration should explain exactly how trips like these comply with U.S. law and regulations governing travel to Cuba and it should disclose how many more of these trips they have licensed.”
[...] “U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime,” Rubio said in the statement. “Since their inception, the Obama administration’s ‘people to people’ cultural exchange programs have been abused by tourists who have no interest in the Cuban people’s freedom and either don’t realize or don’t care that they’re essentially funding the regime’s systematic trampling of people’s human rights.”
Rubio also had a specific suggestion for how the Jay-Z / Beyonce trip could have been put to good use: they could have visited with Cuban rapper Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, imprisoned for criticizing the government through his rap lyrics… rather like Jay-Z just did.