Did Barack Obama really fret to Jay-Z that the rapper's trip to Cuba might get him booted out of the White House? According to Jay-Z, he did.
In his new rap single "Open Letter," Jay-Z slyly drops the American president's name in reference to his controversial trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce. The power-couple spent a few days in Havana last week as part of a U.S. government-sanctioned program that encourages "meaningful contacts" with Cuban citizens.
But hold the phone: Aren't American citizens expressly forbidden to visit the tiny Communist island in the Caribbean?
Apparently not if you're a multi-millionaire rapper like Jay-Z and best pals with the U.S. commander-in-chief. "Open Letter" includes the bold lyrics: "Obama said chill 'You gonna get me impeached'… We don't need this s–t anyway chill with me on the beach."
The not-so-subtle implication is that Obama did something underhanded in assisting Jay-Z and Beyonce to get into Cuba and he could be in political trouble as a result.
On Thursday afternoon, White House attempted to defuse the situation by saying that the president had no contact with Jay-Z in regard to the Cuban visit and that the trip was arranged entirely by the U.S. Treasury Department. Carney went on to claim that the only reason Jay-Z put Obama's name in the song was because it was difficult to find a word that rhymes with "treasury."
"Open Letter" also features Jay-Z rhapsodizing about the Cuban people ("I love Cuba. I love Cubans. This Communist talk is so confusing"), while expressing general disdain toward the political process in general with the lyric: "Politicians never did s–t for me/Except to lie to me, distort history."