Jay-Z 'Open Letter' song defends Cuba trip with Beyonce

April 12, 2013 4:23:28 AM PDT
Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce in a new song titled ''Open Letter.''

Two Republican lawmakers were critical of the couple's visit to Havana, which coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary, and questioning if they were officially licensed to go to Cuba. They were - by the Treasury Department.

U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple's trip was licensed as an educational exchange after Cuban-American U.S. Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart expressed concerns about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

Jay-Z describes his distaste for politicians in the song, references the president and repeats the refrain, "Y'all gon' learn today."

Jay-Z raps: "Want to give me jail time and a fine? Fine, let me commit a real crime."

The White House was asked about it.

"It's a song, Donovan. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip," said Jay Carney, White House press secretary.

Jay-Z and Beyonce are both avid supporters of President Barack Obama. Jay-Z raps in his song, "Obama said, 'Chill, you gon' get me impeached, you don't need this (expletive) anyway, chill with me on the beach."

U.S. citizens aren't allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration. Beyonce and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week.

On the new song, the 17-time Grammy winner also addresses the Brooklyn Nets, which he owns less than 1 percent of. Jay-Z is selling his stake in the team so he can become certified as a player agent, a person with knowledge of the details said Wednesday.

"Would have bought the Nets to Brooklyn for free, except I made millions off of you (expletive) dweebs, I still own the building, I'm still keeping my seats," he raps.

Jay-Z also calls himself "the Bob Dylan of rap music" on "Open Letter," produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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