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Jay-Z releases diss track aimed at Cuba trip critics
The next step in the evolution of the hip-hop diss track has arrived thanks to – who else? – Jay-Z. The artist also known as Shawn Carter made headlines in the news and politics section recently thanks to a federal government-blessed trip to Cuba he made with his wife, Beyonce. The visit to Fidel’s World earned the rap star a lot of criticism from a handful of politicians and now the rapper has returned the vitriol in kind with a new track called, “Open Letter,” addressing the Havana haters.
The Swizz Beatz/Timbaland-produced track – which is loaded with naughty words so use those headphones if you’re at work – is pretty clear in its aim from the get go with Jay-Z bragging that he’s turned “Havana to Atlanta” and: “Politicians never did shit for me / except lie to me, distort history / Wanna give me jail time and fine / Fine, let me commit a real crime.” There are also references to the White House and an apt reference to Bob Dylan’s “Idiot Wind.” It’s also one of Jay-Z’s better tracks in a while (and sounds similar to some of the Caribbean beats from early Clipse tracks). Besides, you have to love the swagger of the world’s biggest rapper when he drops the line, “Obama said, ‘Chill you’re going to get me impeached’ / You don’t need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach.” (And for Chicago fans, there’s also a reference to buying a whole lot of drugs for our own lightning rod rapper, Chief Keef.)
The trip was noteworthy because of the attention the pair received and because Americans are forbidden to travel to Cuba for tourism without government permission due to a trade embargo. Among the reasons one can travel to Cuba from the U.S. is via a “people-to-people” license or, as ABC News explains it, “a licensed program that encourages ‘meaningful contacts’ with the Cuban people.” Hova and B were traveling to Cuba in a group of 12 that was totally okay’d by the Treasury Department.
The approval didn’t keep Florida Republicans, especially Sen. Mark Rubio, from griping that the trip was being used for propaganda purposes by Cuba. Which is totally understandable because it’s not like their are more pressing matters right now, both domestic and foreign that they should be worried about more than a rap star and his wife going to Cuba.