Jay-Z responded forcefully today in the form of a scathing rap titled "Open Letter" to Miami Republicans Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balartat who raised questions about the legality of his trip to Cuba last week with his wife Beyonce. "Open Letter" mocks Jay Z's critics who had falsely accused of him of breaking the law because of his friendship with President Obama.
And the lyrics takes his critics to task for suggesting the trip was illegal:
Wanna give me jail time and a fine
Fine, let me commit a real crime
I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef
Out of spite, I just might flood these streets
I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans
This Communist talk is so confusing
When it’s from China, the very mike that I’m using
The last line attacks the hypocrisy of those who support restrictions on trade with Cuba but not with "communist" China.
Produced by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, Swizz's signature "right!" and "God damn it!" refrains can be heard throughout the track. Swizz also repeats the refrain line "Y'all goin' learn today, " which Jay Z picks up later in the song.
Jay-Z and Beyonce's three-day trip to Havana during which the couple were seen wining and dining as they celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary is arguably the most controversial celebrity visit to Cuba since the U.S. Trade Embargo restricted travel in the early 1960s.
Sensing an opening, Florida Cuban Republicans suggested that Jay Z and Beyonce, who are close to the Obamas, had broken the law. Republican presidential prospect Sen. Marco Rubio lead the charge:
“…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.”
Rubio’s remarks were followed up by Miami-based regular Castro's Cuba bashers Representatives lleana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balarta letter to the Treasury Department requesting an explanation as to why the trip was licensed by the American Government.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department said the trip had been officially sanctioned as an educational exchange.
Thwarted by the fact Jay Z and Beyonce's trip was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department the Florida Cuban Republican critics then questioned the mechanics of the approval.
However,The US Treasury Department sanctioning of Jay Z and Beyonce's trip is consistent with the sanctioning of travel for other music celebrities to Cuba.
"Thousands of American musicians and music industry personnel have visited Cuba over recent decades. In 1999, more than thirty artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Gladys Knight, and Me'Shell NdegeOcello landed in Havana for the “Music Bridges” project, where they wrote songs and performed with Cuban musicians at the Karl Marx Theater. .. Cuban fan favorites Kool and the Gang played a show there in 2009. Major jazz players including Wynton Marsalis have appeared at the annual Havana jazz festival. Dead Prez once headlined the Habana Hip Hop festival."