Jay-Z is speaking out against the critics questioning his motives for his anniversary getaway in Cuba with his wife, Beyoncé Knowles, the best way he knows how: through song.
The hip-hop mogul released a new track titled “Open Letter” on Thursday and while the beat is sure to get heads bobbing (the song was produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz), the lyrics are pretty cutting. “Obama said, ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached’ / You don’t need this s— anyway; chill with me on the beach,” Jay-Z, 43, raps. “I done turned Havana to Atlanta / Guayabera shirts and bandanas. … Boy from the hood got White House clearance.”
Later Thursday, the White House responded to a reporter’s question about the song. “I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” joked Jay Carney, President Obama’s press secretary.
Carney added: “The White House, from the President on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s personal travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles. … It’s a song. The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”
U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple’s trip was licensed as an educational exchange after two U.S. House members expressed concerns about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.
Also in the song, the rapper brings up his criminal past: “I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef / Out of spite, I just might flood these streets / Hear the freedom in my speech.”
Jay-Z also mentions his part ownership of an NBA basketball team, rapping: “Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free / Except I made millions off it, you f—in’ dweeb / I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seats / Y’all buy that bulls—, y’all better keep your receipts.”