April 13, 2013 11:00 AM by Donna W. Martin
American Idol guest star, Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z recently took a trip to Cuba where they celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. But because U.S. citizens aren’t allowed to travel to Cuba just for tourism, their trip caused a bit of controversy. Cuban-American U.S. Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart grew concerned about the trip and asked if it was licensed, which prompted Jay-Z to sound off in new song entitled “Open Letter” addressing the controversy and defending his trip to Cuba. However, his mention of President Obama in the lyrics caused yet another stir and prompted a response from the White House. Keep reading for more details.
According to ABC, Jay-Z and Beyonce did obtain a license from the U.S. Treasury Department before traveling to Cuba. But when they returned and were made aware of the controversy surrounding their trip, Jay-Z decided to address it in a song, “Open Letter.”
In the song, Jay-Z raps about, among other things, his distaste for politicians. But one lyric specifically grabbed the media’s attention and caused a stir. “Obama said, ‘Chill, you gon’ get me impeached, you don’t need this (expletive) anyway, chill with me on the beach,” Jay-Z rapped, which left reporters wondering if he was in communication with Obama regarding the trip to Cuba.
During a press conference on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney was questioned about the song lyrics and was quick to brush off the issue. “I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury…because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know, and the White House has nothing to do with it.” He continued, “I am absolutely saying that the white house, from the President on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s travel to Cuba…that is something that Treasury handles.”
But a Politico reporter wasn’t satisfied and continued to press the issue to the point of quoting lyrics. “It’s a song, Donovan,” Carney reiterated, “The president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.”
Should there have been so much concern about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba? And what do you think of Jay-Z’s new song? Should it have caused such a stir? Or does everybody just need to chill out because after all…it’s just a song? Let us hear your opinion by sounding off in the comments section below.
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Photo Credit: ABC