Rapper Jay-Z has responded to the controversy over his recent trip to Cuba in song, releasing a new track that references everything from President Obama to the film "Zoolander."
The Cuba trip, which the rapper took with his wife Beyonce and was reportedly licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, has drawn fire from some, including U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who has challenged Obama to defend the legality of the visit.
"According to recent news reports, Jay-Z and Beyonce's Cuba trip, which the regime seized on for propaganda purposes, was fully licensed by the Treasury Department," Rubio said in a statement. "If true, 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 said earlier this week. "U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime," Rubio stated.
Jay-Z takes aim at such critics in the new track, dubbed "Open Letter," rapping, "Politicians never did shit for me/Except lie to me, distort history."
The rapper adds, "Want to give me jail time and a fine/Fine, let me commit a real crime."
Jay-Z, who stands with his wife as a prominent Obama supporter, also makes mention of the president in the song, joking (presumably) that the leader of the free world is nervous about the fallout from the Cuba trip.
"Obama said, 'Chill, you gonna get me impeached,'" Jay-Z sings. "We don't need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach."
While the line is most likely a bit of creative license on the rapper's part, it will probably give fuel to Obama critics who believe that the president pulled strings to enable the trip.
(For the record, White House press secretary Jay Carney flatly denied that Obama spoke with Jay-Z about the Cuba trip during a briefing on Thursday, telling reporters that Jay-Z probably mentioned Obama in the track because, "I guess nothing rhymes with 'Treasury.'"
During a more whimsical segment of the song, Jay-Z points out the shifting political priorities in the world with a reference to the 2001 Ben Stiller film 'Zoolander': "The world's under new management/New role model, fuck this 'Zoolander' shit."
Hopefully Jay-Z threw his best "blue steel" pose after spitting out that couplet in the studio.
Listen to "Open Letter" below.
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- President Obama