Yesterday we reported on newly released track “Open Letter,” by Brooklyn rapper and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. In the song, Jigga claps back at the politicians who criticized him for the trip that he took to Cuba with his wife Beyoncé. Since its release, the controversial track has spread like wildfire, even making it to a White House press conference. Why does the White House care about a Jay-Z song, you ask? Well, at one point in the song, Jay speaks about having a conversation with President Obama.
“Boy from the hood, but got White House clearance,” Jay says within the first 41 seconds of the song.
“Obama said chill, you gon’ get me impeached/You don’t need this s**t anyway, go chill with me on the beach,” he says in another bar.
Many perceived the name-drop as an admission that President Obama had something to do with getting the Carters’ Cuban trip approved, especially considering their relationship with the first couple. But, White House officials are saying this is not true. During a press conference yesterday, White House press secretary, Jay Carney was asked by a journalist about the lyrics and whether or not Jay and the POTUS held a conversation about visiting Cuba.
“I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury,” Carney humorously stated.
“Because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel. The White House has nothing to do with it. I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the President on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s travel to Cuba,” he continued.
Carney went on to imply that song lyrics probably shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
“OFAC, Treasury, these are tough words to rhyme,” he joked. “It’s a song, Jay-Z did not communicate with the President about this trip.”
With all of that being said, it was pretty funny hearing rap lyrics referenced at a White House press conference.
Turn the page to watch a brief clip from the press conference. What are your thoughts on this? Has this been blown out of proportion or was Jay-Z out of line for pulling the President into the middle of his controversy?