In a new rap posted on his website, Rapper Ja-Z singled out Miami Republican Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for questioning and then bashing a Cuba trip taken last week by him and his wife, Beyonce. (Background and links here)
Guayabera shirts and bandanas....
Politicians never did shit for me
Except lie to me, distort history
Wanna give me jail time and a fine
Fine, let me commit a real crime...
Hear the freedom in my speech
Got an onion from Universal, read it and weep...
Obama said "chill, you gonna get me impeached"
But you don't need this shit anyway
Chill with me on the beach...
Ya'll almost want to start a revolution
You know whenever I'm threatened, I start shooting, bark
Catch a body, head to Houston
I'm in Cuba, I love Cubans
This communist talk is so confusing
When it's from China, the very mic that I'm using...
So reporters wanted to know: Did the White House and Obama actually get involved, talk to Jay-Z?
The other Jay, Jay Carney, said no. The press-conference transcript:
Q Thanks, Jay. Returning to Beyoncé and Jay-Z -- Jay-Z released a rap today. I know the other day you said that Treasury was the one that cleared their trip. He suggested that he got White House clearance and that he personally spoke with the President. I’ll just quote: “I turned Havana into Atlanta/ Boy from the hood got White House clearance/ Obama said, ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached’/ You don’t need this [expletive] anyway/ Chill with me on the beach.” (Laughter.)
MR. CARNEY: I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury. (Laughter.) Because Treasury offers and gives licenses for travel, as you know, and the White House has nothing to do with it.
Q So are you saying that he did not -- the President did not have a conversation with Jay-Z?
MR. CARNEY: I am absolutely saying that the White House, from the President on down, had nothing to do with anybody’s personal -- anybody’s travel to Cuba. That is something that Treasury handles.
Q You can’t rhyme that? (Laughter.)
MR. CARNEY: OFAC, Treasury -- these are tough words to rhyme.
Q Did he communicate with --
MR. CARNEY: It’s a song, Donovan. The President did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip.
As an aside, for those who wonder what real, thoughtful protest rap aimed at members of Congress sounds like, listen to Brother Ali starting at 2:41 in the clip below (he's talking about being demonized simply for being a Muslim after 9/11)