Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

‘You gonna get me impeached’: Jay-Z's new song takes aim at Barack Obama and Cuba

Beyonce and Jay-Z in Havana

Ramon Espinosa/AP

Did Barack Obama really fret to Jay-Z that the rapper's trip to Cuba might get him booted out of the White House? According to Jay-Z, he did.

In his new rap single "Open Letter," Jay-Z slyly drops the American president's name in reference to his controversial trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce. The power-couple spent a few days in Havana last week as part of a U.S. government-sanctioned program that encourages "meaningful contacts" with Cuban citizens.

But hold the phone: Aren't American citizens expressly forbidden to visit the tiny Communist island in the Caribbean?

Story continues below advertisement

Apparently not if you're a multi-millionaire rapper like Jay-Z and best pals with the U.S. commander-in-chief. "Open Letter" includes the bold lyrics: "Obama said chill 'You gonna get me impeached'… We don't need this s–t anyway chill with me on the beach."

The not-so-subtle implication is that Obama did something underhanded in assisting Jay-Z and Beyonce to get into Cuba and he could be in political trouble as a result.

On Thursday afternoon, White House attempted to defuse the situation by saying that the president had no contact with Jay-Z in regard to the Cuban visit and that the trip was arranged entirely by the U.S. Treasury Department. Carney went on to claim that the only reason Jay-Z put Obama's name in the song was because it was difficult to find a word that rhymes with "treasury."

"Open Letter" also features Jay-Z rhapsodizing about the Cuban people ("I love Cuba. I love Cubans. This Communist talk is so confusing"), while expressing general disdain toward the political process in general with the lyric: "Politicians never did s–t for me/Except to lie to me, distort history."

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨