Nearly 500,000 people have given Jay-Z's latest track "Open Letter" a listen in the last 24 hours and it appears some of those downloads came from the White House.
In the song, Jay-Z claimed that Barack Obama gave him and Beyonce clearance for their controversial trip to Cuba and even implied that the POTUS pulled some shady business to get them the all-clear. "Boy from the hood/ I got White House clearance... Obama said, 'Chill you gonna get me impeached/ You don’t need this s**t anyway, chill with me on the beach,'" rhymes Jay.
It's one of the few times a rap song made it to CNN because White House spokesperson press secretary Jay Carney responded by slamming the lyrics as completely untrue. He said that "the president did not communicate with Jay-Z over this trip" and even if he did, the White House has nothing to do with getting anyone into Cuba.
"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," said the other Jay during a White House press conference. "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."
The U.S. has had a 51-year embargo in Cuba that prohibits U.S. citizens from visiting Cuba for tourism. Barack eased many of the travel restrictions in 2011, but tourists still need a special visa or be part of an organized tour to be allowed in the country. Tens of thousands of Americans have traveled to Cuba since then on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange visas.
Jay-Z and Beyonce entered the country on "cultural exchange" visas, but it's unclear what exchange (if any) took place.
So, given that Jay and Obama have seemed to be pretty good friends, does this mean an end to that? The commander-in-chief can't be happy that Jay called him out for pulling strings in the song, regardless of whether or not it's true. And if it did happen and Obama is denying it, Jay probably isn't too happy with him for making him look like a liar.
Do you think Jay-Z lied in his lyrics?
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