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Jay-Z releases 'Open Letter' song following Cuba trip criticism, White House reacts

Get more: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Music
04/11/2013

Jay-Z is speaking out about he and wife Beyonce's recent trip to Cuba -- through song.

The 43-year-old rapper released his new track, "Open Letter," on April 11, seemingly defending his recent visit to the country. The song has racked up over 550,000 listens in 10 hours.

The song references Cuba and the recent criticism surrounding the pair's trip, with lyrics such as: "I done turned Havana to Atlanta / Boy from the hood but got White House clearance / Obama said, 'chill, you gonna get me impeached.'"

While reports have been circulating that the pair's trip wasn't conducted legally, The White House's press secretary, Jay Carney, cleared up the rumors.

"I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury," Carney said, referring to the rapper's lyric that states he received "White House clearance." The line from the song has been raising questions as to whether President Barack Obama approved the rapper's trip, especially since the two are openly acquaintances, with Hov at one time saying he had the president on "speed dial."

"I am absolutely saying that the White House and the president had nothing to do with anybody's travel to Cuba," Carney continued. "That is something the Treasury handles."

U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for mere "tourism," although tens of thousands Americans travel there each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licenses.

Check out the lyrics of "Open Letter" below.

    I done turned Havana to Atlanta
    Guayabera shirts and bandanas
    Every time you think they got me I switch the planner
    Bulletproof this, radio scanners
    Ballin' 'til they ban us
    You gettin' too much bread, they try to jam you
    Boy from the hood but got White House clearance
    Sorry y'all, I don't agree with y'all appearance
    Politicians never did [expletive] for me
    Except lie to me, distort history
    Wanna give me jail time and a fine
    Fine, let me commit a real crime
    I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef
    Out of spite, I just might flood these streets
    Hear the freedom in my speech
    Got an onion from Universal, read it and weep
    Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free
    Except I made millions off it, you [expletive] dweeb
    I still own the building, I'm still keeping my seat
    Y'all buy that [expletive], you'd better keep y'all receipt
    Obama said "chill, you gonna get me impeached"
    But you don't need this [expletive] anyway
    Chill with me on the beach

    Y'all gon' learn today

    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
    "Idiot wind," the Bob Dylan of rap music
    You're an idiot, baby, you should become a student
    Oh, you gonna learn today
    Where the [expletive] have you been
    The world's under new management
    The new role model, [expletive] this Zoolander [expletive]

    Y'all gon' learn today

(Pictured above: Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, hold hands as they tour Old Havana, Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary.

Listen to Jay-Z's newly released song, "Open Letter," below. WARNING -- Song contains expletives.

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