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Jay-Z defends Cuba trip in new song

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NEW YORK -- Jay-Z is defending his recent trip to Cuba in a new song.

The rapper released Open Letter Thursday after two Florida Republican lawmakers critical of the trip questioned if the rapper's visit to Havana with wife Beyoncé, which coincided with their fifth wedding anniversary, was officially licensed.

On the song, Jay-Z talks about his distaste for politicians and repeats the refrain, "Y'all gon' learn today."

Jay-Z raps: "Want to give me jail time and a fine? Fine, let me commit a real crime."

U.S. Treasury officials said Tuesday the couple's trip was licensed as an educational exchange after Cuban-American U.S. Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart expressed concerns about the trip and wanted to know if it was licensed.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are avid supporters of President Barack Obama. Jay-Z raps in his song, "Obama said, 'Chill, you gon' get me impeached, you don't need this (expletive) anyway, chill with me on the beach."

U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba for mere tourism, though they can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The so-called people-to-people licenses were reinstated under the Obama administration. Beyoncé and Jay-Z marked their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week.

On the new song the 17-time Grammy winner also addresses the Brooklyn Nets, which he owns less than one per cent of. Jay-Z is selling his stake in the team so he can become certified as a player agent, a person with knowledge of the details said Wednesday.

"Would have bought the Nets to Brooklyn for free, except I made millions off of you (expletive) dweebs, I still own the building, I'm still keeping my seats," he raps.

Jay-Z also calls himself "the Bob Dylan of rap music" on Open Letter, which was produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 12, 2013 D2

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