On Sunday, three days after Hov dropped his “Open Letter,” Pit released a version of his own. The Jigga version came a week after he and Beyoncé spent their wedding anniversary on the island, where the U.S. holds strong economic sanctions. After the trip, Jay received a ton of criticism and a few republican lawmakers even called for a probe into whether or not the power couple had the proper clearance to travel to Cuba. “Boy from the hood, but got White House clearance/ Sorry y’all, I don’t agree with y’all parents,” Jay rapped on his version. (An Obama spokesperson later clarified that the president had “nothing to do with” the Jay and Bey’s trip to Cuba.)
On his own track, Pit educates listeners on Cuba politics and the island’s delicate relations with the United States. “Born in Miami, right on time/ Scarface, El Mariel Cuban crime,” the “Give Me Everything” rapper rhymed referencing the Mariel boatlift, which brought Cuban immigrants to the U.S. in 1980, many of whom who had criminal pasts. (The Mariel was also shown in the opening scenes of the 1983 cult-classic film “Scarface.”)
There are references to Elián Gonzalez, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis. It isn’t standard fare for a rap song, but still Pitbull beats on. “It’s the freedom that we ride for/ It’s the freedom that we die for/ C-U-B-A/ Hope to see you free one day,” he raps of the communist country.
On the last verse Pit speaks directly to Hov, over the same beat that Timbaland and Swizz Beatz crafted for Jay. “Question of the night/ Would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?” he ponders.
“Happy fifth-year anniversary, Jay and B, don’t worry it’s on me,” he ends.
What do you think of Pitbull’s “Open Letter to Jay-Z”? Let us know in the comments!