Sometimes rap lyrics are just that. Everyone’s ears perked when Jay-Z claimed to get “White House clearance” for his and Beyoncé’s Cuba trip on last week’s “Open Letter,” and now the president himself is beating down the notion that Hov has some political privilege.
“This is not something the White House was involved with. We’ve got better things to do,” President Barack Obama said during his sit-down with “Today” host Savannah Guthrie.
Questions began to swirl after Hov and Bey trooped down to Cuba at the beginning of April and spent their five-year wedding anniversary on the communist island, where travel is limited for U.S. citizens due to long-held sanctions. After a few politicians called for an investigation surrounding the trip, Hov dropped “Open Letter” on April 11 and thumbed his nose at his political opposition. “Boy from the ’hood got White House clearance,” he rapped.
Jigga, of course, foresaw the questions that his “Open Letter” would raise and he went on to take even more poetic license. “Obama said, ’Chill, you gonna get me impeached’/ You don’t need this sh–anyway; chill with me on the beach,” he raps in jest.
Obama administration spokesperson Jay Carney shot down the notion the same day and told reporters that the White House had nothing to do with granting the power couple clearance, noting that the Department of Treasury is tasked with handling such issues.
When asked, Obama laughed. “I wasn’t familiar that they were taking the trip,” he said. “My understanding is I think they went through a group that organizes these educational trips down to Cuba.”