'Open Letter': Jay-Z's Mad at Republicans, and It Sounds Great

Track of the Day: Hova answers his political critics as only he can.

Past TracksAmerica's foremost couple is in the news for traveling to Cuba. No, not the Obamas—the Carters. After Jay-Z and Beyonce traveled to the U.S.-embargoed island on a cultural trip, Republican lawmakers have demanded to know how and why, and criticized the pair. While the government says it was sanctioned, Hova took matters into his own hands today with a diss track aimed at his critics. "Politicians never did shit for me/Except lie to me, distort history," he says, then calls himself "the Bob Dylan of rap music" before paraphrasing the bard's "Idiot Wind." And while he brags of his friendship with President Obama ("boy from the hood but got White House clearance"), he also threatens to return to selling drugs: "They wanna give me jail time and a fine/Fine, let me commit a real crime/I might buy a kilo from Chief Keef/Outta spite I just might flood these streets." He's made the threat before; don't take it too seriously.

There's a lot to like about the track—like a musician beefing with politicians through diss tracks, and hearing Chief Keef, Barack Obama, and Bob Dylan mentioned in the same breath. But the best part is that Jay is pissed: After too many lazy recent verses like his cameo with Justin Timberlake on "Suit and Tie," his anger has driven him to deliver.

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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