So this is the most newsworthy new song of the day because, well, it's about the news:
Yes, Jay-Z just dropped "Open Letter," produced by Timbaland and Swizz Beats, because Jay-Z is Jay-Z, and when Jay-z's got something to say about what everyone else is saying to him, he puts out a track online and lets it speak for itself. Except, well, you can't fully appreciate this new track unless you know exactly which of his current haters Jay-Z is ripping apart. And while Jay won't say who he's rapping about in his timely new song, here's a news analysis based on the recent Hova headlines on his trip to Cuba, his new sports agency, and more.
Topic No. 1: Last Week's Trip to Cuba with Beyoncé
The Rhyme: "I turned Havana into Atlanta ... Politicians never did shit for me / Except lie to me, distort history ... Wanna give me jail time and a fine / Fine, let me commit a real crime."
The Actual Haters: Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.
The Game: These three lawmakers all criticized Jay and Beyoncé's officially government-approved "educational" trip to Cuba, implying that hip-hop's royal couple may have been breaking the law, funding the Castro regime, and that the Obama administration let them do it. Understandably, Ros-Lehtinen doesn't lend itself to any awesome rhymes. But still, she really won't give it up: "I don’t think it sends the right message to the suffering Cuban people," Ros-Lehtinen said after the initial weekend dust-up. "They want freedom, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are there to have a good time. They should go somewhere else."
Topic No. 2: The Impeachment of Barack Obama
The Rhyme: "Obama said, 'Chill you're going to get me impeached' / You don't need this sh-t anyway, chill with me on the beach."
The Would-Be Hater: President Obama
The Game: We know Obama and Jay-Z are open about their like for each other, from the campaign trail to personal meetings and performances by his wife at inaugural balls. But TMZ infers that this lyric, too, is taking the Cuba vacation a step further, concerning Republican politicians who have been trying to connect Obama to the trip.
The implication based on the lyric -- that Obama did something shady in helping Jay-Z and Beyonce get into Cuba and he could be in political hot water as a result.
The experts at Rap Genius concur:
Jay and Obama are cool with each other… …but Obama seems to be getting worried about Jay’s gritty past and trips to Cuba. Since Obama so openly affiliates with Jay-Z any negative publicity that Jay receives may also affect him (albeit probably not to the point of insurrection)
Topic No. 3: The Rumors About His New Sports Agency
The Rhyme: "I woulda moved the Nets to Brooklyn for free / Except I made millions off you f--king dweebs/ I still own the building / I'm still keeping my seats / You buy that bullsh-t, you better keep your receipts."
The Game: NBA rules do not allow those involved in team ownership to be involved with player representation, ABC reports. But this is the official musical accompaniment to his new venture.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.