Connect with us

News & Entertainment

Director Phil Lord: Disgusted by Jay-Z & Beyonce’s Trip to Cuba

First it was Beyonce release of ” Bow Down” and now Jay-Z  “Open Letter”…hmmm Seem like this couple is displaying a power trip of sorts and arrogance at best. To come out with something like this is adding more fire to the negativity that the Obama administration is already having to deal with.   Director…

Published

on

First it was Beyonce release of ” Bow Down” and now Jay-Z  “Open Letter”…hmmm Seem like this couple is displaying a power trip of sorts and arrogance at best. To come out with something like this is adding more fire to the negativity that the Obama administration is already having to deal with.  

Director Phil Lord (“21 Jump Street,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”) found himself feeling a bit uncomfortable when he read about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s trip to Cuba. The couple spent their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana, much to the disgust of conservative politicians who excoriated the trip and pledged to open investigations.

It has since been revealed that the trip was authorized by the Treasury Department (White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Barack Obama had no knowledge of the clearance). Jay-Z addressed the whole situation in “Open Letter,” a song which blasts politicians and includes the memorable refrain “Obama said, ‘Chill you’re going to get me impeached’ / You don’t need this sh-t anyway, chill with me on the beach.”

Lord’s not that amused. “When I saw that the Carters were in Cuba, I got that pang that I get when I hear friends say they are traveling there,” he told the Huffington Post. “At first I gave the Carters the benefit of the doubt, but after Jay-Z’s latest single dropped, I thought I had to speak my mind.”

Ahead, read Lord’s “open letter” to the rapper, in which the director explains why he finds the trip so offensive.

An Open Letter to Jay-Z

Dear Mr. Z,

 I just heard your new track, “Open Letter,” released today. It’s got everything I love about your music: looping internal rhymes, an infectious beat, and imagery that draws me into a kind of swaggering, defiant fantasy. Speaking of defiant fantasies, I’ve been following news of your recent trip to the island nation of Cuba. As the son of a Cuban refugee, and cousin and nephew to many Cubans on the island, I cringe when Americans visit Cuba for a fun island vacation. For one thing it’s illegal (which nobody seems to care about), but more importantly, it’s either ignorant of or calloused to the struggles of Cubans on the island. I actually encourage my friends to travel to Cuba, to bear witness to one of the great tragedies of our time, to learn about the real Cuba, to put a human face on the caricature of Americans that the Castros propagate. Exchange and travel between our two nations should be a catalyst for change, as it has been even in my own family. But for me, Cuba is not the place to have a fun, sexy, vacation. Because for Cubans on the island and living elsewhere, it’s not.

So when I heard of your visit, I thought to myself, Jay Z seems like a smart, thoughtful guy. He doesn’t realize what he’s walking into. He probably just thinks Cuba is a chic place to relax with the family. He probably just doesn’t know the things I know. He likely doesn’t know that the Cuban tourism industry is run by the Cuban military, so when he spends money at an officially sanctioned hotel, or restaurant, he is directly funding the oppressors of the Cuban people.  

He doesn’t know that most Cubans have poor access to independent news sources, the internet, books, and food. 

He doesn’t know that Cuba has two health systems, one for the well-connected, and one for everyone else. 

He doesn’t know that before Castro, the Cuban peso traded one-to-one with the dollar, and that since then, the Castros have raided the nation’s coffers and introduced widespread poverty to a once prosperous nation. 

He doesn’t know that my ancestors fought to free Cuba from Spain, and to set up a democracy to ensure that they would always be free.  

He doesn’t know that in spite of those dreams, my mother and her family fled for their lives from this regime way back in 1960, as did *two million* other Cubans.  

He doesn’t know about the thousands of people executed by firing squads led by sexy t-shirt icon Che Guevara. 

He doesn’t know about the dissidents, artists, and librarians that currently rot in Cuba’s prisons, and the thousands more who live in fear. 

He doesn’t know about Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an Afro-Cuban dissident who died in a Cuban prison in 2010 after an 80-day hunger strike. 

He doesn’t know that a U.S. Citizen, Alan Gross, is currently serving a 15-year sentence in a Cuban prison for providing phones and computers to the members of the Cuban Jewish community. He doesn’t know that all attempts by our government and private citizens to secure his release have been scoffed at. 

He has likely forgotten about all those who have died in the Florida Straits, trying to float on makeshift boats to freedom. 

He doesn’t know that contrary to popular understanding, Amnesty International reports that repression of dissidents in Cuba is actually on the rise.  

He doesn’t know that when an international music luminary shows up in Cuba, his presence is unwittingly used as propaganda to support the regime.  

He doesn’t know that artists in Cuba, with whom he was supposedly having a cultural exchange, serve under the close supervision of the government, and don’t enjoy the freedom to defiantly name check the President, call out a few senators, threaten to buy a kilo of cocaine just to spite the government, or suggest that they will follow up their purchase with a shooting spree, as rapped about in “Open Letter.” 

He doesn’t know that just because our country applies a different, some say hypocritical policy to China, it doesn’t make either regime any less oppressive, or any more acceptable. 

He doesn’t know that when people say “I’ve got to visit Cuba before it gets ruined,” I think to myself, “It’s already ruined. And by the way, ruined by what? freedom of speech? walls that don’t crumble? shoes? Do you mean ruin Cuba? Or ruin your fashionable vacation in Cuba?” 

He doesn’t know that when I really start to think about all this, I get so mad I can’t sleep. 

He doesn’t know that when he’s wearing that hat, smoking that coveted contraband cigar, he looks like a dupe. 

He doesn’t know how much good he could be doing in Cuba, for Cubans, instead. Bearing witness, supporting artistic freedom, listening. 

He doesn’t realize that as someone privileged to be born in a free society, one in which someone could come from nothing and become a celebrated music, sports, fashion, business and political mogul, it’s not only his good luck to be able to bring to light the needs of the less fortunate, it’s his obligation. 

But then, Jay-Z, I heard your new song, and paid attention to the lyrics. 

I heard you bragging about your “White House clearance.” 

I heard you talk about how much you enjoy Cuban cigars. 

And I heard you tell the President I voted for, “You don’t need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach.” 

You reject the responsibility to speak up for an oppressed people, even while you take up your own cause with gusto.

Then I figured it out. You actually know all of this stuff, you just don’t care. That’s not just being a bad citizen, or a bad neighbor. It’s being a bad artist. It’s Nihilism with a beat. 

-Phil Lord.

 

Jay-Z: ‘Open Letter’s’ Full Lyrics

[Intro]
Ladies and gentlemen
Goddamnit
Let this shit knock

[Verse 1]
I done turned Havana to Atlanta
Guayabera shirts and bandanas
Every time you think they got me I switch the planna
Bulletproof this, radio scanners
Ballin’ ’til they ban us
You gettin’ too much bread, they tryna’ jam you
Boy from the hood but got White House clearance
Sorry y’all, I don’t agree with y’all appearance
Politicians never did s**t for me
Except lie to me, distort history
Wanna give me jail time and a fine
Fine, let me commit a real crime
I might buy a kilo for Chief Keef
Out of spite, I just might flood these streets
Hear the freedom in my speech
Got an onion from Universal, read it and weep
Would’ve brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free
Except I made millions off it, you f**kin’ dweeb
I still own the building, I’m still keeping my seat
Y’all buy that bulls**t, you’d better keep your receipt
Obama said chill, you gonna get me impeached
But you don’t need this s**t anyway
Chill with me on the beach

[Hook – Swizz Beatz]
Y’all gon’ learn today

[Verse 2]
Ya’ll almost want to start a revolution
You know whenever I’m threatened, I start shooting, bark
Catch a body, head to Houston
I’m in Cuba, I love Cubans
This communist talk is so confusing
When it’s from China, the very mic that I’m using
Idiot wind, the Bob Dylan of rap music
You’re an idiot baby, you should become a student
Oh, you gonna learn today
Where the f**k have you been
The world’s under new management
The new role model, f**k this Zoolander s**t

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

News & Entertainment

Black Teenager Attacked by Corrections Deputy in Florida, Investigation Underway

Published

on

A Florida corrections deputy has been placed on leave after going on the attack against a 17-year-old at a juvenile center … and it’s all on video.

The teenager, Terrance Devon Reed III, was taken to the hospital after the violent altercation with Sarasota County Deputy Neil Pizzo last week. The surveillance footage shows Reed sitting on a bench with his arms tucked in his shirt when Pizzo marches toward him.

As Reed stands up and takes his arms out, the deputy immediately goes for his throat. A struggle ensues before Pizzo throws Reed to the ground, but at no point does the teenager appear to fight back.

Another deputy jumps in to try to wrangle Reed’s feet, and that’s when Pizzo strikes the teen on the back of the head multiple times. Reed’s then cuffed and helped to his feet … but not before suffering abrasions to his head.

The altercation reportedly began after Reed — who was previously arrested and charged with contempt of court, probation violations and cocaine possession — became uncooperative in a police lineup.

That, of course, doesn’t justify the violence by the deputy, and Sheriff Tom Knight says he’s disappointed in what he saw and Pizzo’s failure to de-escalate the situation.

Knight says he placed the deputy on administrative duty while an internal investigation is conducted.

Continue Reading

News & Entertainment

Tamar Braxton Boyfriend Files A Restraining Order Indicating Domestic

Published

on

Tamar Braxton boyfriend is running to court asking for protection against her in what he describes as a domestic violence situation.

The singer’s BF, David Adefeso, filed for a restraining order Tuesday in L.A. seeking to prevent Domestic Violence and he’s asking a judge to grant him one against Tamar. For now, it’s unclear what he’s alleging she might’ve done.

It doesn’t look like the court has approved his request just yet  

At any rate, it’s another sign that things have been volatile lately in her life — especially as it pertains to David. Remember, he’s the one who called 911 not too long ago saying Tamar was threatening to kill herself. He also mentioned her WeTV beef to cops at the time.

Also keep in mind … family sources connected to Tamar have told us they believe she’s changed since getting with him — claiming her mood seems to align with his. We’ve also been told that David has come off as controlling in Tamar’s reality show, and that he’s been quite involved in her business decisions of late.

This continues to be a developing story…..

Continue Reading

News & Entertainment

Bodies of US Couple Found at Bottom of Well in Mexico

Published

on

The bodies of a missing US couple have been found at the bottom of a well in Mexico.

Ian Hirschsohn, 78 and his 73-year-old wife Kathy Harvey had been missing since August 31, when they were supposed to return home to San Diego from a trip across the border.

Their abandoned car was found in Ensenada, just 90 minutes from the US border, last week.

Investigators then made the grim discovery on Thursday in an unpopulated area just south of the tourist hotspot.

The bodies were recovered over the weekend; San Diego police confirmed their identities, CBS8 reported.

Family members said the couple had been staying at a rented house in El Socorrito, about 200 miles south of the border, a town they frequented over the past 35 years.

Kathy texted her son Robert on August 28 to say they were going to either explore a gold mine or visit a beach; however the family lost contact with them on August 31.

After reporting them missing, the Consulate General in Tijuana finally informed the family the couple’s Toyota Land Cruiser had been found in Ensenada.

“She was really enjoying retirement and had multiple groups of friends,” Robert told the site. “She loved walking and traveling.  She had a huge bucket list of where she wanted to go.”

An investigation is now underway. The cause of deaths has not been revealed, nor has a motive, but investigators suspect foul play.

Continue Reading

Trending

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This