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realclearworld

Jay-Z in Cuba: ‘Negro, por favor’

Cuban American writer Achy Obejas on Jay-Z's trip to Cuba and his "pseudo-rebel bullsh*t":

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Ml0zGv4Wd8Y/S3nlaxdf7zI/AAAAAAAABak/p6rE1YoYI-0/s320/achy-012909.jpg[...] As to Jay-Z – negro, por favor. This full-of-himself-fool has been exploiting his three minutes of once-upon-a-time drug dealing for street cred for more than two decades and comparing his rich privileged ass to Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Che Guevara for just as long.

Remember 2002’s “The Bounce”?: “Rumor has it ‘The Blueprint’ classic/ Couldn’t even be stopped by Bin Laden/  So September 11th marks the era forever/ of a revolutionary Che Guevara.”

Jay-Z was retweeting that sh*t days before going to Cuba.

Or “Public Service Announcement” when he full on appropriates in the most laughable and absurd way of signaling he really doesn’t understand sh*t about Che Guevara: “I’m like Che Guevara with bling on, I’m complex.” And then he talks about chains and the Lexus he’s willing to kill for.

Then there was his wearing a Che t-shirt on“Unplugged” in 2001.

Here’s the thing: Forcing Jay-Z and Beyoncé to pretend this was cultural exchange meant that they were handed right over to cultural authorities who parroted the Cuban government’s familiar bullsh*t.

They were guaranteed not to hang out with ordinary Cubans, from whom they might have found that, while they were treating Havana like a playground, Roberto Zurbano, a black Cuban and a lifetime revolutionary, lost his job as a top literary editor (probably the only black man in such a position on the entire island) for writing an opinion piece in the New York Times about racism on the island.

Indeed, Jay-Z came back from his Cuba trip full of self-righteous rebel defiance about doing what pretty much anyone can do, i.e., go to Cuba. The world woke up today to a new song of his, “Open Letter,” in which he pushes back about criticism of his Cuba trip. You can hear it here.

Yeah, it's just more pseudo-rebel bullsh*t.

 

1 comment to Jay-Z in Cuba: ‘Negro, por favor’

  • asombra

    Obejas definitely has Jay-Z’s number, but apart from her wrongheaded anti-embargo stance, where she seems desperate to show that "those people" are finally coming around, she makes a very dubious statement about exiles which is at best thoughtless: “an older generation who believes their lives were disrupted by the Revolution’s advent.” BELIEVES their lives were disrupted? Is she even remotely calling into question something so indisputably and tragically true? Is she simply a careless writer, or did she actually mean to say that the way it sounds? Because it sounds suspect, not to say offensive. I have ZERO tolerance for disrespect or even fashionable condescension toward that "older generation," especially coming from a Cuban.