TODAY   |  April 12, 2013

White House press discuss Jay-Z’s Cuba song

Rapper Jay-Z’s  new song, “Open Letter,” which addresses public criticism of his and Beyonce’s recent trip to Cuba, became a topic of discussion at a White House press conference yesterday. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>>> jay-z is fighting back at critics of his recent trip to cuba with a new song and it's getting the attention of the white house . nbc's mara schiavocampo has more.

>> reporter: after getting a bad rap over his recent visit to cuba , jay-z is striking back. the song called " open letter " is jay-z's public response to a week of political inquiries over his anniversary trip with his superstar wife beyonce. longstanding trade embargoes ban most americans from visiting cuba without a special license from the treasury department .

>> reporter: on the track, jay even mentions the president directly.

>> reporter: the lyrics reached the white house and thursday the obama administration denied the president helped plan the trip.

>> i guess nothing rimes with treasury. the president did not communicate with jay-z over this trip.

>> reporter: after photos surfaced over the weekend of music's power couple on what seemed like a tourist trip, several republican lawmakers demanded an investigation. the treasury department later confirmed the trip was part of a licensed cultural exchange.

>> make some noise.

>> reporter: now the wrap mogul is exercising his artistic license .

>> this song is typical of jay-z. he's always known to wrap about his personal life . he's going to have the last word and do it his way freestyling.

>> reporter: for today, mara schiavocampo, nbc