(AllHipHop News) It appears the controversy over Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s recent trip to Cuba lingers on. Yesterday, Florida senator, second generation Cuban-American, and possible 2016 Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio appeared on several Sunday news shows and repeatedly took the two superstars’ choice to travel to the Communist nation to task.
“Quite frankly, I think it’s hypocritical of the people who took that trip, because they didn’t go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today,” Rubio told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union.
“There’s a hip-hop artist in Cuba who is on a hunger strike and has been persecuted because he has political lyrics in his songs,” Rubio added. “If they really wanted to know what was going on in Cuba, they should have met with some of the people that are suffering there, not simply smoke cigars and take a stroll down the street.”
During an interview on ABC, Rubio also said Jay-Z needed to get informed about Che Guevara who was a key figure in the Fidel Castro led Cuban Revolution in the 1950’s.
“One of [Jay-Z's] heroes is Che Guevara,” said Rubio. “Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent, so he should inform himself on the guy that he’s propping up.”
Jay-Z has been seen wearing t-shirts with Che’s image on it, and even referred to himself as “Che Guevara with bling on” on the track “Public Service Announcement” from 2003’s The Black Album.
He later explained the context of the reference in his book Decoded stating that it was a response to a writer who questioned his decision to wear a Che shirt with a Jesus piece because of its apparent clash between the ideas of materialism, religion, and socialism.
Jay told MTV in 2010:
The second verse of “PSA” may not have that many hidden jewels in [it], but the story behind why I wrote the second verse is pretty interesting. It’s sort of that look on rap, how this writer had written this article about me wearing this Che Guevara shirt [with a] Jesus piece, and she was like, “The Jesus piece is hitting his head,” and I was like, “You’re going a little too far. It’s a T-shirt and a chain. It’s not literally hitting his forehead”… That [experience] inspired the entire verse. “I’m like Che Guevara with bling on, I’m complex.” It’s the whole entire story of how and why I came to write that second verse on “PSA.”
Last week’s criticism about his sanctioned trip to Cuba led to the release of the response song “Open Letter”. The public will have to wait and see if Senator Rubio receives a mention in a future Jay track.