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Jay-Z’s ‘Open Letter’ Gets Musical Response From Common, Wyclef Jean

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images

Jay-Z’s rap influence continues to shine. After Hov picked up his figurative pen for the fiery “Open Letter” a number of other spitters have followed suit.

On Monday, after Pitbull added his two cents over the Timbaland and Swizz Beatz-produced thump, Wyclef Jean and Common joined the party. On the J. Period-assisted, Common-helmed “Open Letter PT. II” the G.O.O.D. Music MC reflects on his own trip to Cuba to visit Black Panther icon Assata Shakur, who escaped prison and sought political asylum in the communist country. “I went to Cuba to see her/ We should free her, like we should Mumia,” he raps, referencing inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been fighting to be free following the 1981 murder of a police officer in Philadelphia.

Jay’s original track, which he dropped on Thursday, directly addressed the political criticism he faced after he and Beyoncé took a trip to Cuba at the beginning of the month to mark their five-year wedding anniversary. When Pitbull took his turn, the Cuban American used his bars to educate listeners of the Caribbean island’s political history and complex relations with the United States.

On Tuesday (April 16), Wyclef hopped on the track, adding familiar guitar riffs from Carlos Santana’s 1999 Grammy Award-winning single “Maria Maria.” ‘Clef tells tales of riding Air Force One with former president Bill Clinton and strategizing Haitian relief efforts with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. “Once I decided that I was gonna run for president/ My whole life changed in a split second,” he rapped of his 2010 presidential campaign in Haiti.

Who should be next to take on Jay-Z’s “Open Letter”? Let us know in the comments!


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