Jay-Z references Kanye West and the MAGA hat controversy in a new collaboration track with Meek Mill and Rick Ross.
“What’s Free” puts a spin on the Notorious BIG classic “What’s Beef” and features on Mill’s new studio album Championships. Jay-Z addresses his longtime friend and collaborator while also firing shots at Donald Trump.
“No red hat, don’t Michael and Prince me and Ye / They separate you when you got Michael and Prince’s DNA,” Jay raps, seemingly calling out people who have tried to cause a rift between him and West, similar to how Michael Jackson and Prince had a much-publicized media beef.
Despite frequent stories about the rocky relationship between Jay-Z and West, the “4:44” rapper is letting the world know he doesn’t want anyone to divide them. This statement follows comments that Jay made about West to David Letterman back in April.
“That’s my brother. We’re beyond friends. Like, literally, my little brother is Kanye,” he said. “And like your little brother, things happen sometimes. It’s still your sibling forever. We don’t come from the same mom and dad but I’ve watched Kanye from without an album.”
While some fans have interpreted the lyrics on “What’s Free” as a shot at West, the rest of the lyrics appear to be aimed at the U.S. president.
“I ain’t one of these house n***as you bought / My house like a resort, my house bigger than yours. My spo—c’mon, man—my route better, of course,” he adds.
The verse continues to focus on Trump, seemingly attacking the former businessman’s hotel empire in New York City.
“They gave us pork and pig intestines / S*** you discarded that we ingested / We made the project a wave / You came back, reinvested and gentrified it”.
In a rare occurrence, Jay-Z took to Twitter on Friday to clear up any confusion over the intent of his lyrics. The Grammy Award winner reiterated that the line meant “don’t pit me against my brothers no matter what our differences are (red hat).”
Mill doesn’t reference West in his verse but he had recently spoken out against the “I Love It” rapper for his White House meeting with Trump.
“I don’t think [Kanye] addressed anything that had to do with what was tough on justice reform,” he told Vulture. “He wasn’t prepared for it, and he shouldn’t have done it. I had phone calls with Kanye for hours. He was trying to get me to do things like that.”
Mill also addressed the issue on CNN: