Problem Kids' "Useful Idiot" About Jay-Z: "The Real Cuba Is Not What He Portrayed"

Categories: Local Music, Q&A
problemkids305_1.jpg
via facebook.com/problemkids305
Richard Rawson

Problem Kids are Miami Cubans with a message for Jay-Z about his trip to Cuba. Their response to his "Open Letter" is a new track called "Useful Idiot."

"He looks like he's praising the Castro regime, and we wanna give him a history lesson," say MCs Mario Obregon and Christian Martinez of the local hip-hop group that Public Enemy's Chuck D has described as "Yeeeaaaaah."

They also have words for Pitbull, who they agree should have gone harder with his own response to Jay. "He should have told him that what he did is stupid and this is the reason," says Martinez.

UPDATE Obama has commented on Jay-Z and Beyonce in Cuba, saying: ""This is not something the White House was involved with. We've got better things to do."

See also:
-Jay-Z, Beyonce in Cuba: Treasury Department Confirms the Trip Was "Authorized"
-Jay-Z's "Open Letter" to Cuba Haters: "Obama Said 'Chill, You Gon Get Me Impeached'"
-Pitbull Drops Rap Response to Jay-Z, Beyonce's Cuba Visit, Offers to Pay for Trip




Crossfade: Who are Problem Kids?
Mario Obregon, MC. Christian Martinez, MC. Nick Lebess, drummer. Omar Williams, guitar. Humberto Casanova, keys and sax. Edward Davis, bass. Rick Daugherty, AKA DJ Ethics.

What do you think of Jay Z going to Cuba?
He made it seem like it's not a big deal to go there when there are Cuban rappers thrown in jail right now just for their freedom of speech. For him to make it seem like it's just a place to go on vacation was wrong, and it's a big deal to us who feel it's important to tell the truth about Cuba for our family and our heritage.

What do you think of his response song?
When he 's like, "I went to Cuba, I love Cubans," and in the background you hear someone smoking a cigar, It's like he's saying that's all Cuba is to him. He's not saying anything about the people making the cigars, he didn't mention what people there are going through, like people are being persecuted everyday. It's not just a good time. I'm sure where he was staying it might have seemed like it was beautiful, but what the real Cuba looks like is not what he portrayed. I'm sure the government knew he was coming and made sure to show him the nice side.

What do you think of him being involved with the U.S. Government and friends with Obama?
He's pretty much saying that he can get away with everything.

What do you think of Pitbull's response?
I thought he would have gone harder. I don't know if they're friends or what, he kind of reps him at the end. His song is more about Cuba, there's nothing really aimed at Jay Z. Ours is not a diss track either, just a history lesson.



You have a line about "Women beaten in the streets after Sunday morning mass..."
That line is for the Ladies In White, they go to church every Sunday and march in the street and the govt beats em' and it's crazy like mothers, daughters, everybody, and they even snatch a few up and send them to prison like it's nothing. Dimelo mentions them in the first verse of the song.

You opened for Chuck D (from Public Enemy), what do you think about politics in hip hop?
It's necessary, of course, especially on human rights. If you have a voice you have to use it. Jay Z has a big voice and he should have shed light since he has that power. We don't have that power, but we do have a voice in our community and hopefully people hear it and get a better idea of what's going on in Cuba.

Any shout outs?
To the Cuban people. We did this for our grandparents and parents, and a free Cuba, one day, hopefully. And shout out Pepe Billete too. He repped us hard on the song.

Uncle Luke. With Problem Kids and DJ Ethics. Friday, April 19. The Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $10. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-576-9577 or visit thestagemiami.com.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Location Info

Map

The Stage

170 NE 38th St., Miami, FL

Category: Music


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
42 comments
rebesparza
rebesparza

98% of these commentators are speaking out of their asses. you don't need to be a genius to know that any money generated by tourism in cuba does not go to the people. it goes to the government, which does not help the people. revolutions in cuba are near impossible because #1 they BARELY HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET. #2 FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS NOT A RIGHT and you can be imprisoned for voicing your opinion. open your eyes. jay-z did not go to cuba to stay with family and see what it's really like. he stayed in a shabby chic cuban "posh" hotel where the LOCALS work but dont get to STAY. he also, wore a chavez shirt, and did he know that chavez hated nigs? jay-z is uneducated & classless, like the lot of you. you may not like the sound of problem kids, you may not like their look, but what have you done today to bring any sort of attention to a cause? we are not brainwashed by our grandparents & parents, rather we are enlightened- knowing that any country that depends on the handouts of the government is one where the people will never have a voice and of course we hope that someday cuba will be everyone's to go back to visit, so we can spend our dollars knowing it is helping the ECONOMY not lining the pockets of murderers. do yourself a favor and google yoani sanchez... read a book & educate yourself before you speak.

Alex Hernandez
Alex Hernandez

I sure hope they don't own any Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Uzbek, etc. products or else they would be...you know...hypocrites.

charles.e.fromage
charles.e.fromage

Poor problem kids, brainwashed by their parents and grandparents. 

We can be certain these kids have zero first hand experience about what Cuba is actually like.


Joao De Nacimiento
Joao De Nacimiento

Castro formed a revolution, now the Cuban people have to do the same. Cuba needs the tourist industry. Jay-Z was just another tourist, spending American dollars in Cuba.

dantevida
dantevida topcommenter

funny how people so concerned about freedom of Cubans in Cuba want to deny American citizens the right to travel freely.

Sam Djesp Plessett
Sam Djesp Plessett

Shame on Miami New Times for even covering this feeble attempt at a political statement (but actually a marketing ploy)

Kristofer Jesus Castellar
Kristofer Jesus Castellar

Zionism is anti-American anyway, we send them so much money, that comes out of my taxes and for what? All it does is support thier aparthied country, and get terrorist angry at us. I m so sick about our unpatriotic system thar bleeds Americans for private interest. Let the Jews fend for themselves, we have our own country to protect, and build

Juan Alberto Fernandez
Juan Alberto Fernandez

Actually it can be said the political leaders of israel have more control over US policy than vice versa.Most revolutions are done in countries that both have oil and have a central bank outside of the influence of the west.So the US doesnt want to buy mercenaries to terrorize the populace and call it a revolution when their puppets decide to bite the hands that feeds them.

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Many Egyptians shed blood for their cause...its never an easy or perfect process, but certainly can be achieved peacefully as well.

Richard Advocat
Richard Advocat

It's not even necessarily required that they fight. The Indians did it through non-violence, so did the Egyptians.

Kristofer Jesus Castellar
Kristofer Jesus Castellar

Cubans are too busy eating thier chicharones, and sipping thier coladas to do anything else besides talk. I agree with the comment about them fighting for thier freedom. If they hate Castros regime so much, then let them fight for it. LAZY .... I m an American, I can care less about Cuba, Or Israel, Or any other place. Lets get our noses out of other countries bussiness and focus on our own.

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

If you want freedom & change...you must vote, protest, or fight for it. Like I said before...freedom cannot be won sitting in Miami or DC. Freedom is costly and.the only proven method that actually works, historically speaking. Fidel fought for freedom from the Cuban government in the 50's why can't Cubans now fight against an oppressive regime????

Burbank Okuda
Burbank Okuda

Not one of these indoctrinated entitled Cuba"s have ever been to Cuba. Okay, maybe when they were 6 or 8. If they love Cuba so much why don't they go back and start a revolution? I live in Miami and I can assure there is nothing or anyone more bigoted and entitled than these pathetic Batista's who call themselves Americans but long to return to Cuba to loot and pillage.

clayton44
clayton44

Eberybody--politicians, musicians, provacatuers, etc.--is milking this thing for as much free publicity as they can.  This is a non-iisue for the rest of the USA.

Penn Swift
Penn Swift

Wtf ...lol attention is one hell of a drug.

Derek Betten
Derek Betten

IS THE REALL MIAMI shown ON TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Richard Advocat
Richard Advocat

we have 50+ years of evidence to show that the embargo has not been a successful policy for combating dictatorship in Cuba. The only ones who are hurt by it are the Cuban people themselves. The establishment Cubans (Diaz-Balarts, Illiana and Rubio) have made themselves quite successful on the backs of the very people they claim to want to help. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?

Mario Obregon
Mario Obregon

I'm pretty sure the island wants freedom...but when they do fight for their freedom they are persecuted and thrown in jail. Do some research on how freedom of speech gets you thrown in jail in Cuba. Change needs to come from all over, not just from the island. And for those talking about the Chinese products we are using, please tell me something that Jay-Z didn't tell us. Give us some new information instead of repeating what I already heard.

Bettie Kay
Bettie Kay

I think you put to much stock into Jay-z..giving him way too much credit. Our culture needs to stop worrying and worshiping celebrities, focus on the real heroes. He's a rapper, nothing more.

Richard Advocat
Richard Advocat

the inconvenient, ugly truth is that some of them are. you can't have a revolution without revolutionaries

cids
cids

song is cringe worthy, and they don't look like kids to me, so nice name and cool bandana pic. I'm shaking in my boots 

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Cubans on the island have to fight for their independence, it cannot be fought from Miami or Washington. You want freedom? Los Cubanos on the island must want it more. Arab spring made changes, Syria is making changes...are the Cubans to happy with how things are???

Richard Advocat
Richard Advocat

Jay-Z's trip to Cuba changes nothing. It's time to get over it my fellow Cubans. It's not the 60s anymore. The anger you see and hear is due to frustration of not being able to control everyone's opinions on the embargo.

Mario Francisco Garcia
Mario Francisco Garcia

Love how everyone is typing all these heated responses to the Cuba trip on their Made in China iProducts.

Elsa Jimenez
Elsa Jimenez

They just want to make a dime on the whole issue. Money they are not going to use to help Cuba/Cubans in no shape or form

Monica Cardona
Monica Cardona

this is retarded. But at least they got their 15 seconds of fame. "Problem who?" - Jay-Z

Dan Bremen
Dan Bremen

wow my iq just went down from reading the thoughts of this "rap group"......and oh by the way when you can wipe your ass with literally thousands of dollars going to a country like cuba really is no big deal

Nina Rostrup
Nina Rostrup

Have Problem Kids even been to Cuba? Most young Miami Cubans have not...

Elsa Jimenez
Elsa Jimenez

Tell me what cubans in cuba think about it.

Marlon De Leon
Marlon De Leon

since no one's heard of you(by your logic) your opinion is irrelevant

Elsa Jimenez
Elsa Jimenez

Never heard of them so their opinion is irrelevant

cids
cids

this is..for lack of a better word...retarded 

Dolphie
Dolphie

@dantevida You are an idiot. What the group Problem Kids is saying is:  What these rich 'kiss up to Castro' celebrities see is not what is truly occurring in Cuba. They receive the tour sans reality.

Those who live in Cuba live lives that are without freedoms, without opportunity, without safety. Many are famished. Those who speak up are rounded up, family members are tortured, mutilated, raped, killed IN FRONT OF THEM. 


For the other idiots on this thread saying the people should revolt - HOW?  They have no access to weapons, they are famished, beaten, tortured, mutilated and worse.  You speak from a well-fed, protected environment.  You would probably not make it in Cuba for even a day. 

Instead of attacking these young musicians - how about listening to the message?


Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Events

Loading...