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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Slips Jay-Z’s Anti-Snitch Anthem Into Filibuster Debate

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(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Erik Parker
Erik Parker
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Sen. Marco Rubio, the rapper-quoting Republican from Florida, called on rap lyrics from Jay-Z during a long-winded filibuster that took place for nearly 13 hours on Wednesday (March 6).

The filibuster, was spearheaded by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who talked for hours and held up  the confirmation of CIA nominee John Brennan in order to bring attention to the policies surrounding the government’s use of  drone air strikes against American citizens. Sen. Rubio joined the talk-marathon with a few lyrics at the ready.

“I didn’t bring my Shakespeare book so let me begin by quoting a modern day poet,” said Rubio. “His name is Wiz Khalifa. He has a song called ‘Work Hard, Play Hard.’ If you look at the time, it’s a time when many of our colleagues expected to be back in the home state playing hard, but I’m happy we are here working hard on this issue.”

After quoting Khalifa and The Godfather (“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”) Rubio dashed off a line from Jay-Z. He asked what this protest would look like if President George W. Bush’s administration was at the heart of the drone controversy, instead of President Barack Obama.

“That takes me back to another moden day poet by the name of Jay-Z,” he continued. “In one of his songs he wrote, ‘It’s funny what seven days can change, it was all good just a week ago.’ I don’t know if it was all good but I can tell you things have really changed.”

To be sure, the specific Jay-Z lyrics cited were originally placed in a song about a person who snitched on his criminal partner and is now at odds with his friend for violating the no-snitching street code.

“Funny what seven days can change,” Jay-Z raps, “A stand up n****, now you sit down to aim/ Used to have a firm grip now you droppin’ names/ (It was all good just a week ago)”

Jay-Z has emerged as a favorite among rap-quoting legislators. In March of 2012, a Florida state representative entered lyrics from Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” into a discussion about a bill concerning search and seizure.

“The debate we were having was about the evidence obtained from a warrantless search of cellular devices and what would be considered unlawful search,” Rep. Alan B. Williams (D-Talahassee) told CBS Local. “That’s why I connected it to Jay-Z’s lyrics. It was just like what Jay-Z was talking about when he said, ‘I know my rights you’re going to need a warrant for that.’”

While Jay’s lyrics have been used by Democrat and Republican lawmakers during important debates, the rap mogul is an active supporter of President Obama. He and his wife Beyonce hosted  a $40,000 per plate fundraiser for the President during his 2012 campaign.

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