Law Prof: Jay-Z's Lyrical Legal Advice Is Wrong

Don't let '99 Problems' be your guide

By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 11, 2012 5:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jay-Z's smash hit "99 Problems" may be fun to listen to, but don't get your legal advice from it. The rapper's perspective on the law is way off in parts, says a professor who authored a law review article analyzing the lyrics line by line. "If this Essay serves no other purpose, I hope it serves to debunk, for any readers who persist in believing it, the myth that locking your trunk will keep the cops from searching it," writes associate prof Caleb Mason. Sorry, fans, but the idea that the police will need a warrant is "completely, 100% wrong."

"99 Problems" features a narrative of a younger Jay-Z being pulled over by cops while having drugs in his car, and given the song's "crime anthem" status, "it's perhaps surprising that it took so long for an extremely thorough breakdown of the relevant law enforcement issues to be published," writes Kia Makarechi at the Huffington Post. You can download the .pdf of the full law review article here.

Jay-Z in March, 2012.
Jay-Z in March, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Jay-Z in February, 2012.
Jay-Z in February, 2012.   (Getty Images)
Jay-Z in February, 2012.
Jay-Z in February, 2012.   (Getty Images)
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