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Debunking the myths of ’99 Problems’

So it turns out that, contrary to all appearances, Jay-Z is not the world's foremost legal scholar after all. Caleb Mason, a law professor at Southwestern Law School recently published a 19 page legal analysis of Jay-Z's 2004 hit "99 Problems" in the "Saint Louis University Law Journal." In it, Mason picks apart the second verse of the song line by line and describes its various legal implications. (In the song, Jay-Z admits he "ain't passed the bar" but contends he still knows a little bit about the law.) For those unfamiliar with Hov's masterpiece, the second verse describes an encounter with a racist police officer who pulls him over for driving one mile an hour above the speed limit. (Jay-Z says the account is based on a real incident.) Jay-Z mulls the option of stepping on the gas and giving the officer a chase, as he is carrying narcotics in his trunk, but decides against it because he has the financial means to fight the case in court if need be. The officer asks to look around the car a little bit, to which Jay-Z responds, "Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back, and I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that."

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